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2002-2008 Subaru WRX/Sti Buyer's Guide

Staff Reports
Dec 29, 2008
Photographer: Manufacturers
Turp_0812_01_z+subaru_wrx_sti_buyers_guide+engine_bay Photo 1/65   |   2002-2008 Subaru WRX/Sti Buyer's Guide

Since its introduction to the U.S. in 2002, the Subaru Impreza WRX has been one of the most popular tuner cars in the country. With a four-cylinder turbocharged engine, all-wheel-drive drivetrain, ample interior space, and a sub-$25,000 price tag, it's easy to see why the WRX became a popular choice among performance enthusiasts.

Early attempts to increase power output often ended in catastrophe. Simply slapping on a manual boost controller and pushing 20-plus psi on otherwise stock cars resulted in many blown motors and shattered transmissions, but as some of the top tuners gained experience with the car, new products hit the market and the power threshold rose. Now, 700-plus wheel horsepower is no longer a pipe dream but a reality.

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This buyer's guide showcases some of the very best products from the most respected manufacturers in Subaru performance. It encompasses a wide range of products to satisfy the needs of any enthusiast. We've also included a section called "Under $200" where we showcase products that are essential for any buildup without having to break the bank. Whether you're building an Evo-slaying, quarter-mile monster or a daily driven, weekend road race car, we have what you're looking for. Enjoy!


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Agency Power
Ti Tip Cat-Back Exhaust System
Subaru WRX Wagon '08 And Newer
Agency Power has developed one of the best-sounding and best-performing exhaust systems for the '08 and newer Subaru WRX wagon. The new exhaust features T304 stainless steel and 3-inch-diameter piping from the cat-back. The piping is all hand polished and features robotic TIG-welding.
MSRP: $850

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Borla Performance
Cat-Back Exhaust System
'04-'07 WRX STI
Made of T304 stainless steel, it also has a single-exit, 4-inch round, rolled edge, and an angle cut tip. The muffler uses their patented XR-1 multi-core design

MSRP: $750.99

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5Zigen USA
ProRacer A-Spec
'04-'07 WRX/STI
The flagship of the ProRacer cat-back systems, full stainless mandrel-bent piping with Inconel 600 burned tip, achieves a high balance of power, response, and comfort.MSRP $1,000

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Perrin Performance
STI Cat-Back Exhaust
'08 Subaru WRX STI
It has 3-inch plumbing to maximize performance along with a resonated center section to prevent drone on the freeway. It bolts to OEM downpipe.
MSRP: $829.99

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Tanabe Racing Development
Concept G
The Concept G is an all-new motorsports-developed exhaust system, featuring high-power benefits while maintaining responsible sound levels. Using the all-new continuous strand Advantax packing material technology, Concept G achieves extremely high levels of exhaust system efficiency and maintains a street-driveable, extremely clean sound output under 93dB. Specially engineered for use on Tanabe exhaust systems, a piping wall diameter of 1.2mm was developed, allowing weight to be significantly reduced and remain durable for extended usage.
MSRP: $840

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Borla Performance
Cat-Back Exhaust System
'08 Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan
It is made of T304 stainless steel, split rear, 4-inch round rolled edges, and angle cut tips. The system weighs 32 pounds, compared to the 44 pounds the factory system weighs.
MSRP: $1,299.99

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DC Sports
Turbo manifold
DC Sports turbo manifolds are the perfect upgrade for customers looking to extract the most power from their factory turbocharged vehicle. Because of the high-temperature demands of turbo applications, they use special manufacturing techniques to virtually eliminate failure.
MSRP:$721.99 (brushed stainless steel)$823.75 (polished stainless steel)

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Cobb Tuning
The Cobb Tuning turbo downpipe is one of the premiere modifications that most owners look to upgrade on their vehicle. By opening the diameter of exhaust flow coming out of the turbo, the downpipe unleashes power where the stock-restrictive unit lacks. The Cobb downpipe is available in a "street" version that comes with a single high-flow catalytic converter.
MSRP: $595

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AMS Performance
Cat-Back Exhaust System
'04-'07 WRX/STI
The AMS Subaru Impreza WRX STI 3-inch, mandrel-bent cat-back exhaust system is constructed of a TIG-welded, 100 percent 304 stainless steel, mandrel-bent tubing, providing you with a corrosion free, high-flowing exhaust. The system utilizes all of the factory exhaust hangers and includes a high-quality muffler with a single 4-inch tip.

