Featured, Modified & Tuning

One Fast Family – 2 WRX’s, 1 Goal…Speed

Recently we had the pleasure of meeting a really cool husband and wife, both owners of new Subaru WRX. Awesome people deserve awesome rides, and this couple came to the right place. Both were very knowledgeable and knew exactly what they were looking to do and what they were hoping to achieve. New WRX, low miles, stock, looking for a little more out of their vehicle, one name came to mind…COBB. We ended up going COBB Stage II on both vehicles. Here are some photos of both cars before we started the builds.

We installed the following on BOTH of these gorgeous rides…

COBB Big SF Intake w/ Airbox
COBB Resonated J-Pipe
COBB AcessPORT (Stage II ECU Flash)
TurboXS Cat-Back Titanium Tip Exhaust System
WedsSport SA-72R Wheels
Check out the differences between the stock exhaust that comes on these cars and the aftermarket TurboXS we installed. Not only are these exhaust systems sexy, they produce a really nice sound while cutting down on in-cabin drone.

Here’s a look at the COBB Big SF Intake System that we installed on both vehicles.

And just like that, all the performance upgrades were complete. Next step was getting rid of the sunken in stock wheels that come on the new WRX. We happened to have the perfect matching set of WedsSport SA-72R in stock, it was almost meant to be! One set black and gunmetal, the other black and blue to match their cars! Check out the wheels below…

The calipers on the Gunmetal WRX were also painted in Brembo Red to give the wheels some extra pop.

Overall we couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome of BOTH of these awesome rides. Both husband and wife both left with a MUCH faster, and better looking car. More than deserving of their new and improved rides, enjoy guys! I will say it again, these were awesome people and look forward to seeing them back at the shop! Check out some pictures of their cars after the upgrades were completed…

If you have any questions about anything you see here or anywhere else on the blog feel free to give us a call or stop by the shop! We can be reached at (561)395-5700 or you can just stop by, we are located at 980 N Dixie Highway in Boca Raton FL. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10 A.M. until 6:30 P.M. and Saturday 12 P.M. until 4:30 P.M.

Source: Velocity Factor

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Car Culture, History, Limited Editions, Top 5

Five Reasons You Need To Buy A Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS Right Now

Subaru’s Impreza line of cars was perhaps its greatest triumph. It allowed the company to forget about the SVX and Justy in the North American market and offer a car with more versatility than a Swiss army knife. One of its best kept secrets is the little gem known as the ’98-’01 2.5 RS. Here are a few simple reasons you should own one.

5. It’s rare.

The GC8 generation Impreza 2.5 RS isn’t a rare car by regular production car standards, it’s more rare than some exotic supercars. I’ll give you a quick example: The most popular Ferrari in the late ’90s and early ’00s was the Ferrari 360. In its 5-year run, over 16,000 cars were made. Subaru, on the other hand, produced just over 14,000 examples of the 2.5 RS in its 4-year run, including both 4-door and 2-door variants. That means that if you’re driving a 2.5 RS and get into a fender bender with Doug DeMuro, you’re more likely to find his front bumper in a junkyard than your rear bumper.

This rarity only increases as time goes on, because unlike a Ferrari, a Subaru Impreza isn’t a priceless heirloom that gets passed down from hard-working parent to entitled trust fund baby. It’s a cheap daily driver for the vast majority of its owner base, which means that it gets totaled by newbie drivers in numbers that GM would describe as “concerning”. For this reason, it’s one of the rarest 90’s Japanese cars on the used car market in good condition, although even finding a rough example is a bit of a challenge.

A decent unit would set you back around $5000, with the “unicorns” (read: doesn’t exist) going for nearly twice that, although cars that are one check engine light away from the junkyard can be had for less than $2000, but they’d likely require more reconditioning than the car is worth. Try to find one on Ebay, I dare you.

4. It’s the most “Subaru” looking car ever made.

If you asked anyone born in the early ’90s to describe a Subaru, they would likely show you a picture of the GC Impreza WRC rally car. Either that, or describe something that can be driven comfortably in crocs.

The GC Impreza is the car that gave Subaru a firm grip on not only professional motorsport, but the entry-level car market. It defined the brand, and no car since then has been able to capture the initial wonder and inherent Subaru-ness present in the simple, yet iconic lines of the GC chassis.

