Today's all-wheel-drive enthusiast has it made. Like the mid-'90s Honda fan, nearly every automotive want of the Mitsubishi EVO and Subaru WRX and STi owner is satisfied. Wheels? Yep. Coilovers, anti-sway bars and strut braces? Of course. Boost controllers, fuel pumps, seats and body add-ons? You bet. Turbo and intercooler upgrade kits and engine management systems? Just look around, they're everywhere.
The decision to offer Mitsubishi's Evolution and Subaru's high-end Impreza in the U.S. meant different things to different people. To Mitsubishi and Subaru, it meant bigger profits. To sport compact enthusiasts tired of the sub-200hp FWD platform, it was a godsend. To the aftermarket high-performance industry, well, it meant that a whole new crop of cars was about to emerge, ones with enormous potential given the right tweaks. Tweaks like turbocharger upgrade kits, front-mount intercooler conversions and stand-alone engine management systems. Behold, the definitive AWD turbo kit, intercooler kit and engine management buyer's guide - if you don't see it here, it probably doesn't exist.
AVO Turboworld STi Turbo Upgrade: AVO's big ball bearing, water-cooled, turbocharger for the WRX and STi is a true bolt-on application. Based on their Edge Series design, these turbos are designed from the ground up with improved reliability, performance and response in comparison to OEM units. Included is the famous AVO 15psi adjustable boost actuator, which provides better boost response and maintains consistent boost at higher engine speeds. AVO turbochargers are designed to perform in the harshest conditions and are tested accordingly; each turbo is built to standards exceeding OEM requirements. High-nickel content housings ensure AVO turbos go the distance. AVO turbos are built off of lightweight Garrett compressor and turbine wheels, with knife-like edges for unmatched spooling, yet built strong for reliability. These AVO turbochargers are likely to outlast your engine. AVO offers several variations ranging in sizes from the quick-responding AVO380 that flows 44lbs/min all the way up to the AVO550 that flows as much as 55lbs/min. www.avoturboworld.com
AEM FIC: AEM's Fuel Injector Controller gives users with OBD-II EVOs, WRXs and STis the ability to control ignition timing and fuel delivery without the need for make-shift devices or more expensive stand-alone units. This system works alongside the factory ECU, preventing tuning limitations due to complex factory timing patterns, without so much as causing a check engine light to appear. www.aempower.com
AMS Performance EVO Front-Mount Intercooler Kit: AMS now offers the same intercooler kit used on their own 8-second, 1,000+hp drag car for the EVO VII-IX. If you're putting out over 600 hp, you need the AMS Race Intercooler to lower your intake air temperatures and reduce pressure drop. The kit features a massive 22x12.4x4-inch bar and plate intercooler core that's radiused at its inlets and outlets for smoother airflow and includes polished 3-inch upper and lower intercooler piping designed to bolt up to the AMS VSR Intake manifold. The system is also pre-flanged for TiAL blow-off valves and provides strapping at the inlet and outlet to prevent piping from blowing off at high boost levels. www.amsperformance.com
AMS Performance EVO GT35R Turbo Kit: AMS' most popular turbo kit is based off the Garrett GT35R dual ball bearing turbocharger and fits the EVO VII-IX. The AMS lifetime warranted 304 stainless steel, tubular header and collector promote quick spool-up (3,600-4,200 rpm) and produce maximum power allowing users to take full advantage of the hefty turbo. The GT spools up slightly later than the stock turbo but offers 400+hp potential on 93-octane fuel. More than 650 hp is achievable on race gas. The kit includes a 3-inch stainless steel tubular oxygen sensor housing and downpipe, a recirculated wastegate dumptube paired with a 38mm TiAL wastegate, one-way locking washers to prevent the oxygen sensor housing bolts from backing out, a high-flow slim line fan, and all necessary hardware, intake tubing, lines, silicone couplers and detailed instructions. AMS also offers kits featuring Garrett GT37R, GT3076R, T3/T4 and GT42R turbos with the latter good for more than 900 hp. www.amsperformance.com