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DC Sports Downpipe
DC Sports competition pipes delete the catalytic converter to eliminate restriction in the exhaust path and are dyno-tuned to deliver incredible performance gains for your factory turbocharged vehicle.
MSRP: $349.99

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Prosport Performance
Performance headers
Prosport headers are fully constructed out of T304 stainless steel, including the flanges. Their Subaru headers include the up-pipe, which uses their exclusive three-bolt flange design between the manifold and up-pipe providing a stable connection without air leaks. With a jaw-dropping, 45mm inner pipe diameter you can be sure your spent exhaust will exit in a hurry.
MSRP: $529

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5Zigen USA
Proracer Header
Born into the rally racing in Japan, ProRacer's full SUS304 header for the EJ20/25 helps the car with weight reduction, engine pickup, and power.
MSRP: $1,250

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Simota USA
Carbon-Fiber Intake System
Simota's new line of carbon-fiber intake systems for the '01 and newer Subaru Impreza 2.0 uses twin charger technology and the very best air filters. Simota has engineered this intake to breathe like never before.
MSRP: $295

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Cold-Air Intake System
It relocates the filter outside of the engine compartment to deliver the coolest air inlet temperature possible, creating more horsepower and torque. The chassis mounting bracket uses soft rubber mounts that provide a stress-relief point under engine load and prevent the bracket from being ripped out. High-quality hose clamps ease the installation process and securely fasten the intake to the vehicle. CNC-machined MAF adapters provide factory-like fit and prevent check-engine lights.
MSRP: $376.59

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Agency Power
Cold-Air Intake Kit
'08 And Newer Subaru WRX STI
Focused on quality, function, and style, Agency Power has developed this intake kit for the '08 and newer Subaru WRX or STI. The intake kit is available as a short-ram or cold-air version. It features a CNC-aluminum MAF sensor mount on the intake tube with built-in fins to keep airflow laminar. The kit gained approximately 10 hp and 10 lb-ft of torque.
MSRP: Starting at $250

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Performance Radiator
'08 And Newer Subaru WRX/STI
Mishimoto Automotive Performance has a new all-aluminum performance radiator for the '08 Subaru WRX/STI. Every Mishimoto Performance radiator is crafted out of high-quality and aircraft-quality aluminum, providing you with up to 30 percent more cooling power than standard radiators. The new applications are designed to fit with all OEM specifications to make installation a breeze.
MSRP: $340

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APS Engineering
Twin-Scroll Rotated Mount Turbocharger
This comprehensive, rotated mount, bolt-on turbocharger system includes: a twin-scroll liquid-cooled ball bearing turbocharger with custom APS aerodynamic configurations and antisurge, 44mm TiAL external wastegate, and a Precision TIG-welded polished stainless steel twin-scroll up-pipe.

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Cobb Tuning
Cobb Tuning offers you the ultimate personal tuning solution for your STI. Save time and money with the ability to conveniently reprogram your vehicle's computer (ECU) by selecting one of the pre-installed performance "maps" that automatically optimizes your settings, like the air/fuel ratio, ignition timing, boost, and more for performance results you can instantly feel. However, the AccessPort is so much more than just a reflash device. It allows you to monitor fuel economy (average and real time), perform performance tests in order to estimate your 0-to-60 and quarter-mile time, read and decipher ECU trouble codes (CELs), and monitor live data through the OEM vehicle sensors, eliminating the need for costly aftermarket gauges.
MSRP: $695

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Blouch Performance Turbo
Subaru Dominator 3.0R
The Dominator 3.0R features a state-of-the-art 52 lb/min Garrett GT compressor wheel, a high-efficiency Garrett GT turbine wheel, and a full ball bearing CHRA capable of delivering over 400 whp.
MSRP: $1,695

