SPECS
Horsepower
280 WHP
TOrque
300 LB-FT
Curb weight
3160 LBS
Drivetrain
AWD
Engine DisplaCement
2.0 L
Transmission
4EAT
Fuel Economy
19/25 MPG
Mileage
322,000 Km
Fuel TYpe
93 & E-85 Blend (E25)
Wheel setup
RPF1 17x9 +35 5x100
Tires
245/40/17
Ride height
-1.4”F/ -1.2”R
VEHICLE STORY

Before owning this vehicle I knew nothing about Subaru as a brand & absolutely nothing about general car maintenance. With almost 4 years of ownership and over 320k on the clock, it’s crazy to think how far both I & the car have progressed in such a short time. I started in December 2018 with a completely stock 2004 Premium Package WRX in a rare San Remo Red colour. Even more uncommon was the 4EAT transmission, known for its 45/55 VTD-AWD & high horsepower potential without a need for upgraded internals. I am well aware of the hate these transmissions can get, but the choices for my first car boiled down to this or a 2.5 NA Impreza. I’m sure most would agree there was no debate to be had there. Early on, the plan was to turn the Subie into the ultimate daily driver x weekend drag car. Through countless hours of browsing forums, service bulletins, YouTube, & service manuals, I eventually became comfortable with working on both the NA & Turbo EJ platforms. Being able to do a majority of the labour on my car has been one of the most painful yet rewarding passions I've developed. During the first 2 years of ownership, I was fortunate enough to work at a dealership & went straight to work replacing all the old fluids & a ton of old rusty OEM parts. The OEM catback was the first to go, replaced with an HKS Hi-Power exhaust to unlock the Subie rumble. It only took one cold start to hook me on the mod worm & begin collecting receipts for my binder. By the end of 2020, the car was running a stage 2+ setup, new Eibach Springs & KYB struts along with new swaybar, trailing arm, lateral link, & control arm bushings. New rotors, hawk pads & Stoptech stainless steel brake lines made a world of a difference in the stopping department. The cooling system was also upgraded with a custom B&M Transmission Supercooler routed through a Mishimoto aluminum radiator. To top it all off, I visited Drivehard Performance for a Stage 2 94 Octane Protune, settling @ 17.5psi & 240whp. This was achieved with the JDM V8 STI TMIC, Grimmspeed Upipe, Perrin 2.4” Turbo Inlet, Helix 3” catless Downpipe, & the catless HKS Hi-Power Catback with the resonator deleted. At this point in 2021 , modifying the Subie was like an addiction & I still hadn’t had my fix. I still clearly remember leaving the tuner after the stage 2 protune & swearing that I was driving a completely different car. It is amazing what a little blood, sweat, tuning, & a stack of cash can do. 2021-2022 involved revitalizing the exterior, tossing out the garbage factory sound system & finishing up the daily driver aspect of mods. Black Enkei RPF1s wrapped in 245/40/17 were mandatory, with custom wheel caps from FlatOut Graphics. Newly released coilovers from FactionFab, aluminum control arms from a V7 JDM STI, & Whiteline’s 22mm adjustable front & rear swaybars drastically improved turn-in & understeer. Last to the party were all new Moog tie rods & Cusco’s Type OS rear strut brace as the finishing touches in the handling department. For the sound system, my audio plug hooked up a wonderful MB Quartz Onyx Series 4 Channel Amp & a 1200W Rockford-Fosgate P3 12” Sub. This setup was complemented by 5.25” Rockford-Fosgate Front Components & 4” Rear Components powered through Kenwoods DPX503BT DIN. For gauges, I went with a 52mm dual gauge cluster pod to monitor boost & oil temp. Next up was getting the exterior styling done right. In my opinion, the 02-07 WRX from the factory is both beautiful and ugly. The earlier gen’s cheap plastic sideskirts beg to be replaced and the barren front bumper politely suggests for you to slap on STI side splitters and a V-Limited front lip. Throw an STI hood scoop & splitter on there and now we’ve got a proper rally-inspired front end. The last factory STI piece I installed was the sideskirts, opting to forgo the giant spoiler to lower my heat score. The last exterior additions were the Spec D V2 LED Headlights, HIC Rear Visor & Strafe Design V2 Rear Diffuser to complete the aggressive street setup. Finally, it was time to up the power, as a measly 240whp was not enough for me to daily with. Tomei’s glorious UEL headers, a low mileage IHI VF-30, ID1050X injectors, a DW 255lph pump, & the Grimmspeed Hybrid Intake ensured that we left the tuner with a bit more power. For the last 8+ months, the car has been pushing a healthy 93 Octane protune @ 21psi to make over 280HP and 300TQ to the wheels. (Not easy with a VF on an AT mind you!). The mid-range & top-end difference is absolutely night and day, it’s an absolute thrill. In addition, I also routed dual Cusco Catch Cans & knocked a few engine dress-up mods off the list. My personal favourites are the JDM STi Rad Cap & the Polished Battery, Fuse, & Washer Covers by Badass Performance based in the UK, which I’ve only seen on one other USDM vehicle. The next mods I have planned for 2022 are CS Style Sideskirt Extensions to complement the aluminum rear diffuser, a titanium engine bay dress-up kit, a Rallitek transmission mount & bushing, & the illumaesthetic angel eye taillights. As of right now, this is generally how my mod journey has gone, minus all the repairs, mistakes, accidents, & speed bumps along the way. Future mods in 2023 onward will involve fully prepping the car for the drag strip. Weight reduction, a racing seat & steering wheel, and most importantly, the IPT Hi-Stall Torque Converter that’s sitting in my garage. After that, we’ll be adding a Garrett GTX2871R or GTX2867R with a flex-fuel map and some wider tyres for the drag strip. After all that, it’ll be showtime. All in all, the journey of modifying a high-mileage turbo Subaru has been incredibly stressful yet satisfying. Building a quality Subaru is definitely not for the faint of heart or those with shallow pockets. This journey has taught me to enjoy each step of the process & to never be afraid to ge