The best Subaru WRX performance modification includes a wide range of options such as tuning the engine, upgrading the exhaust system, installing a turbocharger, improving the suspension, upgrading the brakes, and more.
Performance modifications aim at enhancing power output and the driving experience. Modifications on the WRX’s engine control unit (ECU) can improve its performance by adjusting fuel maps, ignition timing, and other parameters.
The Subaru WRX is among the most sort after models but previously it used to be the Impreza. Major reasons for the WRX popularity include the vehicle’s comfort levels, affordable performance, all wheel drive and finally its safety features.
Can a WRX be tuned?
Of course a Subaru WRX can be modified. It’s one of the cars that has a large potential for aftermarket parts. Installation of racing modifications on the WRX makes it race track worthy.
Tuning will increase speed, enhance handling and forced induction modifications will increase the engine’s power. The overall driving experience of stock performance in a Subaru WRX is totally different from that of a tuned WRX.
Subaru WRX engine modifications for power upgrades.
Engine modifications are installations that alter the manufacturer’s equipment within the engine to improve power output. They aim at enhancing the manufacturer’s concept of how the engine should function.
a]. Cold Air Intake.
This is one of the engine modifications that serves as part of the power upgrades. Because it helps the engine to breath better.
Cold air intake replaces the factory air intake system. How does it work? It allows cooler, denser air to enter the engine. Hence resulting to better performance.
Stock air intake systems have convoluted air ducts and restrictive air filter box. Therefore, this restricts the smooth flow of air into the engine. Furthermore, stock air intake systems draw high temperature air into the engine.
Hence the need for an aftermarket air intake system. It increases the volume and quality of air reaching the engine. They have larger diameter intake pipe hence reducing restrictions and allowing for a more efficient flow of air into the engine.
The positioning of the aftermarket cold air intake is away from the hot engine bay. Therefore, it is able to draw cold air from outside the engine. Some of them even have insulation materials to prevent the drawing inwards of hot air.
Increasing the amounts of oxygen within the engine boosts the production of energy during combustion. Further, this modification also increases the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
b]. Front mount inter-cooler and piping.
The ultimate goal of this engine modification is to increase the percentage of oxygen for fuel combustion. Therefore this reduces fuel consumption hence increases fuel efficiency and power output.
This modification is mostly suitable for cars that have turbochargers and superchargers. Superchargers and turbochargers are parts of the intake system which usually apply forced induction for engine power upgrades.
Therefore, when they combine with the Front mount inter-cooler and pipping their functionality is enhanced. Because the front mount inter-cooler cools down the air that is drawn into the engine’s intake manifold.
It cools down the compressed air from turbochargers through a heat exchange mechanism. Additionally the inter-cooler consists of pipping that allows for heat dissipation.
c]. Hood scoop.
The Subaru WRX and Subaru STI are known to have a bonnet scoop that feeds the top mount inter-cooler. It allows for cool air to flow into the engine’s compartment.
How it functions depends on how it is set-up. Some people use it as a car body modification to improve aesthetics. In such a case, it won’t allow air to enter the engine compartment.
There is a lot of hot air within the engine chamber that has very little amounts of oxygen. The front grill works alongside the hood scoop to increase cold air intake into the engine chamber.
The cool air is rich in oxygen. Therefore, it increases efficiency in how the engine functions. Further, it reduces the risk of an overheated engine.
d]. Air and Oil Separator.
Its role is to prevent the contamination of the intake system. Therefore, it prevents the reduction of engine efficiency. Further, it helps to maintain a clean intake tract and intake components.
That’s because it’s design allows it to separate and collect oil vapor. Further it collects gasses coming from the engine’s crankcase ventilation system.
The accumulation of oil vapors on components, such as the intake valves, leads to carbon buildup. Therefore, causing the car to consume more fuel by inconveniencing the combustion process.
Air and oil separators have a canister that has filters that allow air to pass through while trapping the drops of oil. Afterwards, the oil accumulates in the canister hence preventing it from reaching the intake system.
e]. Exhaust system upgrade.
There are three major reasons for exhaust system tuning.These include sound, performance and aesthetics.
The manufacturer’s exhaust system set-up conforms to considerations and regulations which limit its potential. The exhaust system is made up of different parts.