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AMS Performance
GT35R turbo kit
This new AMS GT35R turbo kit comes with everything you need to turn your WRX/STI into a 500-plus wheel horsepower monster. The kit includes: GT35R turbo with TiAL V-band housing and an antisurge compressor cover, a custom AMS up-pipe all V-banded (thick wall 304 SS) with support bracket, TiAL 44mm V-band wastegate, AMS custom dump tube, AMS custom 3-inch V-band downpipe, AMS 3-inch test pipe to mate to the stock or most aftermarket cat-backs (a high-flow cat will be an option for a nominal fee), AMS custom-made silicone turbo outlet pipe for either a top-mount intercooler or a front-mount intercooler (your choice), full AMS cold-air intake pipe with larger MAF housing turbo heat shield, all oil and water lines and fittings, every bolt and gasket needed to attach this onto the car, and of course it is backed with the AMS product warranty.
MSRP: $3899.95


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Exedy Clutch
Stage 1 HD And Stage 2 HD Clutches
'04-'07 Subaru WRX and STI
These are upgraded clamp-load versions of its proven Organic-faced Stage 1 and its Cerametallic-faced Stage 2 clutches.

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Exedy Clutch
Hyper-Twin Clutch
'08 Subaru WRX and STI
Exedy's twin-plate clutch and flywheel has sprung Cerametallic-faced discs for improved driveability.MSRP: TBA

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Blouch Performance Turbo
Subaru Dominator 4.0R
The Dominator 4.0R features a state-of-the-art 58 lb/min Garrett GT compressor wheel, a high-efficiency Garrett GT turbine wheel, and a full ball bearing CHRA capable of delivering over 450 whp.
MSRP: $1,795

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Manley Performance
Connecting Rods
Manley offers its Pro Series Turbo Tuff connecting rods for Subaru WRX/STI applications. Made of 4340 forgings and equipped with ARP2000 cap screws, they're capable of handling 1,000-plus horsepower with complete reliability.MSRP: $760 per set

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High-Performance Fuel Injectors
Subaru Top Feed (Inj-Sub1-Size)
Subaru side feed (INJ-SUB2-size)
DeatschWerks high-flow, high-performance, drop-in fitment fuel injectors, with sizes up to 1,100cc/min, are flow balanced to within 2 percent and come complete with a flow report of your sets' results.
MSRP: from $349 or
405. 415.6862

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Spec Clutches And Flywheels
Low Inertia Multidisc Clutch
'04-'08 Subaru WRX/STI
These clutches have configurable two- or three-disc, fully re-buildable, no-maintenance, bolt-in assembly (including hydraulics) that can be set up for drag or road racing by using a billet steel or aluminum flywheel.
MSRP: Starting at $1,599

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Automotive Racing Products
Rod Bolts
ARP takes the worry out of adding horsepower with the introduction of special rod bolts for Subaru 2.0L WRX and 2.5L WRX/STI applications. Made from proprietary ARP2000 material, they are nominally rated at 220,000psi tensile strength-a full 26 percent greater than the OEM Subaru connecting rod bolts.

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Tomei Power
EJ20 And EJ25 Valvesprings
With oval wire rod design, it's possible to reduce the overall height when compressed, making the length shorter when used with solid lifter conversions. This in turn helps raise the allowed camshaft lift up to 11mm. When used in conjunction with their high-profile camshafts, the results are easily noticed, even with the factory standard camshafts or any other high-profile aftermarket camshafts. Designed for use with high-lift camshafts.
MSRP: $310


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Progress Technology
Antisway bars
The Progress Group developed new front and rear antiroll bars for the '02-'06 WRX and STI. Both antiroll bars are 22mm solid steel bars. The front bar has two holes of adjustability while the rear has three positions. The bars are designed for use with the OEM endlinks. The kits include all hardware needed, like new drop-down brackets, low-deflection polyurethane bushings, new bushing brackets, and synthetic grease. This new antiroll bar system will improve steering response and minimize body roll while cornering. All Progress antiroll bars are manufactured in-house and feature cold-formed bars and precision MIG-welded ends.
MSRP: $145.35 (front)
$182.75 (rear)

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Competition Sway Bar Set
This hard-core Competition sway bar set from Hotchkis offers the same great benefits as the company's sport sway bars but utilizes a more aggressive rear bar set that works better with racing tires and helps create slight oversteer in autocross, slalom, and road race scenarios.
MSRP: $671