The 2.5 RS’s rally-inspired front end, with its huge fog lights, enormous hood scoop and wide-mouth opening is, in this writer’s opinion, one of the best looking of any car ever made in the last 2 decades. Although the RS didn’t get the wide fender wheel arches that the 22B WRX STi in Japan got, there are plenty of aftermarket manufacturers that offer kits that transform your pretty run-of-the-mill Subaru into a unadulterated knockout.

3. Its All Wheel Drive system is fantastic.

Before torque vectoring and electronic differentials were all the rage, Subaru came up with an ingenious solution to make a car go around a corner without understeering hilariously into something fortunate, or seriously into something unfortunate. Their system was called Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. Without becoming too technical (you can read about that here), it means that the torque coming from the engine is split evenly between front and rear axles, where a traditional system would give either the front or rear a significant bias. The drivetrain was also placed in the physical center of the car, giving the car’s handling more predictability than 35-year marriage.

In the 2.5 RS, this means that the car won’t hesitate to get you home in a snowstorm, light flood, or those surprise rally stages that happen from time when no one’s looking.

2. It’s Versatile.

At the very base of the 2.5 RS is an economy car that’s made for many hundreds of thousands of miles, through tough seasons exposed to the elements. It’s made for baby seats, melted crayons, and the occasional drink spill. It can do a cross-country trip at a moment’s notice, and doesn’t mind driving all the way back because you forgot your Kenny G collection. You can likely fix it on a 2-figure budget, and rebuild it on a 3-figure budget. Its parts are easily accessible and the aftermarket support rivals anything made for popular Toyotas, Hondas, or Nissans. With the right suspension and tire setup, it can give you an experience that requires a chiropractor afterwards, all while returning just shy of 30 miles per gallon and having the ability to make one hell of an awesome and iconic exhaust note.

It’s the darling of nearly every type of motorsport, from autocross to the loud new kid on the block – drifting:

It’s embraced by the oddball stance kids, 1/4 mile racers, and car show presenters. Odds are, if you can do it in a car, the Subaru 2.5 RS is the car to do it.

1. WRX/STi Engine swaps

The stock 2.5 engine, in both the single cam and dual cam versions weren’t bad powerplants by any means, putting out a max of 165 horsepower, but they were overshadowed in every conceivable way by the WRX and STi turbo variants, which are to this day, some of the most sought after engines in all of tuning culture. Subaru’s ingenious method of making nearly all of their drivetrain parts interchangeable make the STi/WRX a no-brainer for anyone that wants to transform their 2.5 RS into something that will have the BRZ owner frantically running back to the dealership for a refund. There are tons of tutorials and hundreds of possible combinations of engine mods for a variety of budgets and styles, culminating in a car that can give you neck-snapping grip and more usable power than anything offered by Subaru today.

It’s a diamond in the rough, and if you can find one, get it, because it certainly won’t be around for long. What are you waiting for? Go get one!

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Limited Editions, News&Reviews, Top 5

5 Cars I Wish I’d Never Sold

The ones I shouldn’t have let get away

I’m the type of person who looks forward, not back, in life. I don’t struggle with an attachment to material possessions. When I sell something, I usually have a “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out” attitude and move on. But there are a handful of automobiles I’ve owned that I miss and I’d love to have back in my garage.

1986 Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro

An Audi 200 Turbo Quattro won the 1987 Safari rally outright, the first time an all-wheel-drive vehicle finished on the top step of the podium at the grueling African event. Being a rally nut, when a close friend’s father decided to sell his 1986 Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro (the U.S. version of the 200) in the early 1990s, I couldn’t say no to the opportunity.

I loved that big Audi. The off-beat five-cylinder engine had a glorious soundtrack and the addition of the optional factory Fuchs 15-by-7-inch forged wheels shod with sticky Yokohama AVS Intermediate tires meant summer dry and wet grip was enormous. For winter duty, I fitted a set of Pirelli winter tires to the stock 15-by-6-inch wheels. I felt like rally god Hannu Mikkola as I dominated the snow-covered roads of Michigan in the Audi sedan, tapping the ABS off button to fully disable the antilock brakes for maximum left-foot braking fun.