Therefore, when undertaking exhaust system modifications, focus on the following parts.
This part of the exhaust system acts as a connection between the exhaust manifold and the catalytic converter. Original manufacturer equipment [OEM] down-pipe has several restrictions.
They are inclusive of the design which has a narrow diameter and some sharp bends which act as flow restrictions. A down-pipe upgrade would consist of fewer flow restrictions and a larger diameter.
This will benefit you by improve exhaust flow, reduce turbo lag, and increase horsepower and torque.
ii]. Catalytic converter.
This device is based on a genius idea of converting harmful pollutants and toxic gasses found in exhaust fumes into a less harmful state. This process restricts the flow of exhaust fumes hence interfering with the engine’s breathing process.
An upgrade would require the acquisition of a high-flow catalytic converter that offers a higher flow rate. Their design complies with emission regulations while enhancing the flow of exhaust gasses.
iii]. Exhaust manifold.
Exhaust manifold fits onto the engine block and its function is to funnel exhaust gas from the cylinders to the catalytic converter. Some engines have multiple exhaust manifolds for each cylinder.
This exhaust system upgrade reduces exhaust gas flow restrictions and changes sound. You know that the exhaust system helps the combustion engine to breath better.
One of the restricting factors within the OEM exhaust pipes includes the sharp bends and small diameter. Aftermarket exhaust manifolds have smooth bends and larger diameters.
These characteristics help to reduce restrictions and improve flow. Therefore, this ensures better reading by the oxygen sensors. Further, larger exhaust manifold diameters make louder exhaust noises.
This is an exhaust system tuning that changes the sound of the car’s exhaust pipe gasses. Aftermarket mufflers are also known as silencers. These are mufflers made for noise deadening.
Noise from the hot exhaust gas produced by the engine cylinders is regulated by a series of insulated passages and chambers. Installing a performance based muffler helps in this process.
f]. ECU tuning.
Undertaking an Engine Control Unit tuning involves the altering of the system’s programming in order to unlock performance different levels.
Roles of the ECU include managing and controlling various aspects of the engine’s operation. ECU tuning is done through different methods.
Which include using modified software for re-flashing or using a standalone engine management system [Performance chip]. Hereby achieving an improvement in overall performance, power output, and throttle response.
Further, it can help with ignition system response time, optimizing the fuel and air mixture, and adjusting the boost pressure control in a turbocharged Subaru.
g]. Camshaft upgrade.
The camshaft is responsible for controlling the intake valve and exhaust valve timing. Hence affecting the engine’s power delivery and efficiency.
The camshaft opens and closes the valves at the right time in compliance to the precise stroke and defined sequence. An upgrade will be suitable for the specific performance requirements.
This is in relation to fuel efficiency, emission and performance. Therefore these are some of the benefits you will reap from undertaking a camshaft upgrade.
- Change in the exhaust’s sound tone.
- Additional power and torque across a wider range of RPMs.
- Better throttle response through optimized valve timing.
- Higher power output.
h]. Fuel injectors.
Internal combustion engines depend on the fuel injectors to introduce fuel at the precise time in the combustion cycle. Fuel injectors ensure that the right amount of fuel flows into the combustion chamber.
Replacing the stock fuel injectors with aftermarket fuel injectors caters for fuel economy, engine power. and emissions. A faulty fuel injector is one of the reasons why the car consumes more fuel.
Replacement fuel injectors vary in size which also affects their efficiency after installation. They have the following benefits in common;
[I]. Sufficient fuel supply.
There are some engine modifications that can increase fuel consumption. Therefore, an aftermarket fuel injector will facilitate the delivery of the correct amount of fuel for modified engines.
[II]. Higher engine horsepower.
The higher the horsepower, the more the fuel required by the engine. Therefore, a high engine horsepower needs sustenance through the necessary fuel supply.
The compatibility of aftermarket fuel injectors with the Subaru WRX’s engine management system and other fuel system components is very important. Further, matching the aftermarket fuel injectors to the engine’s requirements is essential.
i]. Fuel system upgrades.
Having looked into the fuel injectors, there are other fuel system upgrades that can increase power output of the Subaru WRX. Their installation highly depends on the current engine modifications and the power output goals.
[I]. Fuel pressure regulator.
