Feature: Edgar’s Subaru Impreza WRX

The Definitive Daily Driver

Edgar’s 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX

Words: Ginash George
Photos: Young Ko

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Edgar began his fascination with cars at a young age. His father was an enthusiast himself and Edgar often found himself hoarding his dad’s car magazine subscriptions. Things however changed for Edgar when he received his first play station. Gran Turismo introduced him to a whole new genre.

“That’s where I discovered certain cars like the Nissan Skyline, Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. I also started seeing modified imports on the streets that looked different than anything seen in the usual domestic car magazines.”

The curiosity on imports was not a fad or passing thought. Instead, it became almost an obsession and defining moment as evidenced by this story.

Japanese car manufacturers always considered the United States the “Holy Grail” of the industry. It is after all a market that can make or break a company. The decision to introduce a car stateside normally takes many man hours of market research and approval at various levels. When Subaru decided to release the WRX to the United States, Edgar was ecstatic. He loved racing Subaru WRX’s in Gran Turismo and knew he had to eventually own one. The reviews, numbers, and impressive rally history was more then enough to sway anyone to take the next step. Persistence and hard work paid off in 2005. After 4 years of saving, the dream finally became a reality.

Most Subaru enthusiasts at one time or another have been on NASIOC. When Edgar was in a position to purchase a WRX, he searched the forums on a daily basis. During his normal morning routine, Edgar discovered a pristine 2003 WRX. This discovery would eventually find its way to his garage. “I saw that the owner was looking for a quick sale and quickly met up with him. After talking to him in person and test driving it, I knew the car was babied and taken well care of. Since he rarely drove it and needed it sold that week he sold it to me for trade-in value. The car was equipped with a few mods like a turboback exhaust, lowering springs, and an STi Version 6 RA gearset.”

Now that Edgar finally had his dream car, the next step was to add a few subtle modifications to tweak the car’s performance. He purchased a Cobb Accessport and flashed a Stage 2 map. Edgar wanted a “sleeper” look in appearance, so he kept the exterior stock with no major plans on any upgrades. This quickly changed after entering his first car show. Edgar luckily (or unluckily) was placed adjacent to the Driver’s Image WRX. Edgar was almost embarrassed when he compared his WRX to the heavily modified counterpart.  But the Driver’s Image car gave him motivation for his own project.

When Edgar left for college he took the car with him. The WRX is the perfect year round car. It has enough room to carry all your gear, an AWD system to get you out of winter jams, and of course rear seats to transport the ladies. In other words….the definitive college car.

As a year-round daily driver, Edgar had to chose his modifications wisely.  Edgar started looking into exterior modifications. He researched all the different styles that people were doing with bugeyes. He loved the look of the JDM STi Version 7 and knew he had to replicate it. He bought every authentic JDM Version 7 exterior piece as well as JDM only options like the Front Lip, aeroguards, and rainguards. He also added a few personal touches like JUN eyelids and a Mine’s Carbon Fiber Spoiler.

For the motor, Edgar did not want a big horsepower setup that would end up becoming high maintenance. First and foremost, Edgar needed reliability. So he decided on a VF39 and STI Top Mount Intercooler from a USDM STi, and got it protuned by Jorge at P&L Motorsports. On the dyno, Edgar’s WRX made 294 awhp and 277 ft/lbs torque. Impressive to say the least!

For the suspension, Edgar decided on a strut and spring setup instead of coilovers. The car is driven in all types of conditions and needed to keep the focus as a street car. It is accompanied by a set of sway bars, endlinks, strut bars, steering rack bushings, and a custom alignment for a well balanced setup.

Braking is important when upgrading power so Edgar decided on a Rotora Big Brake kit. To cover them up is a set of rare Racing Hart CP-F Tune R Wheels wrapped with Falken Tires, and held on with some NeoChrome Lugnuts.

So what’s next for Edgar? The focus in the past has always been function. With college almost complete, the car may see another transformation. Be on the lookout for a serious build and his car as a show contender. Just remember you saw this WRX here first. Maybe then you can proudly say you knew Edgar when he all he had was his play station.

Engine Mods:
Cobb Accessport ECU
IHI VF39 Turbo
STi Top Mount Intercooler
DeatschWerks 565cc Injectors
Walbro 255lph Fuel Pump
Perrin Up-Pipe
Perrin Catless Downpipe
Espelir JGT 500 Catback Exhaust
K&N Typhoon Short Ram Intake
STi Version 6 RA Gearset
Exedy Stage 1 Racing Clutch
SPT Oil Filler Cap
SPT Battery Tie Down
Kartboy Exhuast Hangers

Protuned at P&L Motorsports
294 whp / 277 ft-lbs

Suspension Mods:
Tanabe DF210 Lowering Springs
KYB AGX Adjustable Gas Shocks
Whiteline 22mm Front Sway Bar
Whiteline 22-24mm Rear Sway Bar
Whiteline Steering Rack Bushings
Kartboy Front Endlinks
Kartboy Rear Endlinks
Tein Front Strut Bar
Tein Rear Sturt Bar
SPC Rear Camber Bolts

Brake Mods:
Rotora 4 Piston Front Calipers
Rotora 13″ Cross Drilled/Slotted Front Rotors
Rotora Stainless Steel-Braided Brake Lines
Rotora Front Street Performance Pads
Endless Vita Nuova Rear Brake Pads
DBA Slotted Rear Rotors
ATE Super Blue Racing Brake Fluid

Wheels and Tires:
Racing Hart CP-F Tune R 18×8.5 +38 Wheels (Summer)
Falken Ziex ZE-912 225/40/ZR/18 Tires
Rota Bronze G-Force 17×8 wheels (Winter)
Kumho Ecsta ASX 225/45/ZR/17 Tires
Muteki SR48 Neo Chrome Lugnuts

Exterior Mods:
JDM STi HID Projector Headlights
JDM STi Version 2 Front Lip
JDM STi Version 7 Hood Scoop
JDM STi Version 7 Front Grill
JDM STi Version 7 Solid Fog Covers
JDM STi Carbon Fiber Sidemarkers
JDM Subaru Rainguards
JDM Subaru Front Aeroguards
JDM Subaru Rear Aeroguards
OEM Wingless Trunk
OEM Painted Sideskirts
JUN Eyelids
Ravspec Mine’s Carbon Fiber Spoiler

Interior Mods:
JDM STi Black 5-Speed Shift Knob
B&M Short Shift Kit
HKS Type 1 Turbo Timer
Escort Passport X50 Radar Detector
Lamco Boost Gauge

Gallery (click thumb to expand):



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