There was one particularly snowy day when a friend’s pickup couldn’t make it up a steep hill, but a flick of the rotary switch in the 5000 locked the center and rear differentials, allowing the seemingly feeble German sports sedan to claw its way effortlessly to the top. When the snow melted and the Fuchs were bolted back on, I saw nearly 140 mph on the speedometer more than once. The Audi 5000CS Turbo Quattro was a jack of all trades sedan, and I loved it.

2002 and 2003 Mini Cooper S

I put a $500 deposit down at two Mini dealerships in Chicago before there were even Mini dealerships in the U.S. Logic told me the two biggest BMW stores in the Windy City would get the Mini franchise, and I was right. As such, I secured one the first Mini Cooper S models to land in North America in the spring of 2002. What a fantastic car.

The characterful supercharged engine and slick, six-speed manual gearbox worked brilliantly together. Its large, 17-inch wheels with run-flat tires gave an extremely harsh ride, but the wonderful steering and overall grip compensated. I felt like a rock star around Grand Rapids, Michigan.

It’s easy to forget just what a crazy concept the Mini was for the U.S. some 15 years ago. It caused both enthusiasts and the car clueless to stop me for a chat about my British hatchback. I sold that first red with a white roof 2002 Mini Cooper S for a profit in the fall of 2002 and ordered a silver 2003 with a black roof to my exact OCD specs. I also binned the standard run-flat tires for more conventional performance rubber, improving the ride quality and overall handling tremendously. That second Mini stuck around for a year or so, until I decided it was time to return to my all-wheel-drive rally routes.

2002 Subaru Impreza WRX

The WRX was my first Japanese car. I was a tried and true Euro snob until I began to realize that most Audi products had become too big, heavy, and expensive for proper winter thrashing duties. I found a lightly used, adult-owned WRX just before the snow arrived in late 2003: silver exterior, five-speed manual gearbox sans the tacky rear wing. A set of Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3 performance winter tires quickly took their place on the stock 16-inch wheels, and the slippery-road fun quickly began.

The gearbox was positive, the seats fit me perfectly, and the engine made great power — well, as long as you kept at least 3,000 rpm on the tachometer. I’d jump railroad tracks and anything else I could find, but I couldn’t seem to exhaust the extensive suspension travel. A trick modification to the ratcheting mechanism on the handbrake made low-speed turns and general hooliganism easy and the all-wheel-drive system with a limited-slip center and rear differential helped WRX be far less understeer prone than my previous Audi models. The WRX was also the last car I’ve owned that lacked stability control. I’m a huge fan of the brilliant safety feature, but there is something to be said about the top-spec car control that’s needed to drive a car lacking ESP quickly in the snow.

2008 BMW 328i

When I departed my full-time duties at Automobile magazine in 2009, I needed a car. Rotating through various BMW press cars enlightened me to their overall dynamic brilliance. Yes, the German company has lost the plot to a certain degree as of late, but the E90 3 Series was a fantastic car in sedan form.

I picked up a slightly used 2008 BMW 328i to serve as my new daily driver. Of course, it had a six-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and the sport package. The combination of run-flat tires and stiff suspension wasn’t perfect for Michigan’s crumbling roads, but at least the 328i came with 17-inch wheels versus the larger and heavier 18-inch setup. BMW’s naturally aspirated inline-six made great power and was smooth, smooth, smooth. It was also frugal, returning more than 30 mpg on 80-mph highway runs. I loved the buttery, meaty steering and the overall chassis balance. The heated seats were quick to warm my bottom on a cold winter’s morning and a set of winter tires combined with nicely judged stability control made the 328i an excellent vehicle for the coldest season of the year.

I vividly remember driving along an empty stretch of arrow-straight highway in Northern Michigan one particularly gorgeous summer’s evening with my mother-in-law riding shotgun. Eager to get home to my wife — and away from my mother-in-law — I scooted the BMW sedan up to an indicated 150 mph. It was rock solid, and I recall my passenger only piping up to ask why the wind noise seemed to have grown louder during the high-speed dash. I spent extended time in a couple of facelifted E90s, but none had the pace or overall feel of the lightly optioned 328i. When the present F30 3 Series hit the market, I quickly secured some seat time. I was disappointed. Sure, it rode better, had more torque, and offered a nice bump in interior space, but something was lost. Let’s hope BMW remembers the E90 when the next 3 Series hits the market.

