Remember Your Roots – 2022+ Subaru WRX Performance Intake R&D, Part 2 – Prototyping

Remember Your Roots – 2022+ Subaru WRX Performance Intake R&D, Part 2 – Prototyping

Most would jump at the chance to relive their rambunctious youth and dive back into those nostalgic core memories that have turned into lively stories with old friends. Some, though, would be harder to convince, like the VB WRX. This former Scandi-flicking, boxer-growling, rally racing bad-boy has turned grown-up family man and is content with leaving that lifestyle behind. We like to think that we’re pretty convincing, though, and feel we can entice that rally-racer inspiration out with the help of a new intake.

Our negotiations kick off with the start of our prototype. With our design plans solidified in our last post, we dove straight into bringing the preliminary versions of this intake to life right here in the R&D facility. 

Fabrication started with our inlet tube. While we plan to mandrel bend our final design, utilizing the cut and weld method will deliver the needed results at this stage of our development process. Basically, we need to ensure this pipe design will fit in this WRX before we can even think about bending metal. 

The other aspect of this inlet pipe is the integrated MAF housing. Since our engineering team has experience with the sensor that Subaru utilized for the FA24, they adapted the MAF housing we used during our Honda Accord 2.0T intake development as a starting point for our testing procedures. Since we previously adjusted a new housing to work with this sensor without a detrimental effect on the long-term fuel trims and air-fuel ratio with the Accord’s tuning, we deemed this housing size to be an optimal starting point. We’ll see if it requires further adjustment once we head to the dyno.

With our inlet fully fabricated, and the air filter selected, our focus turned to shielding the intake system from heat. To strike the best balance between protection and amplifying the boxer’s bellow, we opted for a sheet metal airbox that we could fabricate prototypes in-house. Our airbox prototype was a quick cut on our waterjet and bent into place for a functional heat shield in our WRX’s engine bay.

Our prototype’s lid may be sheet metal now, but our final product will feature a clear lid to inspect the filter quickly. In addition, we designed our airbox to match right up to the OEM scoop for the best source of fresh air.

Usually, our prototyping phase is primarily for triple-checking our work to ensure that the new design fits properly. In this case, however, our prototype is fully functional so we can get a jump start on our performance testing. So make sure you stick around for a look into our testing process in the next post. 

Thanks for Reading!