National Speed – Tuner

So, I’m interested in determining if I should use National Speed (which I’ll sometimes refer to as ‘NS’) as a tuner.

I reached out to them via Facebook yesterday.  Below is the conversation.


Do you guys do e-tunes? I’m looking at your web page but I don’t see mentions of e-tunes, so I’m going to assume that you don’t offer them. There are tuners up here, but you guys seem to run a great shop!

I’m in the Washington DC area…you guys aren’t exactly far, but far enough that a tuning trip might be complicated.


Hi, Jon! First of all, what vehicle are you working with?

If you can wait a few months, we’ll have a shop much, much closer to you. We’re opening our Richmond, Virginia location shortly!


Oh damn! That’s great news! I’ve a 2011 Subaru STI (sedan) with zero mods. I can definitely wait a few months for the Richmond location to open!


Oooo, we do love Subaru’s around here. 

What are your plans for it? Keep it simple, make it more fun? Those cars wake up big time with just a tune. Here’s a 2012 Subaru WRX STi sedan we did a while back, the only modifications are an Injen intake system, an Invidia Q300 catalytic-converter-back exhaust system, and a custom dyno tune via COBB Tuning’s AccessPORT (did I get all of that right, Christine?).

The blue graph was the first pull on stock calibration (with said bolt-on modifications), the red graph was after tuning. Quite a difference!


My list so far is, Grimmspeed 3 port EBCS, Walbro 255 fuel pump, and Cobb catted DP (as well as a Cobb AP v3).

This isn’t going to be a wild build…I’m just looking to get rid of the stock tune. I want a safety-oriented tune, but will take as much power as I can get while still being somewhat safe, if possible. I want to go straight to Stage 2 to get the most out of the time and money spent on the tune and parts. The biggest worry for me right now is driving on the stock tune. The car only has 15K miles on it, so I’m hoping the stock tune hasn’t damaged things already. I don’t beat on the car but I do autocross it (I’m not a serious competitor, though).

I had an intake on my list (AEM), but I’m not sure if the car actually needs it, so I removed it from my list.

That chart is extremely impressive…sick results! I like how the peaks and valleys of the blue graph were filled in on the red graph, too.

I’ll share the news of your upcoming Richmond shop on the forums.

Car Owner of Tuned STI / Customer of National Speed:

That was it Jordan! And after that, I installed a high-flow catted DP and gained no power at all on the next tune, so I took that to mean that the stock DP and cat is already pretty much maxed out on the STi (just in case you want to save the money Rob). But I was impressed by the gains just a couple bolt-ons and a custom tune made!

The conversation dwindled after that.

I wanted to share this because, when I first saw the gains, I thought they were hokey.  They included a dyno chart that showed both the baseline (the mods were on when the baseline was run) and protune results.  They had some very high gains:  60HP/82TQ peaks, on just the tune alone (!!).  The exhaust was an Invidia Q300 catback (which is 2.75″ inch diameter and is really a full exhaust).  I’m wondering if the Invidia is what was the main factor of the tune (it would almost certainly have to be).  I also thought that the shop shouldn’t have run the baseline with the intake installed…I thought that was a huge no-no.

I posted about this on IWSTI and after discussing with another member, came to the conclusion that I should not use National Speed.

I also posted to IGASTI ( and provided the same information and actually got a wealth of information back from them (more so than my post at IWSTI).  One poster at IGASTI stated that I don’t really have enough information to suggest that National Speed’s numbers were hokey…I agree, in hindsight.  But my main concern is that tuners should offer as much information as possible to potential clients so that they don’t assume…NS did leave a LOT of gaps in their description of that tune, and there are not all that many Subarus making 60HP from just a tune.

I will continue to watch National Speed, but I will be checking out IAG next.  For now, it’s a bake-off between IAG and NS

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