2013 Scion FR-S

I sold the Scion FR-S to get a new Ford Focus RS in the spring of 2016. Now I want the FR-S back. Yes, the 350 hp, all-wheel-drive hatchback affixed with Blue Oval badges is faster and more practical, but I miss the purity and simplicity of the rear-wheel drive Japanese coupe.

I don’t do a ton of road trips in my personal car. Those are usually left for my wife’s car or various press cars. My drive to the office is short and not super exciting. The FR-S made each and every journey a pleasure. It’s not a fast car, but the lack of outright pace allows you to more regularly wring-out the engine and drive the FR-S hard without attracting the attention of Johnny Law. The low-grip Michelin summer tires and approachable chassis dynamics add to the entertaining package. A set of 16-inch steel wheels and winter tires along with aftermarket seat heaters made the Scion an impressive companion in the snow — and huge fun.

I also loved the seats, something that can’t be said for the overly bolstered Recaro setup in the Focus RS. The FR-S was also frugal on fuel. Again, not the case with the Ford. Sure, the Japanese 2+2 coupe is loud on the highway and rather basic inside, but I can live with that considering all the positives that come along with the under-$30K package. Plus, it rides better than the ultra-stiff Focus RS.

I don’t think automotive enthusiasts fully realize just how diluted modern cars have become. As more buttons and switches for various drive modes are added, something is lost. Spending time in a car like the FR-S (called the Toyota 86 for 2017) or its twin, the Subaru BRZ, clearly reminds you of this fact. Porsche seems to understand this with cars like the Cayman GT4 and 911 R, but they are expensive. My hope is that more car companies get on board offering simplistic automobiles, preferably at a reasonable price. In the meantime, I’ve missed the FR-S so much that I recently placed an order for a 2017 Toyota 86. I can’t wait for its arrival, and I hope the subtle improvements translate to an even better car for my needs in the real world.

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Car Culture

Rally Cross Cars That Are Not A Subaru

Will It Rally?

Rally cross cars are cool.  Plain and simple.  A friend of mine is selling a 2005 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS with a manual transmission (non-turbo).  And according to SubaruWRX.ORG– Every Car Enthuasist Needs Drive an Impreza.  And I’ve always wanted to get into rally cross and thought the Impreza 2.5RS would be a great introduction into the sport. 

Our main man Justin Hughes is our resident rally expert.  He’s done all sorts of cool things. Even wrote a great article on how to get into rally cross on the cheap!

Rallying On A Budget, An Oxymoron?

Well honestly you can rally in pretty much any car.  Front-wheel, rear-wheel, all-wheel drive it doesn’t really matter.  The only thing that will not allow you to race is if it you car has a high center of gravity.  Other then that it’s wide open, and people will rally cross pretty much whatever car they have. My goal today is to outline other cars that you might not have thought about but still would be great as a rally cross contender.

The $5000 Rally Cross Car

You can buy a rally cross car for cheap.  Heck, most rally cross cars cost $1,000 because their owners know it’s going to get destroyed.  But I figured a $1,000 car is the new $5,000 car. So here are a couple different rally cars that you can get on the cheap that aren’t Subaru Imprezas:

  1.  1991-1994 Nissan Sentra SE-R: My favorite car, and first car.  The Nissan Sentra SE-R is the enthusiast car that no enthusiast knows about and let’s keep it that way.  It came from the factory with a 2.0-liter engine that loved to rev, a limited-slip differential, and an extremely well balanced chassis set-up.
  2. 2002-2004 Ford Focus SVT:  Lightweight, manual transmission, Cosworth tuned 2.0-liter engine, and a sport suspension make it a perfect rally cross candidate.
  3. 1994-2001 Acura Integra GS-R: A high-revving 1.8-liter engine, and a car so well-known that it was the most stolen car for a long time make the GS-R a classic.  It’s chassis is very tunable, there are parts galore in the aftermarket.
  4. Any Volvo, seriously: If you go to any rally cross you are going to find a Volvo from the 80s because they are built proof reliable, and great in the snow.
  5.  1985-1991 Mazda RX-7 or 1989-1997 Mazda Miata: Surprised? So was I, but rear-wheel drive makes everything more fun! And driving a Mazda Miata or RX-7 on a rally cross course is about as much fun that you can have with your clothes on.  Both have great sport tuned suspension and engines that love to rev. And both will put you close to the top of the rear-wheel drive class.

Who’s coming with me?

