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The cover story in the previous Top Gear Magazine was great. So they decided to include the ST in their shootout of their most exciting cars in the past year. This article will be in a new magazine release. This includes the usual exotic suspects, a few one-offs, the Toyota GT86, and the Focus ST.

Sorry, I haven't seen the whole article, this is a repost from the ft86 forums. Sorry if it's also a repost here.

The bottom link has a scan of the magazine page that has a nice blurb about the GT86. Sorry, I haven't found any scans with the ST page yet.

Brand new Top Gear mag - out now! - BBC Top Gear

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In that brief snippet, it shows exactly why the FRS is truly a great car. And to be fair, I haven't yet driven one, but my old business partner has, and his word is gold with me on understanding what a fun, affordable performance car should be.

I wonder why they *didn't* like the ST? He mentions it being on the bottom of the grid, but then in a barrage of unclear antecedents tells us that *either* the Radical or the ST is "nervy, flawed and costly." My assumption (based on my knowledge and seat time in a Radical and the low-cost of the Focus) is that he is speaking of the Radical, but the poor pronoun usage doesn't confirm that it isn't the Focus to which he's referring.
 

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I read the section on the ST. He complained a little about the torque steer and lack of LSD. He was comparing it to the BRZ and VXR. He even acknowledges the price difference with the VXR and ST. So in all I don't think he was really harsh on the ST or that he didn't like it.

Again this is on a track with stig and Clarkson flogging cars. Not a real world Camparo.


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Read it again and I didn't remember before but he actually compared the ST chassis balance as almost as good as the mid engine cars. Coming from Clarkson.......


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So a 5-door hatch back isn't as good as a bunch of sports cars and super cars. I can't say I'm surprised... If I had the ability to race around in a Lambo I wouldn't be buying an ST :)
 
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"Too nervy, too flawed, too costly" Not even sure what this means exactly or if they were even referring to the ST. Especially since the ST is the cheapest car in their test group...

And they simply picked the slowest car (by far) as the winner...what kind of test was this anyway?
 

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"Too nervy, too flawed, too costly" Not even sure what this means exactly or if they were even referring to the ST. Especially since the ST is the cheapest car in their test group...

And they simply picked the slowest car (by far) as the winner...what kind of test was this anyway?
Are you sure you aren't just mad that the ST didn't win, because we all want the ST?

The BRZ/GT86/whateveryouwanttocallit has gotten rave reviews and is apparently one of the best cars to drive. Speed doesn't always matter. The BRZ is a great car, and I would have loved it if I didn't need space.
 

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I noticed in the picture it said 0-60mph in 6 seconds for the ST. Actually, it was really hard to read in the pic. I had to squint big time.

So if Clarkson didn't like the ST I guess that's one bad review in a bunch of stellar reviews.
 

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Are you sure you aren't just mad that the ST didn't win, because we all want the ST?

The BRZ/GT86/whateveryouwanttocallit has gotten rave reviews and is apparently one of the best cars to drive. Speed doesn't always matter. The BRZ is a great car, and I would have loved it if I didn't need space.
Not mad at all, just wondering what they were referring to. Either way, the the BRZ/GT86 has problems in the practicality department. I'm sure it is a fun little car, but it's not for me.
 

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I think he did like it. He made a lot of very positive comments. I think he was actually being very objective.


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Not mad at all, just wondering what they were referring to. Either way, the the BRZ/GT86 has problems in the practicality department. I'm sure it is a fun little car, but it's not for me.
Read my comments above. I *believe* he was referring to the Radical, which makes sense based on my limited Radical experience. Certainly "nervy" would be accurate. But the use of less than particular pronouns makes the subject hard to discern in the sentence.
 

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Read it again and I didn't remember before but he actually compared the ST chassis balance as almost as good as the mid engine cars. Coming from Clarkson.......
That's pretty darn impressive. And for those taking this as some sort of objective comparison, I wouldn't. Another thing to try and understand from their perspective, too, is that these guys have driven damn near everything. "Exotics", well, aren't. And when you spend that much time behind the wheel of what would normally be considered supercars, then quite frankly, even they start to become a little stilted and similar.

I think the bit about a "forgotten recipe" in reference to the BRZ/FRS is an important distinction, and one that is generally lost on the general populace in regard to cars that have a driving pleasure that is hard to duplicate, and sometimes even hard to describe. So although the gut reaction might be to say, "Well of COURSE they're going to pick a Lamborghini over a Focus, BRZ, etc.", the truth is that they aren't looking for what is objectively great, but what brings the most joy. Because in the end, that's a tough thing to engineer. You have to look outside the numbers and look into what creates an emotional connection with the driver.

I just drove a '66 Mini Cooper S again for the first time in about ten years. Its a timeless classic because it simply makes you happy. A riot to drive. Pure joy behind the wheel. Also a great friendship test. If you don't at least smile when looking at, getting in and driving a Mini, then something has been removed from you that is fundamentally human. And I'm sorry for that. :)

I've had similar experiences in Miatas, an old Fiat Abarth, the early build American Lotus Elises, a few one-off racecars (including an incredible last generation MR2), the Porsche Boxster Spyder, some old Volkswagens that were stripped out and caged and slow as sin, and the Dodge Viper ACR and ACR-X. But I've driven Audi R8s that were numb as a fresh root canal. No fun, no soul, but sexy looking as hell.

Anyway, that's what these guys relish. So although the choice may not be obvious, it is a glowing endorsement for the BRZ/FRS as a driver's car, for sure.

Rambling again guys. Sorry. Thanks for sharing the article. These guys are not only great car guys, but great journalists.
 

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Yeah and the cars they drive for their reviews are usually the good cars we don't see in the US. The fact the BRZ/86 was good. It means they weren't looking for that super-expensive exotic to win.
 

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Makes me wonder if they turned off all the electronic aids on the ST. Without the electronic aids, the ST is going to exhibit all the pathologies FWD is capable of. Does full off also turn off the eDiff functions?
 

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Makes me wonder if they turned off all the electronic aids on the ST. Without the electronic aids, the ST is going to exhibit all the pathologies FWD is capable of. Does full off also turn off the eDiff functions?
I think that probably the first thing Jeremy did.


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I think that probably the first thing Jeremy did.
Which is a good idea in a RWD car, but a probably not good idea for this. I remember a line from one of the reviews, "You can't manually brake the inside front wheel."

Then again, Top Gear seems to be all about how a car behaves when it's smoking rubber around turns. This doesn't really seem designed to be that kind of car.
 

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Agreed. I might use sport but probably not full off. I have no delusions of being the stig.


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