- The 2022 WRX was met with a mixed reception at launch but remains one of the only enthusiast choices for an AWD platform.
- Subimods have dedicated its entire business model to providing aftermarket solution for the entire Subaru lineup.
- The company’s work on the new WRX proves that the VB-chassis has an immense aftermarket upside.
- This WRX went straight from the SEMA Show floor to Turn 14 Distribution’s lobby en route back to its home in Connecticut.
Amongst its peers, the Subaru WRX is the last man standing. Even within its own lineage, it carries the performance torch thanks to Subaru opting to forego the more hardcore STi for this generation. Without a rival to benchmark and despite Subaru’s technical innovations, the new car largely didn’t live up to its namesake at launch. The Internet was quick to brand the WRX as a let-down, harping on its measly gains and Outback-inspired looks, but they’re forgetting one major thing: nobody buys these cars to leave stock.
ALWAYS SOMETHING TO SAY
Since the first generation WRX, there have always been critics, but for as many who have something bad to say, there are tenfold more who would proverbially die on the WRX hill — it is unabashedly popular amongst the enthusiast crowd — not necessarily for what it does from the factory, but for its untapped potential inside. Subimods is all too familiar with the routine. Like the generations before, they’ve taken the VB WRX as a blank canvas. In short order, they’ve worked to completely transform it for this year’s SEMA Show to help change the rhetoric on the new car.
ASPIRATIONAL YET ATTAINABLE
While Subimods could’ve quite easily gone down the route of dumping stacks of money into the WRX to create the biggest splash at the show, instead, the brand committed to a more realistic approach. “We wanted to keep in mind that many times ‘halo’ cars for SEMA and other large trade shows come with six-figure budgets attached to them,” said Nick Nazzaro, owner of Subimods. “We actively chose not to go to the moon because not everyone is going to be able to follow you there.”
That conscious decision shows just how attuned Subimods is to its fan base. Rather than alienate aspirations, the company wants WRX owners to look at their car and think, “yes, this is something I can create”. While it may have initially been challenging to think within those bounds, the Subimods team has nevertheless created something truly special here. Painting the car’s lower valences and arches in piano black and body color, respectively, makes the car look so much more cohesive. The team’s sustained relationships with some of the industry’s heaviest hitters have afforded them access to the first iterations of several parts: Varis’ Arising-1 aero kit and GT wing, VSC Performance’s carbon hood vent set, and prototype Öhlins Road & Track coilovers.
Nazzaro adds, “We have Colin Rogerson from Turn 14 Distribution to thank for the Öhlins connection. Without him, I don’t think this would’ve been possible; the whole team at Öhlins really showed us their dedication to the Subaru platform, and we’re lucky to have their support.”
A DESERVED SOLO ROUND
Subimods’ WRX had to share the spotlight with hundreds of cars on the SEMA Show floor, but its return trip to Connecticut took a short detour to Turn 14 Distribution headquarters. Here, the car was finally allowed its own time in the spotlight, where we soaked in every last detail of the build. The JDM-specific 6/4-piston brake kit was the only piece of the puzzle that wasn’t off the shelf — a set of custom front caliper brackets from Precision Speed Products made it happen — but they look properly beefy behind the 18-inch RAYS VERSUS VT125S wheels.
Performance-wise, Nazzaro considers the Cobb V3 Accessport one of the more essential mods. Although we didn’t experience it, we trust that the VB’s additional displacement can take better, more reliable advantage of the tune. Since WRX owners cannot get the fancier Recaro seats with the 6-speed manual (why?), the red Bride GIAS III seats were the obvious choice and really helped round out the build.
A TRIBUTE TO THE CULTURE
Look at the car from the side and the script “Advance Beyond the Stars” is impossible to miss. “Subaru” actually refers to a Japanese word meaning “unite” and its logo’s stars signify the five-company conglomerate that formed Fuji Heavy Industries in 1958. Subimods’ treatment pays homage to two things: the company that birthed its operations and the enthusiasts that strive to build upon (and surpass) the company’s proud foundation. Indeed, Subimods’ efforts with the new VB-chassis have done exactly that. This WRX is easily the most well-executed example we’ve seen. It sets an impressive benchmark and affirms Subimods’ place at the top of the Subaru world.
Subimods | 2022 Subaru WRX
|Exterior:||Varis Arising-1 carbon fiber aero kit (front lip, side skirts, rear diffuser with bumper spats), Varis GT wing, VSC Performance hood vents w/ carbon garnish pair, paint-matched fender cladding and gloss black front and rear bumper (painting courtesy of Redline Restorations), Molded Innovations carbon fiber mirror covers, Molded Innovations third brake light, Subaru OEM Sport grill, Japanese-inspired minimalistic vinyl elements courtesy of Style Up Design Co., Molded Innovations Black Out Series emblems|
|Interior:||Bride GIAS III Low Max Version seat in red w/ silver shell, Bride seat rails, Momo 6-point harness, Boomba Racing shifter kit w/ Cobb Tuning Delrin shift knob|
|Engine/Drivetrain:||Extreme Turbo Systems 3.5-inch front mount intercooler w/ piping, Extreme Turbo Systems intake, Cobb V3 Accessport, Turbosmart blow-off valve, Radium dual side fluid lock catch can kit, VSC Performance mount kit (pitch stop, engine mounts, transmission mount) AWE Tuning Track Edition cat-back exhaust w/ diamond black tips, Motul lubricants throughout the vehicle|
|Brakes/Suspension:||Subaru JDM 6/4 Piston big brake kit w/ two piece rotors, custom front caliper brackets courtesy of Precision Speed Products, Prototype Öhlins Road & Track Suspension w/ front camber plates, Cusco rear control arms, Cusco rear toe arms, Cusco strut bar (front / rear), Cusco chassis bracing|
|Wheels/Tires:||18x9.5-inch +38 RAYS VERSUS VT125S wheels (Super Dark Gunmetal finish w/ Red-Silver Machining), 255/35/18 Falken RT660 tires, Muteki TR45 lug nuts|
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