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Competition Clutch
Subaru Flywheels
Competition Clutch offers a wide range of flywheels for the Subaru family, including applications for the WRX, STI, Impreza, and Legacy. These flywheels are one-piece 4140 forged steel and come in lightweight and ultra-lightweight versions, and are suitable for street, track, or rally racing. These flywheels are compatible with any clutch kit on the market and are SFI 1.5 approved.
MSRP: $279-$399

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Perrin Performance
Positive Steering Response System (PSRS)
The PSRS increases steering response in corners by adding additional caster angle and straight-line performance, preventing lift when accelerating. It installs easily by eliminating the squishy factory rubber mounts.
MSRP: $299.99

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Agency Power
Rear Adjustable Control Arms
Subaru WRX STI '08 And Newer
Agency Power developed these rear double adjustable control arms for the '08 and newer Subaru WRX or STI. The rear control arms fit both the GH (wagon) and GE (sedan) chassis. The control arms offer the ability to give your vehicle proper camber adjustments. Its stout build adds rigidity and, coupled with their other suspension components, gives you the ultimate track setup.
MSRP: $650

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Tanabe Racing Development
DF210 lowering spring
'05-'07 STI, '08 and newer STI
The DF210 performance spring from Tanabe offers the lowest dropout of all of their springs, and is a good balance of looks, performance, and comfort. Spring rate is raised 10-15 percent to compensate for shorter suspension travel, but is soft enough to ride very comfortably.
MSRP: '05-'07 $260
'08 and newer $290

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B&G Suspension Systems
S2 Lowering Springs
B&G Suspension Systems offers its S2 lowering springs for the '04-'07 Subaru WRX. The S2 springs lower the vehicle approximately 1.4 inches in the front and rear and feature a limited lifetime warranty.
MSRP: $309

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Tanabe Racing
Development USA
GF210 Lowering Spring
'04-'07 WRX/STI And '08 And Newer WRX/STI
For the highest and most reliable performance from a performance spring, the GF210 is an excellent solution for cornering enthusiasts. The stance of GF210-equipped vehicles is aggressive and is but one indicator of the engineering and weight-balance tuning that goes into these springs. The spring rate is raised an amazing 30-40 percent over stock, but with careful consideration in keeping within specs of the valving of most stock and aftermarket shock absorbers for maximum suspension longevity.
MSRP: '04 $260
'05-'07 $280
'08 and newer $310

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B&G Suspension Systems
RS2 coilovers
B&G Suspension Systems offers its RS2 coilover system for the '04-'07 Subaru WRX. The RS2 coilovers are 18-way adjustable and dual-height adjustable, and feature a limited lifetime warranty.
MSRP $1,790

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Tein USA
Super Street With Pillow Ball Upper Mount
'08 And Newer Subaru WRX
The TEIN Super Street damper kit was designed for drivers seeking improved handling on the street and at the track. A shortened shell case is utilized to allow the most piston stroke possible, which allows for a better ride at lowered ride heights and increased grip at the track. Great for daily driving and occasion track use, whether it be at the dragstrip, local circuit, or Autocross course. It includes both ride height and 16 levels of damping force adjustment to allow the driver to dial in the suspension for various road conditions, adding front and rear upper mounts. The upper mounts increase steering response and allow for EDFC compatibility. On strut-type vehicles, the front upper mounts will include camber adjustment plates.

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Tein USA
Mono Flex
The TEIN mono flex damper was specifically designed for drivers seeking an affordable track kit that can be driven on the street. The mono-tube internal design with new MSV technology has larger oil capacity for cooler operation during extended lapping sessions. Equipped with separate ride height and spring preload adjustments, the driver is able to set up the suspension to meet both advanced street and track conditions. Other features include 16-way damping force adjustability, which is EDFC compatible, and a special Teflon coating to prevent corrosion.
MSRP: $2,500

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KW Automotive
Variant 3 Coilover Suspension
'08 Subaru STI
The KW suspensions coilover for the Subaru STI enables the owner to lower their vehicle 0-45mm on the front axle and 30-55mm on the rear axle. The coilover suspension retains enough travel to handle maximum and dynamic loads during driving. Adjustable (and independent reacting) rebound and compression damping allows a truly individual performance driving setup for those technically demanding drivers. Compression dampening adjustment is conducted in the low-speed range, while the high-speed setup, so decisive for driving comfort, has been preset by KW engineers.
MSRP: $2,495

