Matt Tomczek’s Subaru WRX STI

Thanks again to Patrick Lauder/QuickWorks Photo for sending us another excellent car from the west coast.


Matt has always had a love for the AWD turbo cars from Japan. He gives Gran Turismo credit for this introduction. Not having the means to afford a WRX, Matt started out like many others before him, building a Honda Civic show car. Fast forward 10 years later, Matt was finally able to buy his dream car-a 2007 Subaru WRX STI.


Immediately after purchasing the STI, Matt started his research. Within a few months, an exhaust and a new set of wheels were on order. The modifications stayed fairly simple up until the summer of 2010. At that time he decided to make some bigger changes to the car. New wheels, coilovers, and a switch to E85 for fuel resulted in a nice 350whp 410 ft/lb torque daily driver. He also started participating in local SCCA autocross events and some light track driving.


About 4 months after the last set of modifications the pistons decided they couldn’t take it anymore and Matt ended up with cracked ringlands on pistons 1 and 4. The motor was pulled, torn down, and rebuilt with stronger forged parts and a new larger turbo.


After tuning, the car made 422whp and 457 ft/lb torque. He ran this setup for a little over a year when the injectors started to go bad due to faulty manufacturing. Matt decided to swap those out; add a few new parts like equal length headers, and a new Koyo radiator.


Matt wanted to go a bit wider for autocross, so he added the now very popular “Karlton” fender flares which add almost 60mm of extra space for some seriously massive rubber. Another set of wheels were also ordered, Advan RG-D wheels in 18×10.5” + 15 fitment with 295/30/18 tires at all 4 corners.


Unfortunately the good times didn’t last long. Roughly 3 months after the last re-tune, the motor went again due to bad tuning. The result this time was cracked cylinder walls in cylinders 2 and 4. Feeling fed-up, Matt found another local shop that had an excellent reputation in the Subaru community. The motor was pulled again; cleaned, inspected, and sleeved (Darton sleeves). Everything was put back together and then broken in.


After the break in was complete, Matt pulled out the old turbo setup, intercooler, and headers. He then swapped them for a much larger setup.


Matt decided to go with Extreme Turbo Systems, for a full rotated setup. The kit included a Garrett GTX3576 with Tial .82 exhaust housing, new larger runner equal length headers, and a much larger 4” thick front mount intercooler core with all titanium piping.


Once Matt got everything back together (doing all the work himself), he had to get the car re-tuned at Snail Performance and made 561whp and 587wtq at 28.5psi peak boost. Needless to say, the STI is a monster and makes very good use of the massively wide tires.


Matt’s car is now finally in a state where he can truly enjoy it. He is a true enthusiast and uses the car for everything- autocross, shows, track days, and occasionally daily driving to work. Thanks for checking out this feature and thanks again to Patrick Lauder/QuickWorks Photo for the fantastic captures.



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