There are many other options but the above are a few good ones to start with.  Washington D.C has a great rally cross chapter , check out their Facebook page here.   Now, is anyone selling a Volvo rally car?

Volvo goodness.

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Car Culture, Featured, Modified & Tuning

5 Colors Subaru Should Add to The 2017 WRX and STI

With the next generation of Subarus slowly making their way to production, we decided to put together a list of our favorite Subaru colors and fire up the ole’ Photoshop and see what they’d look like on the new batch of cars. Here are our top 5 colors we think Subaru should add to the mix.

#5 Acadia Green. This color on the 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, aka The Unicorn, is among the rarest. It’s even on our list of the rarest Subarus ever.

#4 Plasma Green. As seen on the 2014 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. This is one of my favorite colors Subaru has come up with in recent years. On the 2016 STI, it looks even better.

#3 Tangerine Orange. This color was seen recently on the Crosstrek and WRX, but was retired with the release of the latest models.

#2 Sonic Yellow. One of the biggest fan favorites among Subaru enthusiasts was last seen in 2003.

#1 Steel Blue Mica. This color was seen on the Subaru Impreza RB5 back in 1999. When the question “Which is the best color Subaru ever made?” is asked to Subaru enthusiasts, this one is usually near the top.

From : SubieNews

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Car Culture, Car Technology, Featured, Modified & Tuning

8 Reasons Why This Subaru is The Best Performance Car Just About Anyone Can Afford

For the 14 years that the Subaru WRX has been on sale in the US, it’s succeeded as an affordable, beginner, sporty, confidence inspiring, do-everything enthusiast car. It’s also used that time to grow up a little bit.

The WRX is no longer just a car for boy-racers and rally junkies. With a starting suggested retail price of $26,595, it’s an amazing performance car at a great value.

Here are a few reasons this car is such a steal:

It handles incredibly well.

Like many other all-wheel drive cars, WRXs have always been plagued with not-so great handling. But in the current generation WRX, you’re rarely reminded of that dim past.

Thanks to a very clutch torque vectoring system that Subaru has implemented in this new generation of WRX, the car corners, very, very well. Its stiffer chassis, reworked sport suspension, and well-designed Dunlop summer performance tires also play major roles in this.

It has top-notch safety features.

Wrx GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Putting aside the WRX’s active safety and handling features that’ll keep you out of harm’s way, the cabin of the WRX is also an
incredibly safe place to be if you are in an accident.

After receiving top ratings in six different safety tests given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the WRX scored an IIHS Top Safety Pick award for 2015. Models equipped with Subaru’s accident avoidance EyeSight technology were awarded with the even higher, IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.

It’s got tech!

All WRXs now come standard with Subaru’s Starlink entertainment system. Starlink uses an easy to navigate touchscreen system and is designed to pair with your iPhone or Android device to help play music through the car’s sound system without issue.

When spec’d with the EyeSight safety system, the WRX can alert the driver if he or she is drifting out of a lane. If the car senses an impending frontal collision, it can automatically apply the brakes. You don’t see the Mazda Miata or the Ford Focus RS with that kind of tech!

It has a great motor.

As it comes from the factory, the WRX uses a strong motor that allows for great performance and optimal fuel economy. 0-60 in about 5 seconds and an average fuel mileage rating of 25 MPGs was once unheard of in these cars. Now it’s the standard.

There’s tons of space.

With 37.1 inches of headroom in the backseat of the WRX, it’s a reasonably comfortable place to be. Even for taller people.

If you’re looking for more of a cargo hauler than a people mover, the rear seats also fold down to extend the cargo room in the event that the trunk’s primary 12 cubic feet of storage isn’t enough. Though for most tasks, it’s pretty much perfect.

It can be decked out with insane custom modifications. (If you’re into that sort of thing.)

Though the WRX might appear a little more family friendly and mature at first glance, if you’re into tuning or aftermarket modifications, there’s still a whole world of parts and a very welcoming enthusiast community to explore.

You’re basically driving a race car.

Since their early days in the World Rally Championship and continued through today with their involvement in Rally America, Subaru has been able to grow an impressive fan base of motorsport junkies.

For these rally fans, the top choice for a daily driver is almost always the WRX. Or if not the WRX, then its slightly more track-ready sibling the WRX STI. There’s nothing like going to a racing event in the middle of nowhere and seeing a car that resembles your own car being professionally driven in ways that are almost beyond comprehension.

