Let's begin by stating what we hope is pretty obvious: the Scion iM is not a "fast" car, and it's not designed to be. Waiting for the car to hit redline is like waiting for rice to cook. It's nowhere near as fast as its Scion kin, the FR-S, if you can even call that car fast. While many see it as a Toyota Matrix, in reality it's more like the Corolla-based Toyota Auris only available in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. It's no surprise that we didn't get the cooler trims like the 120T turbo model, the 150X all-wheel-drive model, or the RS that came with a 142hp motor - but I digress.
With that established, we couldn't just leave our 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine the way as is. Parts manufacturers aren't jumping to make performance goods for the car, either, so as you can imagine finding bolt-ons proved to be a little difficult. Luckily, DC Sports had something up its sleeve and was working to design an exhaust manifold and cold-air intake for the mill, plus to stiffen things up, a front strut tower brace. But first things first, we wanted to get a baseline for our iM. Our good friends at SP Engineering found that our car outputs 115hp and 108 lb.-ft. of torque at the front wheels.
In order to install the header and strut bar, you'll need to remove the cowl. While you're at it, you'll also need to remove the front bumper to install the cold-air intake. It's worth noting that the intake is for off-road use only, but DC Sports is going to make sure the exhaust manifold is CARB legal.
After the install was done, we went back to SP Engineering to get back on the dyno. To our surprise, we actually lost power on the first try. However, after a few runs, the car made a consistent 10hp gain with 125hp. Now when you floor it, the car has decent sound, similar to a Honda. Valvematic kicked in, yo!