The Subaru WRX kicked in the door of the sport compact scene like a squad of vice cops taking down the local massage parlor. The WRX was the ramrod and close behind it came the all-wheel drive turbo four Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII; the Subie's archenemy in rally racing. The ripples are still being felt as the next GT-R will retain all-wheel drive (and, hopefully, turbo power) and even Lexus has stepped up to the four-tire-traction equation with the IS250. Let the OE's tout the safety benefits of all-wheel drive while enthusiasts tune the bejesus out of these cars and really make those wheels work those tires.
One such tire-granulating enthusiast is Shawn Lozy who hails from Chesapeake, Virginia. Lozy's Aspen White 2002 WRX has struck a synergistic balance between the shapely curves of a supermodel and the muscle mass of a body builder.
The Subie's silhouette has been enhanced with a full carbon fiber body kit from Carbon Creations, a Mines carbon fiber 'Duck Bill' style wing and Aqua widebody fenders. The hits keep coming as Lozy also added a C-West V2 front bumper with a carbon splitter and carbon fog lamp covers. Grafix Trends out of Virginia Beach added a swoosh effect, sponsor roster and other graphic treatments to call out supporters and contrast the carbon fiber pieces on the car.
Popping the c-fiber hood the retinas are attacked by the lack of a top-mount intercooler, lack of a battery, the addition of a honking-big fully-polished Turbonetics turbo upgrade and a Nitrous Express system that looks like a metallic spider perched on the intake manifold. Beneath these hard-hitting upgrades lies a fully built and stroked EJ20 from Millennium Autosports. The heart of the displacement expansion kit is an MRT forged crankshaft which swings MRT forged rods and JE pistons. The static compression ratio of the setup is 8.0:1 and displacement checks in at 2.34 liters.
The turbo system consists of a Turbonetics T4 with a 62-1 trim compressor wheel, a Turbonetics Godzilla blow-off valve, Turbosmart Pro Gate with a 45mm piston and an MRT FMIC with custom piping. The T4 is secured by an MRT rotated-mount, equal-length turbo manifold that positions the turbo higher and swings it out from the intake manifold. Looking at the intake manifold does anything make you say, "What's up with that?" It's been flipped. The throttle body is usually facing rearward to accept air from the top-mount intercooler that originally mounts between the manifold and the firewall. Flipping the manifold simplifies the front-mount intercooler conversion by providing a more direct path from the chiller to the engine.
On the fuel side, a high-flow Aeromotive fuel pump and regulator feed a set of Siemens 880cc injectors. The injectors are housed in custom fuel rails and the system negates one of the WRX's biggest gremlins-fuel starvation. The manner in which fuel is routed by the factory system creates and uneven flow between the rails and as a result the number three cylinder pays the price with a low volume. When load, boost, fuel quality and other factors converge the dreaded cylinder three failure can occur. This custom setup and products like the fuel rail kit from Perrin address these gremlins by redistributing fuel volume equally so even the rearmost cylinders are properly fed.
The valve train has been infiltrated by Ferrea and MRT in the name volumetric efficiency. Abacus Racing handled the assembly and machining work adding 1mm-over Ferrea stainless steel valves, springs and retainers and MRT 272 degree cams and adjustable cam gears. The whole shootin' match was port-matched and polished to ensure maximum flow.
Under the banner of engine management a MoTeC M48 ECU works in conjunction with MoTeC coil packs and a GReddy PRofec E-01 boost controller to keep the EJ20 singing at fever pitch. Lozy estimates this setup's in the 650-whp range.
With big power comes big expectations and the imminent possibility of big disappointment. The concern for most all-wheel drivers is not generating power but applying it. To this end Millennium Autosports added Challack gears to the stock tranny, installed what's listed on the spec sheet as "800-hp axles" from The Driveshaft Shop, an HKS twin-plate carbon clutch and a Quaife ATB differential.
Nearer to the contact patch, the Subaru has received suspension work to get in and around corners better, faster and stronger than before. HKS Hiper Max II coil-overs are teamed with White Line anti-sway bars and an STi front strut brace. The brakes have been upgraded with J-Spec STi units front and rear running EBC Green Stuff brake pads. The aforementioned contact patch is provided by 225/40ZR-17 Federal tires wrapped around Volk Racing TE-37 aluminum.
This dose of white lightning illustrates just how potent the Subaru WRX really is. The car is currently set up for street/circuit and is a dream come true for Lozy who has some advice to fellow enthusiasts out there: "Take your time, go through the project mentally and do it right the first time."