Fuel pressure refers to the force with which the fuel is drawn from the fuel tank to the combustion chamber. A regulator is essential to ensure that the fuel pressure matches the engine’s demands during varying RPMs.
[II]. Fuel lines.
The original manufacturer equipment [OEM] fuel lines are set to a diameter that’s less than the aftermarket fuel lines. Further, OEM fuel lines are made up of material that’s susceptible to damage.
However, installing aftermarket fuel lines will provide larger diameter and stronger component material. The larger diameter facilitates better fuel flow and pressure. While the stronger material enables a longer lifespan.
[III]. Fuel rails.
Aftermarket fuel rails ensure better fuel supply to all engine cylinders. This is possible because those fuel rails provide consistent fuel pressure to each cylinder. Further, aftermarket fuel rails ensure consistent fuel delivery to all cylinders despite the engine RPM.
[IV]. Fuel reservoir tank.
It’s also known as a fuel surge tank. The goal of this reservoir is to prevent fuel starvation during high engine RPM.
Further, you’ll see its efficiency when you have to negotiate many corners and during thick drive and stop traffic situations. It function involves maintaining consistent fuel pressure by supplying the fuel pump with sufficient fuel.
j]. Transmission modifications.
This refers to the changes that you perform on the car’s transmission system for better shifting performance. Longer transmission lifespan can be achieved through
Signs of a faulty transmission system include slipping gears, overheating, poor fuel economy among others. You can avoid this through proper transmission maintenance or undertaking a transmission modification.
Common transmission tuning will involve the following things;
[I]. Short-throw shifter.
This is one of the transmission modifications that prevents slipping gears. It enables better shifting from one gear to the next. Hence increasing engine power output during high engine RPM.
[II]. Differential upgrades.
This involves the installation of a limited slip differential. Hence helping with the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels during acceleration.
Further, it helps to improve the vehicle’s stability during cornering. Also, it increases traction to reduce sliding when you’re driving on slippery road surfaces.
[III] Transmission cooler.
High performance driving increases the demands on the transmission. Therefore, increasing the heat production. For this reason, using aftermarket transmission cooler minimizes the risk of overheating.
Further, it reduces the occurrence of wear and tear of the transmission. Additionally helping with the regulation of transmission fluid’s temperatures.
[IV]. Adjusting gear ratios.
Gear ratios are set according to the car’s driving needs. That’s why a commercial vehicle’s gear ratios will vary from those of a luxury vehicle as well as a racing vehicle.
This transmission upgrade aims at adjusting the car’s acceleration and top speed. Therefore, this adjustment will have a direct impact on fuel efficiency and power output requirements.
[V]. Transmission software tuning.
This involves the adjustment of the original manufacturer equipment ECU settings to accommodate all the installed performance modifications. Therefore affecting the rate of shifting from one gear to the next in relation to the engine’s RPM.
How can I make my WRX faster?
In order to achieve the goal of a really fast WRX, you need to focus on the engine performance mods. This doesn’t have to an expensive venture.
Because two or three mods can do the trick. However, you need to remember that one modification will not do the trick. For example, fuel injectors will not upgrade power output on their own.
Therefore, you need to identify the mods that work together to increase the speed of your Subaru WRX. Hence, the reason why you need the input of a tuning professional to figure this out.
However, we are going to list some of the modifications that can increase a car’s speed. They’re inclusive of the following;
- ECU tuning.
- Fuel system upgrades.
- Cold air intake.
- Camshaft upgrade.
- Transmission modification.
How much HP does a stage 2 tune add WRX?
This is a question that someone who needs the right parts for their Subaru WRX. Because each stage of tuning requires different parts. Additionally, every part plays a role in improving power output performance as well as the driving experience.
Therefore we are going to venture into the different Subaru WRX tuning stages. Further, we will look at the parts that are necessary for each one of them.
Earlier, we mentioned that one modification cannot work by itself to provide the ultimate performance experience. You can match the right mods after understanding these stages.
Breathing is the most important thing for any human. Stage 1 Subaru WRX tuning focuses on how the engine can breath better. Meaning that it concentrates on intake system modifications.
[I]. High-rise flow air filter.
The car’s air filter is an important intake system component. It filters any insects, dirt particles, dust and debris hence preventing them from entering the engine.
