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Bolt-On Power for Your FA20DIT WRX

December 17th, 2015 | 3 min read

By Alan Jackson

It doesn’t take a lot of ownership time with the new FA20DIT powered 2015 and 2016 WRX to decide that there will be some modifications in your future. Not because the car is boring or needs improvement but because of how much fun it is to pull more power and torque and thus, more fun out of your new WRX. But not everyone has an unlimited budget for mods.  For those of you like myself, who are plagued with responsibilities such as rent and food that are marginally more important than modding your WRX, you may be asking; What are the most important Performance parts for your 2015 or 2016 WRX?


Well as you’ve probably seen posted before, tuning should be your number one concern. It gives you a margin of safety when adding other performance parts and it will also give you a great bang for the buck power improvement over pretty much any other modification.


Not all important parts are performance parts. A catch can that separates the oil from pushing through the pcv system into the intake manifold is a high priority part that will help to maintain performance in the years to come. The FA20DIT is direct injected and therefore it is a dirty valve engine. Without fuel spraying to keep the valves clean, they will allow gunky blow-by build up over time. This will negatively affect the engine performance and will decrease power over time.  An oil catch can will work in your favor to eliminate a lot of this build up.

Here's a great example of what that looks like if you don't know already.  This is a Boomba Stage 1 Catch Can Kit for the 2015+ Subaru WRX.  This is one of 2 variations they have, one connecting to the PCV system and one connected to the crank case vent (shown).

BBOCCS1WRX15_-_Boomba_Racing_Stage_1_Oil_Catch_Can_Subaru_WRX_2015_3.jpg BBOCCS1WRX15_-_Boomba_Racing_Stage_1_Oil_Catch_Can_Subaru_WRX_2015_2.jpg


Most people judge the amount of bang you get from a mod by how much power it will allow you to make. That is why the downpipe, or in the case of the new WRX, the J-Pipe, is such an important performance part. The J-Pipe is a two fold performance part though. Not only does it open up the WRX’s exhaust note to be more aggressive, it also allows the exhaust to escape the turbo more efficiently, allowing for more power.

Cobb_Tuning_J_Pipe_Subaru_WRX_2015.png ETS_J-Pipe_Downpipe_Subaru_WRX_2015_1.jpg ETS_J-Pipe_Downpipe_Subaru_WRX_2015_2.jpg
This is the Cobb Tuning catted J-Pipe/Downpipe System ETS J-Pipe/Downpipe Shown Here - Nice TIG Welds and O2 bungs for all factory sensors.  The ETS system is available with or without a high flow catalytic converter.


Another two fold mod is the intake. A lot of people love the sound the intake makes when the turbo spools. You can hear the diverter valve and you can hear the air being sucked in through the turbo. All these sounds add to the “race car” experience. But sound is not all it’s about. Performance intakes for the 2015 and 2016 WRX offer plenty of “race car” bite to go with the bark.

Three of our favorite systems are shown here.  

AEM Intake

AEM_Intake_Subaru_WRX_2015_and_up_3.jpg  AEM_Intake_Subaru_WRX_2015_and_up_1.jpg



Grimmspeed Intake

060067_-_GrimmSpeed_StealthBox_Intake_RED_Subaru_WRX_2015_1.jpg 060067_-_GrimmSpeed_StealthBox_Intake_RED_Subaru_WRX_2015_4.jpg


Cobb Tuning Intake

745100_-_Cobb_Tuning_Big_SF_Intake_and_Air_Box_Subaru_WRX_2015_10.jpg 745100_-_Cobb_Tuning_Big_SF_Intake_and_Air_Box_Subaru_WRX_2015_11.jpg




Speaking of bark, we can’t forget about the exhaust system. The 2015 WRX is just begging for an exhaust system upgrade! There are many different options available for the FA20DIT. Options range from all out roar to gentle purr so you can rest assured there is an option for everyone. This not only changes the sound of your WRX, but it also changes the driving dynamic as well. Being able to hear the engine gives you a better connection to the car and gives you a better driving experience altogether.  One other note, the stock exhaust is bulky and heavy.  Chances are you’ll be saving quite a bit of weight when replacing your exhaust which doesn’t add power, but it does actually make the car faster without having to push that extra weight around.

Here's what the stock exhaust system looks like after being removed from the car compared to a typical, nicely fit, and nicely made aftermarket system.  This is an example of the ETS catback exhaust with burnt blue tips.  

Stock_Subaru_WRX_Exhaust_2015.jpg ETS_Exhaust_Installed_2015_Subaru_WRX_3.jpg



A common misconception about important upgrades is that they are expensive upgrades. There are quite a few little things that will make a big difference in the way the car drives and feels. For instance, a pitch stop mount will give you crisper shifts as will a brass shifter bushing and shifter stop. You can also tighten up the steering with a Steering Damper Lockdown. All these things will improve the overall feel of the car at very little cost, not to mention they are super easy to install.