It comes with friends.

Owning a WRX is like joining a secret club. When passing another WRX on the road, it’s customary to wave. From experience, I can tell you that you may get a slight tingling sensation inside each time this happens. Trust me, it’s normal. And it never gets old.

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Car Culture, Featured, News&Reviews

9 Reasons Why The Subaru Impreza WRX STI Is Better Than The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo

For about two decades, Subaru and Mitsubishi have locked horns. And while both have built incredible rally cars for the road, the Impreza will always be king. Here’s why…

1. It was Colin McRae’s weapon of choice

Colin McRae was one of the greatest drivers to ever grace tarmac, gravel and snow in the World Rally Championship. He was a hero of mine when I was little, and now he’s inspiring a new generation as his exploits are chopped up into awesome compilations and shared on YouTube. If the Impreza was good enough for this legend, it’s good enough for me.

2. It has an iconic sound

I’m a sucker for something unique, and in that iconic rumble, caused by this Boxer engine’s
unequal length headers, the Impreza has a very individual soundtrack. When an Impreza revs its engine, even part-time petrolheads within earshot will just know that a Scooby is coming into view.

3. It’s more understated

Yeah, there’s something to be said for the crazy styling of the Evo, but I’ve always preferred the subtle approach. Sure, Imprezas are famous for wearing rather shouty rear wings, but remove that and it’ll fly under the radar. It’s got the performance, and that’s all it needs to impress.

4. It has a bonnet scoop

Okay, so I know I said I liked subtlety, but come on… selling a car from the factory with a bloody great bonnet scoop is absolutely brilliant.

5. It has a better culture surrounding it

In the UK at least, you only have to spend five minutes perusing the classifieds to see the massive gulf in price between the Impreza and Evo. As such, almost anyone can afford the Scooby, so they’re much more common and easier to modify.

Exclusivity is cool when you’ve just dropped £1m on a hypercar, but at this level it’s all about finding like-minded people to share your car with. The Impreza is rare enough to be different, without being so exclusive you never bump into other owners.

6. It has its own iconic colour scheme

Throughout the ages, petrolheads have associated cars with colours; Ferraris are red, Jaguars are British Racing Green, and Lamborghinis are yellow. If you can become associated with a colour scheme, you know you’ve made an impact, and with the Mica Blue body work/gold wheels combo, the Impreza has a suitably unique signature paint job.

7. There are loads of cool special editions

From the moment the Impreza became dominant in rally at the hands of Colin McRae, Subaru began building special editions to capitalise on that success. In the UK it kicked off with the Series Colin McRae, but there were countless specials including the RB5, P1 and R205. Perhaps the most iconic of all is the 22B (above), which was built to celebrate Subaru’s 40th anniversary and its third successive WRC title. It’s the perfect blend of super saloon practicality, aggressive stance, and blistering performance, thanks to the 280bhp 2.2-litre engine. So. Much. Want.

8. It still looks badass in hatchback form

Much was made about the WRX ditching its saloon styling (and Impreza moniker) for its third generation, however once all the drama had subsided, every rational petrolhead realised that it still looked great. It’s not as subtle as some of the earlier models, but particularly in STi guise (above), it wears its chunky bodywork well.

9. It has outlived the Evo

Mitsubishi killed off the Evo this year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be making a comeback any time soon (though there have been murmurs it could return as a hybrid, god forbid). The WRX STI is still going strong, and when we drove it last year we fell in love with its hooliganistic personality. It’s a whole lot of performance for not a huge amount of cash – sure its interior would’ve been outdated in the 90s, but who cares when you’re having so much fun?

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Car Culture, Featured, News&Reviews

9 Reasons Why The Mitsubishi Evo Is Better Than The Subaru Impreza WRX STI

The competition between the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Subaru Impreza WRX STI has been going strong since the early 90s, and recently, we’ve been adding fuel to that fire. Here is the second side to the story, and obviously the truth..

Not so long ago, CT staff writer Darren Cassey wrote something that I, and many of you disagreed with. The article was called 9 Reasons Why The Subaru Impreza WRX STI Is Better Than The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, and as an Evo owner myself, I had to give my side of the story. Here are my arguments for why it’s the Evo that’s in fact the better car:

1. It’s sharper to drive

Sure, Subaru has been able to make a name for itself through Colin McRae, but he drove a heavily modified STI with all the best equipment and factory sponsorship. He probably had to replace the entire chassis and suspension to make it a frontrunner. The 2015 STI has a bit of improved steering and suspension over previous generations, but any reviews and first-hand experiences say the Evo still feels sharper and grounded while still being light.

