Did we just shove two WRXes into one issue? Yes? Are they the same WRX? Technically, yes. Are we nuts? Maybe. Besides, we did mention that the third generation Impreza WRX had two body styles, and we shall honour them both.
There are two things that set the hatchback third-gen Impreza WRX apart from the sedan. One, Ken Block had one. Two, it has an automatic option sold here, called the A-line. Pardon our obsession with Ken Block.
And with the hordes of the beefed-up, muscular look of the WRX STi edition, this super-cleaned and butter-waxed example looks more of a show car than a track car. Behind that piano black finish, it is hard to believe that the owner loves to push his ride on trackdays – given the number of flying shrapnel in the air.
Without gutting out the entire engine and going through the long, arduous process of tuning and re-tuning, one can still improve on the factory with some bolt on modifications to improve the performance. Granted, it makes a smaller difference, but this car has to be comfortable enough to keep parents happy and do a mind-blowing Sepang lap. It’s a very fine line of sacrifice to walk on…
Focusing more on engine health than power, many of the modification parts focus on cooling, airflow as well as handling. Comparing this to the sedan on the cover, this hatch is as docile as a sleeping tiger. But it won’t hesitate to bite you at any moment.
With the exhaust burbling away, the turbo spools to a shriek with the free-flow intake. Around the turns, Yellowspeed coilovers give it knife-edge cornering abilities while providing customisable levels of setting adjustments with its multi-stage damping. The stock front and rear anti-roll bars are replaced with thicker ones from Whiteline. Chassis flex is kept to a minimum with the addition of Cusco power braces and a Whiteline Rear Sway Bar Support kit. This allows for precise suspension settings to be maintained throughout, which also maximizes the performance of the Yokohama AD08R rubber.
As with all turbocharged rides that run much hotter than their naturally aspirated counterparts, engine temperature is always an issue. Hence, doing a better job of keeping internal temperatures stable is the job of the thicker aluminium radiator as well as the oil cooler.
Putting a number to the heat is the Defi ZD meter inside, along with the boost on a separate gauge. A boost controller allows him to switch between driving moods, but the Bride seats and racing harness will be a clear reminder to what he really wants in life… a lot of fun, joy and squealing tyres.
Exterior mods can be done beautifully, here, we find the a lot of carbon fiber on the front, for good reason – weight reduction and hot air ventilation. Smaller touches, such as the front splitter, grille, vents, vortex generator and the twin exhaust guards do give this black beauty a mean overall look.
The third generation WRX is truly a unique machine. With the hatchback redefining the WRX blood, many have fallen in love with its one-of-a-kind design that makes one take a second glance. Of course, those who didn’t like it, could choose the sedan. Whatever the choice, be one with the force.
Subaru Impreza WRX
Biltz aluminium radiator
HKS suction reload
HKS oil cooler
Perrin alternator cover
Perrin boost solenoid cover
HKS twin exhaust system
Zerosports top mount intercooler splitter
Yellowspeed fully adjustable coilovers
Whiteline anti roll bars
Cusco front power brace
Whiteline Rear Sway Bar Support kit
Cusco camber arm
Carbing front strut bar with brake stopper
Advan RZ 18×9 with Advan AD08R 245/40/18
Defi Advance BF boost gauge
Pionner double din HU
Apexi AVCR boost controller
Bride Low Max bucket seats
Takata racing harness
Varis full CF bonnet
Varis CF side skirt
Varis full CF front underlip
Seibon CF front grille
Facelifted 2011 bumper
Chargespeed CF front bumper wide vents
Chargespeed Voltex Generator
Original STi twin exhaust guards