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Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

Two Radical Subarus, 1033 WHP Of Flat-Four Ferocity

Evan Griffey
Feb 5, 2007 SHARE
0703_turp_01z+subaru_wrx_and_subaru_sti+front_right_view Photo 1/21   |   Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

Hailing from Fallston, Maryland, Agile Automotive Performance has built a reputation for tuning Subarus one WRX at a time. The crew's creations have all the common denominators deemed desirable in the field of import tuning: power, style, footwork and attention to detail. These two wild rides share a lot, including: dyno charts tracking over 500 whp; owners who longed from afar for the WRX before landing their dream car; and drag race aspirations. While both of these fully turned-out Subies are destined for the strip, we caught them at the end of their runs as daily driven street cars.

"I first saw the STi in 1996 while I was serving in the U.S. Air Force and stationed over in England," Minter says. "I was instantly drawn to the car. I decided then that I would buy one at the first opportunity I had. In 2003 I retired from the Air Force and bought myself a 2003 WRX as a retirement gift to myself. Only four months later did the news break of the introduction of the STi into the U.S. market. Needless to say, and to my wife's dismay, in only a few short months, I had two Subaru's in the driveway. I bought the very first STi that was available at the dealership in May of 2003.

0703_turp_15z+subaru_wrx_and_subaru_sti+rear_left_view Photo 2/21   |   Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

The STi has 65,000 miles on the clock and a 529whp dyno sheet in the glove box, which is impressive enough. Once you consider the powerplant is internally stock, jaws start to drop. The EJ25 plant is pressurized by a custom Agile side-mount GT35-R turbo kit with an APS 725 FMIC chilling the charge air.

"The Garrett GT35 ball-bearing turbo is all about torque," Minter says. "I also like the fully custom side-mount install. This setup is so powerful, putting 480 lb-ft of torque to the wheels."

"The APS intercooler is by far the best intercooler on the market in my eyes," Minter says. "It's so efficient, and the installation documentation / hardware and fitment templates are a cut above anything else I've seen."

The fuel system has been upgraded to support big boost with a Walbro 255lph pump, Perrin fuel rails and 850cc injectors. A Cobb AccessPort is employed to tune the combination. The Subie relies on JIC Magic FLT A2/RS coilovers and a collection of Cusco braces for its handling prowess and Disc Brakes Australia rotors for added stopping power.

0703_turp_02z+subaru_wrx_and_subaru_sti+front_left_view Photo 3/21   |   Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

Visually, a ChargeSpeed body kit is the marquee performance. The kit features a V2 front lip and is further enhanced with a Seibon carbon-fiber reverse-cowl hood. "The styling of this car blends both the race and show, resulting in the unique look that I was looking for," Minter says. "The engine bay is finished with a powder-coated intake manifold, stainless steel braided hoses, anodized fittings, and polished piping. Airbrushed graphics and a ChargeSpeed body kit suggest a show car, while a roll cage and racing seats betray this car's racing background. This car was once a serious autocross competitor and I strive to make it a competitive drag car in the future."

Plans for quarter-mile domination have been laid and wrenches are turning. The stock engine will be pulled and replaced with a built bullet. Jones Junction Subaru will provide the STi block, which will be filled with low-compression forged JE, while a GT Spec Gen-II Racing Exhaust Manifold with Jet Hot 2000 coating will be supporting a bigger GT-Series turbo. Minter reports a new stand-alone engine management, performance heads/cams, and a methanol injection system will round out the transformation. After that: the drag strip. Beware, Baltimore.

0703_turp_18z+subaru_wrx_and_subaru_sti+rear_right_view Photo 4/21   |   Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

Agile's Hill McCarty was motivated by a long running love of rally racing from the 1990s when the blue crew campaigned the Legacy platform. "I watched every rally I could get my eyes on," McCarty says, "either off the internet or on VHS or DVD. Then the hundreds of hours of time spent racing the WRX STi in Gran Turismo just reinforced my desire to own one at all costs.

Hill's World Rally Blue WRX hits all the high notes thanks to its Version 7 RA Spec-C, a 2.0-liter JDM STi engine swap. The RA Spec-C engine is Subaru's race engine; the RA stands for Race Altered. In factory trim the Spec-C sports a closed deck, forged pistons, forged rods and a forged crankshaft. It runs much more aggressive cams, flexes ported heads, AVCS (variable intake valve timing), and has a lofty 8000rpm rev limit. Hill also swapped in the JDM STi six-speed gearbox and all the pertinent driveline parts all the way back to the hubs.

Boost is generated by an Agile SC61 GT-Series turbo kit that pressurizes an Agile FMIC setup featuring a Perrin Performance core and custom end tanks. From the intercooler, boost traverses a reversed custom powdercoated intake manifold before entering the flat four. "One of the trick things about our kit," McCarty says, "is how the turbocharger is not only supported by the pipes themselves, but also by a rigid set of brackets that keep the pipes from cracking or bending under moments of high g-forces or extreme heat cycling."

Other notable engine mods include: Perrin fuel rails, which ensure proper fuel distribution (this can be a concern when WRX's are introduced to big boost); an Aquamist 2C water injection system, which subsidizes the charge-air cooling process and pushes back the engine's detonation threshold; and an AEM EMS unit, which maintains harmony within the RA Spec-C's fuel and ignition mapping schematics. With a set of 800cc Power Enterprises injectors on the front line and diligent tuning on the EMS unit, Agile has extracted 504 whp on the shop's Dynapack chassis dyno.