AEM EMS: AEM's plug and play Engine Management System plugs directly into EVO VIII and IX and '02-'05 WRX ECU harnesses and requires no additional wiring or hardware. An integrated tuning wizard allows users to create a base map specifically for a car's configuration, regardless of what type of fuel injectors, sensors, coils or other changes have been made. The AEM EMS's infinitely adjustable software allows tuners to program virtually any combination of engine control, power adders and auxiliary devices, and accurately delivers proper amounts of fuel and ignition timing for any boost level or operating condition. www.aempower.com
COBB Tuning AccessPORT: The AccessPORT is a handheld programmer that allows '02 and up WRX and STi owners to unlock their vehicles' hidden potential by reprogramming the stock ECU. A short and guided installation process helps users upgrade their ECUs from stock to one of COBB's performance-oriented tuning maps. Custom tuning is also provided by authorized AccessPORT ProTUNER centers, or users can upgrade to the StreetTUNER package for do-it-yourself tuning. The unit uses the OBD-2 diagnostic port, and requires no cutting or wiring - simply plug and play. The AccessPORT features "Real-Time" mapping, which allows tuning data changes within seconds. Using COBB's off-the-shelf staged maps, the AccessPORT can unlock the Subaru's potential by as much as 50 hp in short order. The AccessPORT also features on-the-fly map switching; sensor data monitoring; trouble code reading and clearing; performance, metering and so much more. www.cobbtuning.com
AVO turboworld WRX/STi Front-Mount Intercooler Kit: AVO spent countless hours researching and developing the correct cast-aluminum end tanks and piping for their '02 and up WRX/STi front-mount intercooler kits. Each is specifically designed and engineered for maximum airflow and feature a large 595x222x90mm core. The results are no-compromise performance with a quick and easy install process. Major cutting or parts relocation isn't necessary here and that includes the battery and OEM driving lights. Piping to and from the turbo and throttle is kept as short as possible. The design of the high-flow bar and plate intercooler ensures that enough air goes past itself and toward the radiator to help keep engine temperatures down. Heavy-duty Kevlar-reinforced rubber piping and cast-aluminum tubes ensure air continues flowing fast and cool throughout. Smooth bends minimize performance-robbing bottlenecks. At 450 hp, intake temperatures drop by nearly 100 degrees centigrade with only a 1psi pressure drop. Each component is also powdercoated, which ensures the system's longevity. www.avoturboworld.com
Buschur Racing EVO Turbo Kit (cast manifold): Buschur Racing's EVO turbo upgrade kit includes everything EVO owners need to improve their 4G63's factory turbo system. The kit includes a Garrett-based ball bearing turbocharger of choice that ranges from smaller 50-trim units to the larger GT35R, Buschur Racing-produced Ni-resist cast exhaust manifold, TiAL 44mm wastegate, stainless steel oxygen sensor housing, low-profile cooling fan, oil lines, gaskets and all the hardware and fittings required for a proper installation. www.buschurracing.com
Buschur Racing EVO Turbo Kit (tubular manifold): The Buschur Racing tubular manifold EVO turbo kit includes everything needed for a proper installation on late model Mitsubishi Evolutions. The star is a Garrett ball bearing turbocharger of choice that can range from the entry level 50-trim on up to the massive GT45R, stainless steel tubular exhaust manifold, TiAL 44mm wastegate, Buschur Racing three-inch downpipe (not shown), stainless steel oxygen sensor housing, low-profile cooling fan, oil lines, gaskets and all the hardware and fittings needed for an installation done right. www.buschurracing.com
Buschur Racing EVO Deluxe Front-Mount Intercooler Kit: Buschur Racing's front-mount intercooler kit requires no cutting or modifications to the vehicle other than minor trimming of the front lower splash shield. The core is rated for 750 hp with a minimum pressure drop of only 0.84 psi. The core is also rated to flow at 1,125 cfm with dimensions measuring in at 24x10.5x3.5 inches. The end tanks and the routing of the intercooler plumbing are what sets this intercooler apart from other kits on the market. Buschur Racing was able to save 20 inches of intercooler plumbing length and five bends from the lower intercooler plumbing alone. This, in conjunction with their upper intercooler pipe kit (sold separately), saves 11 bends and a total of 36 inches in comparison to the OEM intercooler plumbing. Less bends, less restriction, more power. www.buschurracing.com