If you buy a stock Evo, you can have the better handling without spending the extra money if you can’t afford it. It is well known that the chassis is more responsive in the Evo, and the S-AWC creates the best possible traction in all scenarios. In fact, you’ll feel more of the road, and it unknowingly makes the beginner driver improve more quickly. It’s confidence inspiring.

2. The noise is better

If you’re looking for a car that always sounds like it’s trying to clear its throat, you’ve found the right one in purchasing a STI. The reason why everyone knows when the STI is coming is because they’re searching for the car that sounds like it is, in a raspy way, rapidly misfiring.

On the other hand, is the smoother, low grumble of the Evo. Even stock these cars give you the satisfaction that you’re driving a
brilliantly quick car. If you’re looking for something that lets the neighbours know your Evo is home before they see you, there are loads of aftermarket exhausts that seal the deal without annoying the entire block; or having them look for the teenagers in a riced-out Civic.

3. It’s more understated

You can’t tell me the STI is more understated. Look at the picture. Tell me that this is not a sleeper. Go ahead, I dare you.

4. Evos have a bonnet scoop too, and it’s better

Yes, the STI has a bonnet scoop. The Evo has a bonnet scoop, too (in fact, it has two more practical vents on the hood than the STI). And it’s more streamlined. As the driver you can even see across the hood to the other side of the car – there isn’t anything there to block your view!

Plus, the Evo has functional fender vents that aid in cooling the brakes and venting air normally trapped in the wheel well, and, of course, add to the rally looks of the car.

5. Evo owners aren’t snobs

This probably depends upon the country, but certainly in the US it feels as though many STI owners around do not understand that the competition between the STI and the Evo is what makes the cars succeed; they tend to be snobby and stick to their own car club. The competitiveness, though, is what has driven the manufacturers to build the best cars possible, and what has pushed them to the top for all of these years. Owners of both brands should be, even considering brand loyalty, praising each other’s work. The Evo culture here is doing exactly that.

And, although it may surprise you, the majority of STI owners I have spoken with at car meets and competitions admit they wish they had an Evo. The Evo is STI-owner approved.

6. Who cares that the Impreza has its own colour scheme?

I will admit I grew up wanting the exact iconic colour scheme of gold rims on Subaru Blue. It is iconic – I’ll give them that. Subaru has done a great job branding using that paint arrangement. However, don’t just throw the Evo out because they don’t have an explicit colour scheme. They’ve branded themselves with their overall looks; they are not hiding behind specific colours.

The body kit on the Evo X SSS package has it all – it’s sporty, sexy, and sleek. The front lip not only is a functional aid in
aerodynamics, it gives the stock Evo the lowered aggressive look. The side skirts add width and make the body flow from front to back, and the spoiler is just big enough without being over-the-top (ahem 2015 STI ahem). The newest STI just looks like an Evo and a Civic SI made a baby.

Let us not forget about those Recaro racing seats that come with the stock Evo. Oy vey those are comfortable and snug for tight, fast cornering – even for a woman’s hips! I’ve done multiple 2500-mile road trips in those seats; I know they’re comfortable. But let’s face it, why are you buying this type of car if you aren’t going to drive hard? You don’t want the no-name plush seats with somewhat functionality, you want the racing seats.

7. No limited edition Evos = a good thing

Yes, Subaru has done well by offering Limited Edition and special occasion STIs. But who has that money to throw down for one of those? And if you can buy one, you’re going to be too afraid to drive it hard for fear of it losing value! What’s a rally car without the rally?Or, buy the Evo. No limited edition. No special authenticated plaque. If you care about a special colour scheme, have it custom done. Then take all of that extra money you didn’t spend on the Limited Edition Subaru and throw it into modding the crap out of your already awesome Evo. Then it truly is a special edition.

8. It still looks awesome in hatchback form

Just in case you haven’t stepped outside your Subaru bubble recently, Mitsubishi also has a hatchback. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing, but when it boils down to it, is Subaru making the hatchback anymore? Nope. Besides, a hatchback is for practicality. It’s said that the STI is a more practical, friendlier daily driver. That may be so, but I have two points here that may make you look twice at the Evo instead.

