Top 5 Performance Mods for Subaru WRX 2015 To 2017

Posted on 05 September 2018 by Tony Santos

Have you just purchased a new or used 2015/2016/2017 Subaru WRX? With its 2.0 litre, four-cylinder, turbo, 268 horsepower engine it sounds awesome and you are no doubt enjoying its insane ability to fly from zero to 100km per hour in a mere five seconds, as well as quick and precise shifts thanks to its stock 6-speed manual transmission!

But, you find yourself wanting to take your WRX’s performance to the next level, so you begin considering different performance mods available in order to crank things up a notch. In this article, we take a look at five of the best performance mods you should take into account when wanting to maximise the performance of your WRX.

Larger Top Mount Intercooler

Drawing air via the hood scoop, a small top mount intercooler is a stock feature of 2015 to 2017 WRX models. Despite doing a reasonable job of cooling compressed air that originates from the engine’s turbocharger, it is unfortunately prone to heat soak, particularly in situations such as driving at low speeds or being caught in crawling traffic. This can lead to choking at high RPMs. So if you want to reduce the chance of damage to your engine while simultaneously maximising performance, you should consider upgrading from your stock small top mount intercooler to a much larger one.

Despite the fact that many car enthusiasts insist you should opt for a front mount intercooler due to optimal efficiency when it comes to cooling (thanks to better airflow), upgrading your top mount intercooler is in fact the best way to go for your WRX. Going ahead with a top mount intercooler upgrade allows you to avoid additional piping that is needed for a front mount, and instead you can utilise an OEM charge pipe. A reduction in turbo lag as well as a faster turbo response are additional benefits of shorter intercooler piping.

The Subaru Accessport V3 by Cobb Tuning

Making changes to your ride’s ECU mapping is one of the ultimate ways to spice up the performance of your WRX. A number of 2015 to 2017 WRX owners are in agreement when it comes to the somewhat undesirable stock engine tuning and annoying rev hang.

In order to combat these issues, Cobb Tuning has what you need when it comes to replacing factory module settings – the Cobb Subaru Accessport V3, one of the top Subaru ECU upgrade solutions available out there. More track-worthy, aggressive calibrations assist in facilitating livelier driving dynamics, ultimately resulting in an increase in power and torque.

Boasting a high-resolution, full-colour screen and customisable gauge display, the Accessport V3 is mounted in your car and enables the creation of custom maps, thanks to its preloaded Cobb “Off The Shelf” (OTS) maps. What this device gives you is real-time monitoring of some of the most sought-after engine parameters, including air-fuel sensor readings and injection pulse width, in addition to engine RPM. Performance parameters able to be measured include trap speed alongside 0 to 100 km/h time.

A Cold Air Intake System

When looking to increase the performance of your 2015 to 2017 WRX, you should consider upgrading your air intake system, which may result in not only increased power, but also greater acceleration and more desirable fuel economy. This is due to the fact that a bigger, hardier air intake system adds more oxygen to the fuel mix in your vehicle’s engine.

You might wish to go with a cold air intake system or a short ram air intake system. The latter positions the air filter in close proximity to the engine (therefore it is able only to draw in warm air near to the engine), and involves short, wide piping. In contrast, a cold air intake system includes piping of greater length, and therefore the air filter sits further away from the engine.

Despite being more affordable due to its small structure and therefore ease of installation and service, a short ram air intake system provides a lesser amount of additional horsepower in comparison to a cold air intake system. Therefore, when it comes to selecting the right air intake system for you, take into account your system needs as well as your hip pocket.

Downpipe (J-Pipe)

Another undeniable way to raise fuel economy and performance is by superseding your stock WRX downpipe with one of larger size. Referred to as a ‘j-pipe’ thanks to its shape, the downpipe is responsible for channelling turbocharger exhaust away from the engine towards the exhaust system.

A potential output increase of 40 horsepower is possible thanks to the increased size and width of a j-pipe replacement, which has the ability to expel additional turbocharger exhaust as well as to reduce engine temperature and turbo lag.

With the majority of aftermarket downpipes manufactured from stainless steel, they can be installed with or without a catalytic converter. You will also require a mid-pipe of similar size, which like the j-pipe comes “catted” or “catless”.

Replacing your stock j-pipe is a no brainer when it comes to maximising the performance of your WRX!

Catback Exhaust

With the majority made from stainless steel and finished with quad exhaust tips, an aftermarket catback exhaust is a brilliant way to up the performance of your 2015 to 2017 WRX, by means of improving the free flow of exhaust gases. This enables the turbo engine to breathe more easily thanks to a reduction in exhaust pressure. Additional benefits of this mod include heightened horsepower and improved fuel efficiency.

Topical benefits of a catback exhaust mod consist of a deeper, more aggressive exhaust note and a look that is sportier and track-ready.

Where Do I Find The Best Mods For My WRX?

When it comes to maximising the performance of your 2015 to 2017 WRX, be sure to purchase any mods you desire from sellers with established reputations. In some cases, you may even be able to snag a package deal. There are also a large range of hot looking Subaru Bodykits that are worth while considering if you want your ride to get some extra attention.


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