Will the Subaru WRX be the next Honda Civic? Sales figures have been pretty strong since its release in March 2001 which is no surprise when you look at the bottom line. From a bang-for-the-buck standpoint the WRX is hard to beat. In factory trim you get a 2.2-liter turbocharged engine pounding 227 horses to the flywheel tackled with an all-wheel-drive driveline and rally-bred suspension. With these assets it is hard to compare the WRX to any other factory car on the market when you consider its sticker price of $25,000.
Well for true performance nuts no amount of power is ever enough, especially stock power. Seeing a need for performance components the crew at XS Engineering was quick to get busy developing aftermarket parts for the WRX. The crew's "busy as bumble bee's" pace has resulted in the development of a cold-air intake system as well as a number of power enhancement products for the Subaru. The XS Engineering Power Intake is manufactured from thin-wall aluminum that comes highly polished for show quality appeal. Aluminum intake piping decreases the chances of heat saturation, which can easily occur in mild-steel intake systems. What impressed us was the system's extreme lightweight when compared to the stock system. Filtration comes by way of a highly durable K&N cone filter included in the kit. Like always talk is cheap and no evaluation would be complete without dyno figures. However, finding a four-wheel drive dyno is not as easy as finding a two-drive Dynojet. Fortunately we were able to perform our dyno testing on A'PEXi's in-house 4WD Dynapack Dyno. Baseline figures on the WRX came in at 168.8 horsepower at 6,005 rpm and 164.8 lbs-ft at 4,113 rpm. With the XS Engineering Power Intake installed power figures rose by 13.9 horsepower and 10.9 lbs-ft. More interesting is the fact that peak power was made earlier in the power band with 182.7 horsepower at 5,684 rpm--more than 300 rpm sooner than the stock run. Peak torque was produced at an almost identical engine speed compared to the baseline effort with 175.7 lbs-ft at 4,126 rpm.
Well will the WRX going to be the next Honda Civic? We think it can as long as companies like XS Engineering provide high-quality aftermarket support there could be nothing but stars in the Subaru's future.