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Big Brake Kits
Stoptech big front brake kits come in four or six pistons with a 332x32mm rotor or a 355x32mm rotor. The '08 kits are available in four or six pistons with a 355x32mm rotor. Rear kits have two pistons with a 345x28mm rotor.
MSRP: Starting at $2,195

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Procomp Big Brake Kits
Procomp big brake kits use a patent-pending vane design that excel the cooling of the rotor and caliper-a design that came from several thousand miles of testing on hot desert circuit courses. While Procomp big brakes are designed for the track, they offer excellent driveability for the street, and class-leading finishing materials to complement even the best show-winning vehicles. Three compounds of brake pads available for your Procomp kit ensure that no matter what terrain, circuit, or city street you enter, you will get the maximum performance and durability from your braking system
MSRP: Starting at $2,300

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Endless USA
MX-72 brake pads
The new MX-72 compound replaces and improves upon the ever-popular CC-X brake pad. The new MX-72 is the perfect balance of high-performance street and light track use. The pad maintains excellent friction at lower temperatures yet produces minimal noise and dust. The pad also features higher levels of stability while decreasing wear on rotors.
MSRP: Starting at $240

UNDER $200

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Hose kit
Mishimoto's new hose kits for the '01-'07 Subaru WRX/STI are now available in three new colors. The new Mishimoto hose kits are handmade with multiple layers of high-grade silicone and heat-resistant embedded fibers, providing exceptional protection at high temperatures and increased pressure tolerance. The Mishimoto WRX/STI hose kits are available in blue, red, and black, and are guaranteed for a lifetime of satisfaction and a direct OEM fit.
MSRP: $125

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Subaru Impreza GDF EJ25 2.5L WRX/STI
This SamcoSport kit is a seven-piece direct replacement coolant ancillary silicone hose kit
MSRP: $189.91

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Subaru Impreza GDA/GGA 2.5L '06 WRX
This is a three-piece direct replacement turbo silicone hose kit from SamcoSport.
MSRP: $157.03

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Subaru WRX Coolant Tubes
There is no longer a need to open the cooling system to check for a blown head gasket from too much boost, a cracked block, or even a failed or restricted water pump. This is a essential piece of equipment for the serious racer who demands minimum "pit in" time. A simple glance at the crystal clear accumulator will tell you all you need to know. You don't need to open the hot system or pressure test to locate head problems. Similar systems have been in use since the late '60s but they've never been able to stand up to the heavy abuse of racing, much less the ability to produce a clear view. It comes in either 8 or 4 inch with an optional lighting kit for wild nighttime effects. Gates powergrip clamps are included.
MSRP: $99-$129

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Cobb Tuning
SF Intake System
The Cobb Tuning SF intake utilizes a custom design to maintain optimal flow and net the ideal performance.
MSRP: $150

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Goodridge G-Stop Brake Line Kit
Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines are an industry standard in the world of motor racing. Goodridge kits feature the finest quality stainless steel braided hose, improving braking performance, eliminating the spongy feel of rubber hoses, and providing superior resistance to corrosion. Goodridge G-Stop brake line kits provide the reliability and performance demanded by the top racing teams and are available for your vehicle.
MSRP: $166.80

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Oil Catch Tank
The SARD oil catch can reduces oil blow-by from the crankcase by directing blow-by and other fumes to a dedicated reservoir instead of recirculating them back into the intake tract. The SARD oil catch tank has large nipple fittings, as well as adapter options for customization. On some vehicles, the life and accuracy of mass airflow or airflow meters can be extended by installing the oil catch can.
MSRP: $168

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Cosworth USA
Performance Air Filter
Cosworth high-flow replacement air filters are constructed from a unique non-woven synthetic filtration media that don't require oiling. Designed to fit the original the airbox, Cosworth drop-in filters provide increased airflow and dust holding capability, compared to other brands.
MSRP: $45

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Perrin Performance
Made from 321 stainless steel with 1/2-inch flanges, the Perrin up-pipe is still one of the best and first ways to increase the power and throttle response on your Subaru.
MSRP: $199.99

