This car is very unique. It is a 1972 VW Beetle in shell only, because it has a Subaru STI engine (an EJ207, specifically), as well as some Porsche 911 parts! The engine is tuned to 325 HP. It is a non-US car, though.
There’s a story behind the below article and I’ve asked Road & Track to clarify (on their FB page).
Apparently, a rear wing on a 2015 Subaru STI must’ve broken off, because Subaru replaced it with a WRX trunk lid (that’s an assumption of mine).
And, of course, that spurred some pretty ridiculous comments on their FB page. People call the rear spoiler ‘gaudy’, or ‘rice’. The wing is actually functional, for one. As well, every USDM STI sedan ever made has a rear spoiler. A spoiler-less option has never existed (ie, you can’t request that the dealer remove it).
IMO, an STI isn’t really an STI without a spoiler (unless it is a hatch). And, as mentioned in the FB comments, an STI without a wing is like Batman without a utility belt.
So, it appears that RRE are more interested in Subaru tuning now. In fact, I saw a Facebook post this past weekend stating that intakes require tunes (otherwise, you’ll be making less power than stock).
I’m not sure I believe that every stock Subaru *requires* a tune, though. In fact, it’s not all that common for owners to experience ringland issues (across the owner base). The only reason that Subaru tuners think it’s an issue is because they’re niche and visit forums and FB groups where users of those media complain about it. I’ve owned my car going on 3 years and my ringlands haven’t popped (knock on wood). I’m 100% stock and have not been tuned.
This isn’t my first go-round with a turbocharged AWD car, and I’ve found out that tuning cars is like opening Pandora’s Box…once you open it, you won’t ever be able to go back to the way things were prior to opening the box. Reliability becomes somewhat more suspect once tuning begins. I need a car that’s 100% reliable, because my STI is my daily driver. I do not have time to always be tinkering on my car or fixing something that I didn’t get right when adding a new part.
Murphy’s Law usually kicks in — you might find the car is running like crap or won’t start, usually at the worst time. Been there, done that, and I’ve learned my lesson. Your experience may vary, but that doesn’t mean that tuning is the method everyone should follow. We all know the caveats of adding that Cobb Access Port (you may not be covered under warranty for any engine woes that have been proven to be caused by adding a 3rd party tune). And then there’s the issue of the bad stock tune. I’d rather be covered if the engine blows due to the stock tune, and I’m happy with the current tune of the engine…I’m not going to try to out-engineer the Subaru engineers by pretending I can do a better job. You might not want to keep the stock tune on your own car, but again, each owner has different wants/needs.
An all stock 2002 WRX comes in around 180HP on our dyno. This one with full exhaust, intake, and RRE 3 port finished at 245 and 266 lbft of torque at 17psi peak after our tune.
That is a pretty damned good tune. That’s about the same power as a stock 2011 STI. Wow!