An aftermarket air filter is optimized for preventing any contaminants from interfering with the air that goes into the combustion process.
Therefore, it facilitates better power output from the combustion process.
[II]. Exhaust system modifications.
The exhaust system is an essential part that allows the removal of exhaust fumes from the engine cylinders. Each engine cylinder has a manifold pipe that takes fumes away once they’re produced.
Aftermarket exhaust system parts help to take away fumes with minimum restrictions. That’s because they have smoother bends and a wider diameter.
[III]. ECU tuning.
The manufacturer restricts performance parameters to those that conform to regulations. However, these ones are not always suitable to individual preference.
Therefore, stage 1 tuning requires you to go for an adjustment of such parameters. The end benefit is an increase in power output.
In order to achieve this, you will have to adjust ignition timing, improve control and fueling system. However, combining this with other stages of modifications works really well.
Stage 2 Tuning.
This Subaru WRX tuning stage allows for an incorporation of modifications that will act as an add on. Therefore, boosting vehicle performance, power generation and sound adjustment.
Undertaking stage 2 Subaru WRX modifications on their own will not significantly boost the horsepower. Howe
[I]. Down-pipe tuning.
The original manufacturer equipment down-pipe has several restrictions that interfere with the smooth expulsion of exhaust fumes.
Restrictions are in the form of sharp bends and a narrow diameter. The down-pipe is essential for the flow of exhaust fumes from the engine’s cylinders to the catalytic converter.
An upgrade ensures that there is a wide enough diameter for increased flow. Additionally, an aftermarket down-pipe has less bends. The bends that are available are smooth to allow for unrestricted flow of fumes.
[II]. Boost controller installation.
This installation is suitable for vehicles that have turbocharger technology and superchargers. Its significance is that it permits manual adjustment of the air suction pressure from the turbocharger.
Therefore, you can control air intake depending on the engine RPM. This engine performance modification improves fuel economy and increases power production.
[III]. Inter-cooler upgrade.
The inter-cooler works alongside the car air intake system to improve the amount and quality of air drawn into the combustion chamber.
Aftermarket inter-coolers are mounted on areas where air flows freely. Since the engine compartment gets really hot, the inter-cooler assists in the separation of hot air from cold air.
Therefore it ensures that the air which enters the engine’s combustion chamber is cold and rich in oxygen. This facilitates better fuel consumption and power production.
Further, it works alongside the turbocharger and supercharger to cool the air that’s drawn into the engine. It also cools the engine during operation hence minimizing chances of an overheated engine.
Stage 3 modifications.
Because each of these stages builds up the previous one, it’s safe to assume that the stage 3 upgrades are the icing on the cake.
[I]. Fuel system modifications.
Each of the modifications above will increase the amount of power output. Therefore, for better power production, there is a need for fuel supply.
However, don’t confuse this to mean that there will be an increase in fuel consumption. Contrary to that, you may note an improvement in the mileage coverage of your fuel.
Fuel system upgrades increase fuel supply and ensure consistency in relation to the supply. This consistency prevents unmet fuel demands by the engine.
There are some car manufacturers that install turbocharger technology in their vehicles during production. This boosts the vehicle’s air intake for the combustion process.
Therefore, achieving increased power out due to an improvement of the combustion process. Turbochargers draw air rich in oxygen for the combustion process.
This increases acceleration power. However, installation of turbochargers will necessitate the installation of supporting modifications. For example, aftermarket fuel injectors.
Can a WRX rumble?
A rumble is the sound tone of the car’s exhaust pipe. Yes, the Subaru WRX can rumble. In fact it’s known for the exhaust rumble or exhaust tone.
This tone comes from the engine cylinders configuration and the exhaust system design. To achieve a deeper rumble, you need to configure the exhaust system pipes to have a bigger diameter.
Secondly, install the appropriate muffler that has the correct characteristics to produce the exhaust tune that you desire. This will instill a higher level of the Subaru WRX aggressiveness.
What does WRX stand for?
The Subaru WRX was introduced in Japan in the year 1992. The goal of the manufacturer was to introduce a car meant for the world of rallying.
Hence the reason why they gave it the WRX name. Which is supposed to refer to World Rally Experimental. Since its introduction, the Subaru WRX has gained a lot of favor in the automotive industry.
