I decided to go for an evening drive in the GP, most of which I spent blinded by the sun. I must admit that it is a fun car in which to push the limits a little, since it’s very eager to lose grip. It might just be my older tires, but you can clearly feel through the steering and brakes that you’re Livin’ Like Larry.
One benefit of going slowly, since, make no mistake, this is a pretty dang slow car, is that you can roll down the windows and listen to the very low, very throaty rumble of the V6 (I hate rolling them down at speed because I find the wind noise unbearable after a little while). I think this car could benefit a lot from an aftermarket exhaust, if I had the time, money or faintest idea of how to install one myself. It’s fun to rev and listen to, even though it’s not very rev-happy and always feels reluctant to kick down. When it finally decides to, it rumbles to 4,000 and sits there screaming in agony until you back off or it shifts up. I’m sure I could get a bit more out of the 4-speed slushbox if I had the space or guts to really wind it up without some piece exploding.
This car has a very definite comfort zone, and I’ve found the ideal power band to be between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm. You definitely get the most torque at this point, and at low speeds it’s very happy to push you back in your seat. It’s not an ideal companion for passing on the highway, though, since there’s minimal top-end grunt. It does only have 140 hp, after all, and weighs more than a sizeable planet.
The dominant sensation is, of course, understeer. Miles and miles of the stuff. There were many occasions where I felt I could have gotten a bit of a nice little slide in an MX-5 or something, and instead was snapped back to real life as I nearly ended up in the opposite lane smashing into an unsuspecting Kia Spectra. I will give credit to the steering-it may be decidedly stiff, but it does provide a good amount of resistance and communication to let you know when to brake and stop trying to push your luck.
TL;DR: You almost understeer into an oncoming Jeep Wrangler at every corner. Sounds very good. 3 ashtrays and automatic window a bonus.