But here's the big news... we have ourselves a new Battle Gear :D
She's a mid-model Efini, Type-R Special Edition :D
Keisuke has aptly named her Nonna, in conjunction with me naming our FC Katyusha :P
Nonna, the cool headed 2nd-in-command of the Pravda High :P
But enough with our naming weirdness... now back to the car....
So how does Nonna feels from Katyusha?
It seems the Mazda bloke has done a very impressive job on improving their generation car, Nonna (the FD3S) feels like it has improved from Katyusha (the FC3S :P) in every possible department.
The appearance department certainly something that looks like it came from the future... and this is from 1992 o.O
My first impression driving Nonna, I thought she had a longer wheel base than Katyusha... but a look up wikipedia proves other wise :P
Here's a quick stats between these 2 generation RX-7 :
Although Katyusha has been extensively modified but that does not change her basic characteristic.
Katyusha has gone through corner weight balancing and her total weight is almost 100kg lighter than stock (Well according to wikipedia that is :P)
Katyusha in her latest incarnation :)
So there is a fundamental difference in driving feel between these 2 generation cars, to put it more simply (and since I lack the literary skill to expressively convey the feelings) lets just put them in numbers.
In a scale of 1 to 10 of how close we are driving to the limit, driving Katyusha feels like 5..6..7..8..11!!..9..10..8..7..
Katyusha can easily get nervous approaching the limit, and when she does we have to quickly catch her rein to keep her in line.
Even with the new tires and all the suspension and handling mods my wallet (which is very shallow T.T) can get her basic characteristics does not change.
Compared with Nonna, the sense of driving her is like 5...6..7...8...9...10...10...10...10...9..8...7...
The sensation and feedback is very progressive, and the FD is a car that enjoys to be driven on the limit and it feels comfortable on the limit :)
Paired together with the smooth twin-scroll turbo chargers she is such a beauty to be driven, truly a driver's car :)
Metaphorically their handling characteristic is very similar to their appearance, the FC is rather boxy and angular... the driving character is thus, very rapid and up to the point.
While the FD is very smooth with lustrous curves... the driving character is exactly as that, like you are dancing with a very elegant lady :)
Keisuke is insisting to keep her stock, and also keeping her normal looks as he preferred the stock look compared to the gaudy-in-your-face racer looks of Katyusha xD
The only drawback I can think of comparing Katyusha to Nonna is her rather cramp interior, but considering these machines are not any daily driver but a through and true driver's car that does not count :P
Will I prefer an FD over the FC after this? Hell NO! xD
I still love my Katyusha, and I always prefer the old school look of the late 80s car compared to the newer cars... this was an era at the threshold of change, between the old and the new... at the apex of their time :)
But Nonna as being new to us is still quite a long way from being properly ready for the Touge and track abuse (which I doubt Keisuke will be willing to track her), she does have a few outstanding issues we will need to sort out first.
Mainly her cooling issues, being in Malaysia, heat is the mortal enemy of any Rotary enthusiast... with the stock hood, there is not enough escape vent to properly cool down the engine bay.
Although Keisuke wants her stock, her suspension is not though... she is currently riding on a set of Kei-Office suspension, which is very harsh indeed.
Driven on the limit, the suspension set doesn't feel as hard as Katyusha's Aragosta setup... but there is almost no damping feel coming from it... every small recesses on the road feels like you've just hit a brick wall >.<
This suspension is probably meant mainly for track use with no street use in mind :P
And lastly her brakes, maybe she's wearing old brake pads but her current brake setup is not good enough to last the touge heat, it feels fake, and it fades rather quickly >.<
Once we got these issues sorted out, and Katyusha getting her electrical issue cleared up we can start having some proper touge battles between these 2 generation of cars :)
Below is the video of our first impression of driving Nonna, which was back in July but only now did I found the time to edit the vid :P
Also the return of the caption guy xD