How to do launch control on WRX?
Launch control lets the driver utilize some engine and traction control settings. The driver activates launch control systems which allows the following components to work together for maximum acceleration.
Further, the activation of the launch control systems allows the driver to adjust the areas involved.
- Engine RPM.
- Wheel traction.
Launch control involves the achievement of top acceleration from a standstill position. The general recommendation is to increase speed gradually from your stopping point.
This gradual acceleration gives the engine time to warm up so that engine oil can circulate fully and lubricate fully. However, launch control doesn’t take this into consideration.
Hence adding stress to the engine, transmission and clutch. The launch control varies from one Subaru WRX to the other.
The throttle body is an important part of the car’s intake system. It’s main function is to control the amount of air that goes into the engine.
An internal combustion engine gets power from the burning of the air and fuel mixture within the combustion chamber. Reduced engine power can be a result of restriction of air intake. However, an increase in engine power comes from increasing the amount of air intake by the engine.
Drivers use the accelerator pedal and brake pedal to regulate the engine’s power production. Engaging these pedals triggers a reaction by the throttle body which affects the amount of air and fuel that flows into the engine.
The ECU controls the throttle valve position after communicating with the throttle position sensor and after checking the engine RPM. Consequently, this affects the amount of air and fuel which goes into the engine.
This is in an attempt to prevent excessive power delivery during launch. Therefore, the car’s acceleration and traction are kept in check to avoid the torque effect of swerving and control loss.
b]. Engine RPM launch control.
Launch control, lets the driver manipulate the RPM level at which the car should launch. RPM refers to the number of engine rotations per minute.
The ECU is programed to maintain the predetermined RPM level at which the driver wants to launch the vehicle. Therefore, offering consistency in power delivery.
A high number of engine rotations is experienced when driving at a high speed. However, gradual increase from few to many engine rotations per minute do not guarantee that the car will be accelerating.
This shows that an engine’s power production doesn’t necessary relate to the engine RPM directly. Vehicles have a tachometer with which they measure the engine RPM.
This measurement is presented to the driver on a dashboard gauge which is subdivided into two zones. The red-zone on a tachometer indicates situations where there are extremely high engine RPMs.
Once the engine speed is on the red-zone, the gears should shift. However, manual cars require the driver to shift gears themselves. Therefore, revving the engine up to that point without shifting gears causes damage to your engine.
c]. Wheel traction launch control.
Wheel traction during launch affects vehicle’s direction stability and how the vehicle’s handling feels to the driver. A system that controls wheel traction is possible because of the car’s Traction Control System [TCS].
The TCS is a system that controls wheel spin. Additionally, it is a part of the Electric stability control system that modern cars are equipped with to match power transfer from torque, throttle input and engine power.
The TCS system uses car sensors to monitor wheel speed. Therefore, during a Subaru WRX launch control, this system may apply braking or adjust engine power incase of an excessive wheel spin.
d]. Clutch launch control.
This involves taking measures that control the transfer of power from the engine to the drivetrain during launch in manual transmission cars.
The clutch connects the engine to the drivetrain and temporarily disconnects that connection in order to stop a car without turning the engine off.
Clutch launch control involves changing the stock clutch settings in order to influence the transfer of power from the engine to the wheels.
What makes WRX good?
Apart from the engine modifications we have looked at above, there are other methods of improving your Subaru WRX. However, before looking into some of them, we have to acknowledge some aspects that make the WRX a good car.
About 3.3 percent of buyers trade-in their Subaru WRX within the first year of purchase. However, Subaru of America estimated that a good percentage of drivers are Subaru owners.
Things that make a performance tuned Subaru WRX good are different from those that make the sport tuned WRX good.
Characteristics that makes Subaru WRX good.
These are some of the manufacturer’s installations that ensure the Subaru WRX is a good car choice. Here are some of the advantages of a good Subaru WRX.
The Subaru WRX performance refers to how fast it can accelerate, its cornering ability, top speed and braking capacity. To cover these areas, the Subaru WRX is equipped with high quality suspension system parts to enhance cornering capacity.
Secondly, its brake system has performance brakes which reduce the braking distance between high speed and stopping. The Subaru WRX has a high responsive steering system which adds to the handling that it gets from the suspension system.
