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How a Loud Exhaust and COVID-19 Lead to a Car Review

Updated: Dec 12, 2020

It’s been a while since we’ve reviewed a car. A long while. So long actually that I forgot how it feels to launch off a stop sign and rip through the gears. It’s a great feeling, especially in a car as raw as this one we are about to share with you.

You’re probably wondering about the title of this review too. It has an interesting backstory because of COVID-19 and everyone’s work schedule being odd and some people are working from home altogether now. I was at home doing schoolwork one day, and I heard something.

A rumble, a loud rumble that only one kind of car can make so well, a Subaru, a 2006 WRX STI at that. Every day at the same time this car would rip by the house, with remarks like, “Wow, who’s is that?” and, “That thing is loud!” being passed around the table as we droned on with our daily grind work.

After seeing (and hearing) the car for long enough I reached out to Liam Flynn @liamflynn94 on Instagram to find out who the owner of this beastly car was. With a few short minutes of networking research, we had found him!

Yes, the car community is dang close and I know this is boarder-line "creepy" but the SFCN team had to know who was responsible for this beauty of a machine!

But before we get too far into the car, let’s finish the title with "Part 1 of 2". This is a before and after review of the STI. Just after this review was written, the car was swapped with a new turbo and intercooler, along with a few other goodies, bringing the power up to over 100 HP more than it was at the time of the review. We will write a "Part 2" with the new parts installed and how satisfying the results of the tune and dyno work was. Stay tuned (no pun intended) for that piece!

Now back to this review. After hooking up with Brian @alotlikevegas03 on Instagram, we rushed to plan the review. The night before we shot him a message asking if Saturday would work, he was in, and we were excited. Around 1 pm Saturday, Brian pulled into the driveway of the world SFCN headquarters, and boy was his car gorgeous, rumbly exhaust, tires and fitment so wide that they stuck far out of the fenders, and not to mention a rust-free body and engine bay, spotless.

People see a lot of these cars get ‘ruined’ with carbon fiber parts, too-big wings, and other extreme cosmetic mods.

This care was the opposite, as clean as they get, Brian bought the car with only 51,000 miles, not too bad for a nearly 14-year-old car. Let’s get to the quite extensive mind-blowing modification list below:



  • Invidia Catless Downpipe Open Bellmouth with full Invidia N1 race exhaust

  • Grimmspeed EWG Uppipe/Dump Tube

  • Perrin Equal Length Headers

  • Forced Performance Red Turbo 10cm Housing/Ported

  • Grimmspeed Boost Control Solenoid

  • Tial Waste Gate

Air Systems:

  • Cobb Short Ram SF Intake With Airbox

  • ETS TMIC with Grimmspeed Hood Scoop Duct

  • IAG Top Feed TGV Deletes

  • Forced Performance 84” Silicon Turbo Inlet

  • JCR Turbo Blanket

  • OEM Intake Manifold


Fuel System:

  • AEM high flow fuel pump

  • ID 1050x 1000 CC Injectors

  • IAG top feed fuel rails

  • Braided fuel lines and AN Fittings


  • OEM Heads, ARP Head Stud Kit

  • IAG-ENG-1213; IAG Stage 2 Tuff EJ Short Block (w/ New OEM)

  • Case Halves, IAG-Spec JE 99.75mm Pistons, IAG-Spec H-Beam

  • Rods, Bearings, STI Crank

  • IAG-ENG-2081; IAG Performance Oil Pickup

  • FHI Oil Pump HHM Subaru

  • Grimmspeed Oil Air Separator


  • Exedy Stage 1 Heavy Duty Clutch

  • BC Racing Coilovers

  • Cosmis XT206R 17x8 Hyper Bronze Wheels

  • Noble Performance 20mm 5x114.3 Wheel Spacers

  • OEM Transmission

  • OEM CV Axles

  • OEM Differential


  • Defi Boost, Oil Pressure, and Exhaust Temp sensors/gauges

  • Defi Link Advance Control Unit

  • AEM X-Series Wideband A/F Sensor and gauge w/ Visconti Tuning Rear O2 Harness

Whew, that was a huge list, just goes to show how much work was put into this car. It was already tuned when Brian got it, and after an issue with ring-land failure, he fully rebuilt the engine and threw even more mods on. This is a Canadian market car, so the speedo is in kilometers, which threw me off when he nailed it on the first straight. Once he saw the car in person for the first time, 7 days later it was in Brian’s garage, despite the importing process which he claims didn’t take painstakingly too long.


I can go on and on about the modifications and numbers on this car, but the biggest shocker is the way it feels. If you were to throw someone into it and just floor it, they would have no idea it was making only 300 horsepower. Once you nail it, it takes a second, obviously because of the single turbo, but once you get to just over 5,000rpm, acceleration hits so hard you don’t even know what happened and the Evo you were just racing is a bus-length behind you. (Imagine how it feels after the new turbo setup!)

Does it handle? Definitely! And it keeps handling well at high speeds, we weren’t braking too hard or cornering too fast for legal reasons and our personal safety but it still does well, especially for being, as I mentioned before, a nearly 14-year-old car. Although we got to hear the 2-step, it is rendered useless because the tires grip so hard and the clutch is incredibly strong, something would break on the launch, either clutch slip or another part in the drivetrain would be bound to snap or break. Get excited about the new turbo, because the Subie will be coming back with even more power and more than 20psi of boost! Stay tuned for Part 2!

For more pics, to hear a clip of the 2-step, and to see some pulls, check out our Instagram @superfastcarnews

*All interactions and reviews are done with 100% safety for the owners of the cars we work with and our SFCN crew. Social distancing is a must for us and we are always wearing PPE to keep everyone safe.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, SFCN will receive an affiliate commission. It's ok though! All the stuff we reference here is legit and from great companies and individuals.

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