If you've read anything here recently, you'll know I'm still in the process of tearing my car apart to get ready to trade. At least the interior and some other bits.
Two of the things I've removed are technically suspension pieces - front and rear strut bars. The rear one actually goes inside the car and is visible in the trunk. The front one goes in the engine bay and connects the two strut towers there.
It's long been discussed that these two pieces do next to nothing to increase performance on the tC. Mostly because the areas they're connecting are already supported quite well. I'm wondering though... perhaps at the limit (while autox-ing, for example), they may do more than first thought?
Here's what I'm thinking...
There's another guy I autox with fairly regularly... he has a decently prepped Mazda Protoge 5. Can't say what he's done exactly, but he and I are typically neck and neck on most courses. The only exception when I got beat by any extended margin was on a rainy course. Other than that one even, we trade top times on a regular basis. Usually only a tenth or two off of each other's time.
Yesterday - after having removed both of those strut bars, he handily beat me by just over 1 second. Doesn't sound like much time - but in autox, that's like an hour in a day. My car felt OK overall I think. Didn't seem as stiff as it usually was, but that's incredibly hard for me to judge without being and expert driver or anything.
So it is possible... just possible, that the front and rear strut bars on a tC do more than initially thought.
But... would an every day street driver ever come close to noticing a difference? No. Don't think so.
And then again, maybe I'm just trying to find a reason that I got beat so bad this time... 🙂