On Road Impressions
Having #00 in Mpls for the summer meant I had access to it any time I was home. The car was designed with it the intent of being a street car that you could live with on a daily basis. Turns out that’s exactly what it is. Just as the JRZ RS1s are great on track, they are even better on street. One of the most important ingredients in the 311RS recipe is ride quality. It had to be livable on the daily. A properly suspended car is one that will take abuse on track without abusing you on the drive home. That’s exactly how the 311RS-spec RS1s are damped – Firm, yet plush, without being harsh. On the street you immediately notice how well this car drives. It’s incredibly responsive and communicates as it should, all of what you want to know and nothing you don’t. You feel the bumps, but they do not punish you as with typical overly stiff aftermarket suspension systems. Just enough to let you know exactly the characteristics of the road you are driving on.
Beyond the ride quality, the goal of the street driving portion of this final phase of development was to see how the car would interact with everyone else. Other drivers, passengers, on-lookers, etc. Visually the car looks pretty aggressive being as low as it is, and of course with bright blue Volks and matching stripe. What I’ve noticed is that others tend to really enjoy the car, even with a quick glance. While it’s aggressive, it’s also very clean and unobtrusive. We wanted to the car to have a timeless look. It’s not easy to do when there is a bright blue racing stripe down the side of the car, but I think the 311RS makes it work quite well.
Passengers love the 311RS. Initial assumptions are that they (the passengers) are going to be put through a wild ride, and while that is usually true, the car at least provides them with a smooth wild ride. 350whp isn’t a crazy amount of power, but this car is all about balance. 350whp makes for an incredibly fun car. Turbo lag is non-existent with the OEM turbo which is why we chose to keep it on the base 311RS model. I live in an area that mixes city driving with country roads so on each drive I get to experience the best of both worlds. Cruising to the city, the car is civil and appropriately quiet, while providing plenty of fun.
Highway driving isn’t an issue with noise or ride quality. In 5th, the car actually has a lot of torque. 5th acts as an Overdrive gear at times, but with the AMS bits and a tune, passing cars becomes very easy and quite fun. Lay into the throttle for just a few seconds and you’re already passing 90 … in a 55. In the city is where the car starts to become real fun. Minneapolis isn’t too large and the streets are still somewhat nice. If you lived in NYC, I’m not sure how much fun you’d have with a 311RS on the daily. It is still an Evo… Ripping through first, second, and third between lights is awesome. OEM turbo, AMS bits, and 350whp means you’ve got one quick and agile car.
Over this summer I’ve put 3,500 miles on the car, with a total of 19,421 miles since we created the 311RS in October of 2011. With a few trips across the US, 4,100 miles on track, and literally days behind the wheel I am confident in the 311RS. I am one of the hardest people to impress, especially when it comes to things I create, so the fact the 311RS impressed me means a lot to me personally. We knew going into this that the car would need to be great, and that didn’t seem like an impossibility. But the fact that this car has been as great as it has been came as a surprise. All around too, not just on track, which was the goal. The ideal Evo X. One that you can enjoy every day in whatever situation you choose.