By James Wong

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It’s 2am at night so I will not say much for now, but having covered about 130km so far with the S204, I can’t deny that I’m absolutely enthralled by the sheer pace and grip this car can offer.

Initial impressions:

– Sharp, direct turn-in: no sloppiness like the Golf GTI which rolls a fair bit. This car follows your command and you feel confident in entering a corner committed with speed. You can also feel the AWD working its way to distribute the power to get you cleanly out the apex in the quickest way possible.

– Brake pedal feel can’t quite match the 4-pot APs on the Golf GTI, which were really heart-stopping.

– Gearshifts are satisfying when executed well, but downright doggish when sloppily done. This is exacerbated by the AWD, with does give out some differential groans in a mis-shift.

– Fuel consumption is alarmingly high. I’m barely seeing 100km from a quarter tank. Ok maybe that ain’t that bad… I’ll need a couple of refills to judge accurately.

– The engine runs very hot! Of course, you would say, it’s a big turbo. But wow, this car warms up really quickly and generates a lot of heat. Nothing like the small snail in the GTI which now feel very cool in comparison.

– Air-conditioning is good, which is expected of any Japanese car…

– Gearing is well-spaced and at 100km/h it sits at about 2,800rpm. Quite comfortable for a cruise.

– Ride is well-sorted. The car feels very stiff, but it isn’t harsh.

– Front and rear can clear humps and carparks surprisingly well. Looks like I was excessively worried about this being a problem.

– I like that I am doing everything manually. Like turning on my headlights, or activating my wipers. Might tire of it later though…

– Exhaust is getting louder with time (are my ears getting bad?). It’s not a bad sound, not bad at all. It does get slightly drony though. You will think of your neighbours before you start the car, which I suppose is a happy problem.

Ok, that’s all for now folks. Time for some shut eye…

Specifications

Mileage: 88,400 km

Age: 7 years

Edition: 78 out of 600 worldwide

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