It's surprising how much the first word of a post can sometimes reduce the credibility of the rest of the post. No matter how correct you may be, it somehow doesn't seem to matter when you start the post with "lol"...
I have driven a Focus RS - yuck. I have also driven the Golf GTi, although not the latest version I admit (which is supposed to be better, but that wasn't hard really). The Civic R is a stupid looking car, and (according to road tests by magazines I actually listen to) is not nice to drive (at any speed/level of commitment). It does however, have a nice engine (the only strong point of any honda, bar the NSX, which they're stopping anyway).
Nope - this Subura Impreza was moving. And he was trying. We waved to each other when he turned off too - it's great when people acknowledge a good road-race (even if he did struggle against a hairdressers car).
I'm sorry but I have been in a mx-5 roadster, track set up lotus elise (bit scary on the roads) and an mk indy and I don't want to offend anyone but the indy and the elise were much quicker on country b-roads. Granted the indy probably has the lowest top speed, but in corners it just flies through and the acceleration is awesome. The same can be said with the elise. The mx-5 felt the slowest, maybe just because it was more refined. Who gave it 'best handling car of the year' award?
The one that springs to mind is Evo, but plenty of other magazines run Porsches, Lotuses, Caterhams, Mazdas together to find the best HANDLING.
Not the best grip, or fastest, but best handling.
However, on the road, the confidence that handling gives means you can drive harder with less risk than a nervous or twitchy car, or one without any feel.
I've also driven an Elise (but not for long), and have done plenty of miles in them as a passanger. (My Dad borrowed one for a few weeks cos they wanted to borrow our Stratos) The Elise simply has more grip, but 99.9% of drivers on the road will not be able to use all the grip, because the Elise either understeers or oversteers unless you know the car inside out (i.e. only a few lotus test drivers I know are very quick in the. Most lose time sliding around or understeering everywhere).
The same applies to Imprezas, Boxsters, Caterhams etc. They have a lot of power, and a tendancy to either oversteer or understter. They also have more ultimate grip. However, MX-5's are so balanced that you can use more of the potential of the car, and keep up with stuff that should disappear.
The MX-5 is NOT the quickest car A-B or on the track. I am not saying that. It would be crazy to think that. But because of it's virtues in handling, it can keep most cars, with most drivers, in touch.
Lowering a car, or fitting stiffer springs, or wider tyres is doubtful to improve HANDLING, although grip will probably increase (I say probably). However, because of the worse handling, or peculiar handling on the limits, it's no surprise that boy racers have a lot of crashes. If the cars handled nicely they would probably (again, probably) be able to correct most accident involking slides.
Good reply sir, I now clearly see what you mean by handling as opposed to grip and speed. I'll check through my evos to see if I can find the article. Have to say though, I find the indy (my dad's) or the elise (next door neighbors) more fun to ride in although I can see how hard they are to drive on their limits (spun the elise on a roundabout more than once). Just my opinion though.