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Endless USA
RF-650 Brake Fluid
There are only two brake fluids used in Formula 1 and the Endless RF-650 is one of them. It is also used in American Le Mans, WRC, and is factory equipment on all Porsche GT3 Cup Cars, yet the same formula is still available for the end user desiring the highest-performing brake fluid. Within the race conditions, where the braking temperatures are extremely high, the RF-650 maintains stable and consistent performance. It is recognized as the highest-spec brake fluid around the world with better performance and a longer shelf-life than the competition.
MSRP: $30 per 1/2-liter bottle

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Cosworth USA
Billet Timing Belt Guide
The original sheet metal timing belt guide can flex from belt deflection when subjected to extreme rpm causing the timing belt to skip one or more teeth on the crankshaft sprocket. The Cosworth billet timing belt guide was developed to control this problem and is machined from solid aluminum with a hard anodized finish.
MSRP: $64

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Cosworth USA
High-Performance Head Gaskets
Cosworth high-performance head gaskets are engineered to seal in power under the most demanding conditions. Constructed from stainless steel with a folded stopper layer, each application features superior sealing, compared to conventional multi-layer steel gaskets. Additionally, Cosworth high-performance head gaskets are manufactured from pre-coated die cut stainless steel, resulting in uniform coating distribution and consistent shape.
MSRP: $89

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DC Sports Up-Pipe
DC Sports competition pipes delete the catalytic converter to eliminate restriction in the exhaust path and are dyno-tuned to deliver incredible performance gains for your factory turbocharged vehicle.
MSRP: $189

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Manley Performance
Stainless Steel Valves
Manley Performance has developed special stainless steel valves for Subaru WRX and STI applications, including Race Master Series (32mm head diameter, 6mm stem) and Extreme Duty exhaust valves (32mm and 33mm head diameters, 5.96mm stem). For improved air/fuel flow, Manley's Race Flo valves, which feature an undercut stem, are the answer. They are offered in 36mm and 37mm head diameters, with a 6mm stem. All Manley valves are swirl polished and fully machined, plus they have chrome stems and hard tips.
MSRP: $160 per set

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Cobb Tuning
SF Airbox
The Cobb Tuning SF airbox was designed to capture the cool air supplied to the SF intake through the factory intake snorkel.
MSRP: $125

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Cobb Tuning
Stainless Steel Heat Shield
The Cobb Tuning stainless steel heat shield is an in-house designed replacement for the factory turbo heat shield.
MSRP: $50

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Auto Timer, Black With Blue LED
The A'PEXi auto timer allows the vehicle to idle for a preset amount of time after the ignition key has been removed. In turbocharged vehicles this prevents hot oil in the engine from choking up in the lines. Hard driving can raise engine oil temperatures to dangerously high levels. Proper cooldown is essential for a healthy turbo and engine.
MSRP: $139

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Signal Auto
Radiator Cooling Panel
The radiator cooling panel helps keep air directed toward the radiator, which helps cooling efficiency. The attractive brushed-aluminum design is lightweight and attractive for engine bay dress up.
MSRP: $98

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Power intake
The Power intake is the premiere air filter designed to create pure horsepower. The new funnel design, element material, and airflow channeling characteristics make the power intake one of the most efficient air cleaners on the market today.
MSRP: $150

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Aluminum Induction Box
The A'PEXi aluminum induction box effectively shields the intake filter element from the power-robbing heat caused by turbocharged engines and extreme underhood conditions.
MSRP: $179

By Staff Reports
6 Articles



WillyWerx, aka William Galan, figures heavily in this last entry of Ryan Hoegner's 911SC, giving a master class in proper vintage Porsche restoration
Bob HernandezFeb 14, 2019
Outfitting a GR WRX with fresh pads and rotors
Bob HernandezFeb 5, 2019
AC Schnitzer used data from 2 record-setting successes to dial in parts developments for the BMW F90 M5
Bob HernandezJan 31, 2019
Shifting our focus to the chassis, in particular revamping this Porsche's suspension as well as its brakes and topping it all off with a one-off roll bar
Bob HernandezJan 29, 2019
Swapping out the VX's original drums for some del Sol Si rear disc brakes.
RodrezJan 15, 2019
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