0703_turp_16z+subaru_wrx_and_subaru_sti+nitrous_oxide Photo 14/21   |   Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

This car is about more than raw power; Hill demands the ability to use said power as efficiently as possible. "The Tein Flex suspension is and has been one of best mods I've done to the car for the simple reason that the horrible body roll is gone; and, the car carries almost twice as much speed through the corners," McCarty says. "The spring rates are a little bit stiff, but, on the whole, it's an excellent suspension for people who still want to drive their cars on the street." The Tein coilovers are joined by Cusco strut tower braces, a Cusco front sway bar, a Whiteline 24mm rear sway bar, a Cusco lower arm brace, Cusco trailing arms, a Cusco lateral link set and STi control arms ... talk about chassis stiffness overload.

There is no doubt that the car is visually stunning. McCarty raided the Kaminari catalog when looking to body tune this beast. The Subaru is adorned with a full Kaminari body kit, Kaminari V2 rear skirt, Kaminari one-piece carbon splitter and a Kaminari carbon-fiber hood. A MonsterSports carbon-fiber trunk and EDM STi projector headlights round out the exterior mods.

0703_turp_17z+subaru_wrx_and_subaru_sti+nitrous_oxide Photo 15/21   |   Subaru Impreza WRX and STi - Double Take

Inside, the Subie exudes a rally flair that has made the WRX a prime-time player in the sport compact scene. This time it was the inventory shelves at Sparco that were emptied. McCarty called on fully reclinable Sparco Torino seats, a Sparco four-point harness in a matching WRB color, a Sparco harness bar and even a Sparco fire extinguisher. To tie the look together McCarty had the rear seats wrapped in the same Torino fabric.

"Future plans for this car are to pull it off the street and turn it into a drag car," McCarty says. "This means the car is going on a serious diet and will be shedding 200 pounds or more. At the same time the car will get treated to a full custom roll cage, a Agile Drag Fuel System, a built engine, a brand new custom turbo kit, and a dogbox gearset." Due to shop commitments it has taken four years to get Hill's WRX to this point in its evolution, but we have always believed that attention to detail is more important than time - as you can see.

Specs: 2004 SUBARU Sti
Engine
Agile GT35-R Turbo Upgrade
APS 725 FMIC
Turbosmart Supersonic BOV
Turbosmart 28mm Ultragate Wastegate
Samco Hoses
Cobb AccessPort Engine Management
Agile Up-pipe
Agile Downpipe
HKS Carbon-Ti Exhaust
Unorthodox Racing Pulley Kit
AEM Fuel Pressure Regulator
Perrin Fuel Rails
850cc Injectors
Walbro 255lph Fuel Pump
Zerosport Radiator Shroud
GReddy Catch CanCusco Strut Tower Bar

Suspension
JIC Magic FLT A2/RS Coilovers
Cusco Braces
Cusco Sway Bars
Agency Power SS Brake Lines DBA Rotors
17-inch SSR Competition Wheels
BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KD Tires

Exterior
Chargespeed Body Kit
V2 Front Lip Spoiler
Seibon Reverse-Cowl CF Hood
Custom Painted Headlights

Interior
Sparco Monza Seats
Autopower 6-pt Roll Cage
Turbosmart e-Boost-II Boost Controller
AEM Wide-Band UEGO
HKS Turbo Timer
Agency Power Short Shifter
AutoMeter Dash Pod

Specs: 2002 SUBARU WRX
Engine
Version 7 RA Spec-C
JDM 6-speed transmission and driveline swap
Reverse intake manifold
Agile SC61 turbo kit
Agile FMIC
Agile polished intake piping
AEM EMS
Turbosmart 38mm wastegate
Turbosmart BOV
Aquamist water injection kit
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Perrin fuel rails
Power Enterprises 800cc injectors
AEM FPR
RPS Street Max clutch
Unorthodox Racing pulley set
Agile/HKS intake system
PWR radiator
Samco hoses
Borla headers
Agile up-pipe
Agile downpipe
Agile mid-pipe
Agile/Magnaflow cat back system

Suspension
Cusco strut tower braces
Cusco front sway bar
Whiteline 24mm rear sway bar
Cusco lower arm brace
Cusco trailing arms
Cusco lateral link set
STi control arms
DBA slotted rotors
Brembo STi brake kit
Hawk brake pads
Tein Flex coilovers
Tein EDFC

Exterior
Kaminari body kit
Kaminari V2 rear skirt
Kaminari one-piece carbon splitter
Kaminari carbon-fiber hood
MonsterSports carbon-fiber trunk
EDM STi projector headlights
Speedesign graphics

Interior
Sparco Torino seats
Sparco four-point harness
Sparco harness bar
Sparco fire extinguisher
Blitz turbo timer
Sparco-wrapped rear seats
Turbosmart E-Boost2 boost controller
Stewart Warner gauges
AEM UEGO wide-band a/f gauge
STi short shifter

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Sources

AEM
Hawthorne, CA 90250
800-992-3000
http://www.aempower.com
GReddy Performance Products
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
Cusco
n/a, AK
027-352-3578
http://www.cusco.co.jp/en
Turbosmart
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
909-476-2570
http://www.turbosmartonline.com
HKS USA
Los Angeles, CA 90061
310-491-3300
http://www.hksusa.com
Agency Power
n/a, AK
www.agency-power.com
Unorthodox Racing
Copiague, NY 11726
631-586-9525
http://www.unorthodoxracing.com
Walbro
Cass City, MI 48726
989-872-2131
http://www.walbro.com
Perrin Performance
Hillsboro, OR 97124
503-693-1702
http://www.perrinperformance.com
Kaminari
775-351-2240
http://www.kaminari.com
Sparco
800-224-7113
www.sparcousa.com
By Evan Griffey
271 Articles

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