Therefore, it turns into and out of corners very smoothly while giving you total control. Further, its speed capacity is boosted by turbochargers and a six speed gear.
b]. All wheel drive [AWD].
All wheel drive Subaru WRX cars are suitable for different terrains. Therefore, getting stuck when driving off-road during rainy days becomes next to impossible.
Because the AWD system gives them enhanced traction, control and stability. Even during launch control, the AWD system regulates the rate at which wheels spin to offer better contact with the road surface.
A turbocharger is a part of the Subaru WRX intake system. The role of this is to increase the pressure with which air is drawn into the engine for combustion.
Hence affecting the rate at which the Subaru WRX accelerates. Forced induction further influences the rate of power production by the engine by improving it.
d]. Safety measures.
The WRX manufacturers take safety as a priority. Whereby, they install a number of up to date safety measures that ensure you and fellow road users don’t get into an accident.
Such safety features cover the inclusion of several driver assistance technologies. These ensure that a new Subaru WRX owner can quickly learn what is expected of them in relation to operating the Subaru WRX.
Further, the car body and its construction design ensures that the occupants are safe. Manufacturers have also included safety features that prevent harm from befalling the car’s occupants incase of a car crash.
In general, Subaru as a manufacturer has set reliability standards that should be met by every car leaving the manufacturer’s floor. The Subaru WRX incorporates functional reliability as it’s made up of high quality components.
This ensures that it has a long lasting lifespan. Even the constituent parts are reliable and long lasting. For example, the new car battery they install has a lifespan of 3 to 5 years.
Make the Subaru WRX good with these improvements.
To add on the list about the characteristics that make Subaru WRX a good car, we can include its affordability. In order to get more benefits from the Subaru WRX, there are a few improvements you can make that don’t involve power output.
The improvements we are about to list here will enhance the ride experience of your Subaru WRX.
a]. Performance brakes.
Performance brakes will usually improve traction and they’ll also reduce the braking distance.
Such that when you need to make an emergency stop while at high speeds, you’ll only need a few meters before a complete stop.
Performance breaks also offer a few other benefits that are inclusive of;
- Heat dissipation.
- Minimum noise and brake dust.
- Precise brake force and a better braking pedal feel.
- Durability with a long lifespan. Therefore, you won’t worry about being faced with the problems associated with bad brakes.
These types of suspension springs combine the functionality of coil springs and shock absorbers. therefore enhancing the quality of your ride when driving over uneven terrain and bumps.
The coil in the coil-over springs reduces the up and down travel rate of the car when you hit bumps. The damper ads to this advantage by regulating the rebounds. Further, it fully supports the car’s weight.
Coil-overs also allow for car ground clearance adjustment by allowing drivers to change their car’s height.
c]. High-performance tires.
High performance tires are made differently from the car’s stock tires. The stock tires are susceptible to damage like tire bulges.
However, the material that makes up high performance tires withstands impact. Hence guaranteeing a longer lifespan. Once the high performance are installed, ensure that you undertake wheel alignment and balancing.
High performance tires offer better grip during a driver on slippery roads. Further, they offer stability, better handling, braking and ride comfort.
I]. Lightweight wheels.
These are different from stock wheel components. The material that makes them is optimized for weight reduction.
Stock rims are made of steel which is very heavy in comparison to the aluminum or magnesium alloy used for lightweight wheels. The benefits of using these wheels is inclusive of the following;
- Fuel efficiency.
- Better ride comfort.
- Improved heat dissipation.
- Attractive aesthetics.
d]. Differential upgrade.
A differential affects the rate at which wheels within the same axle spin hence preventing wheel slippage. Further, it distributes the torque to wheels while allowing them to spin at different speeds.
Additional benefits include better traction, cornering capacity, improved overall performance and control. The following are some of the differential upgrades you can undertake;
- Limited slip differential upgrade.
- Changing gear ratios by using performance gearing.
- Differential locking for better torque distribution.
e]. Suspension upgrades.
Different suspension system upgrades offer benefits in relation to ride quality, handling and stability. There are several parts of the suspension system that can accommodate an upgrade. They include the following;
- Camber plates.
- Control arms.
- Sway bar.