1) My Evo is a daily driver. It’s comfortable for long treks (see my bit about the seats prior) yet track ready when I need it to be.

2) I can fit a rear-facing car seat and a stroller in my car (yes, in the ‘small’ trunk without removing the sound system). What is more practical than a family car? If you need to haul something bigger than what can fit in the car, buy a truck.

9. The STI has outlived the Evo

We all heard the news that Mitsubishi has discontinued the Evo X. Yes that means the STI is the last one standing, but is it the best one left? Or just left? From the very beginning Mitsubishi and Subaru were battling, producing the Lancer Evolution versus the WRX STI- specific rivalry in 1993. Ever since their induction the STIs have been playing catch-up to the Evo, it’s not a secret.

Subaru producing the STI with no direct competitor is only going to increase the price of your STI while limiting the pressure on Subaru to produce a better car. I mean, c’mon, Mitsubishi didn’t stop producing the Evo because it was losing to Subaru and the STI.

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2008-, Car Technology, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru recalls 26,000 Imprezas for Backup Camera Gremlins

Sure, you may not need a backup camera, but if it’s not working when it’s supposed to, it’s still a pain.

Subaru issued a recall for 26,564 examples of the 2017 Impreza in both sedan and hatchback guise. The vehicles in question have production dates between Sept. 12, 2016 and Feb. 23, 2017.

The issue isn’t actually related to any mechanical part of the vehicle — instead, it comes from Harman’s infotainment unit, which underpins Subaru’s Starlink system. The backup camera display might not show up properly.

It could be a black screen due to a memory error during the initial boot-up, or the screen might freeze if too much is happening at the same time. Either way, when putting the car in reverse, the camera might not show up on the screen when it’s supposed to, which can technically increase the risk of an injury or collision.

After discovering reports of a blank screen when putting the car in reverse, Subaru collected failed parts and sent them back to Harman, which investigated the issue and told the automaker how to fix it. Thankfully, the fix is easy — Subaru will fix the issue with a simple software reflash, which should take about an hour at any dealership.

Subaru notified dealers of the issue on February 24, and it will eventually mail out notifications to owners via first-class mail. The schedule for owner notification has not yet been established, however.

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Car Culture, Featured, Modified & Tuning

“White Bullet” – The Fastest Subaru WRX STi In The World

What’s faster than a speeding train? More powerful than a locomotive? It could only be the fastest Subaru WRX STi in the world, known simply as “White Bullet”. Built by White Bullet Racing team out of Puerto Rico, this amazing car holds the world record for fastest six speed STi in the quarter mile, running 8.46 seconds at 165 miles per hour!

Using a sleeved 2.5 liter boxer engine, the White Bullet STi is making well over 1,000 horsepower thanks to the use of extreme boost, racing fuel, and methanol injection. The entire car has been groomed to perfect the most exhilarating launch complimented by an amazing top end that would make NASA jealous. A front mounted twin scroll Precision turbo eats enough fresh air to keep the 2000cc injector, fuel cell fed fuel system happy and without remorse. When you’re at this level of power, every pull is a roll of the dice; but this team has figured out the recipe for success!

Let’s face the facts; Subaru motors are not known for holding together at this level of performance. Every quarter mile run could be certain doom for any one of the fantastic four cylinders. But that’s not a problem for the White Bullet Racing team, as they encounter and respond with the efficiency you’d expect from a world record holding crew.

VIDEO

It’s the little things that matter in the end. Instead of using a closed block design, the team chose to completely sleeve the cylinders. Rather than running extremely high compression custom CNC made pistons, they went with 9.0:1 off the shelf aftermarket pistons and made up for the compression difference with boost. Properly tuned BC coils and a well-oiled driver to car relationship provides for seamless shifting and precise time mitigation. But overall, we all know what’s really going on here. This thing has a massive turbo!

VIDEO

Overall, the car is magnificent. It’s a testament to what hard work and dedication can produce when properly combined with the ideal machine. I enjoyed my time visiting with the White Bullet Racing team, and I’m sure you will as well. I can only tell you so much about the car, so I think it’s time you see it for yourself. Enough reading… Check out the video below and learn more directly from the crew!

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