Underhood, Undercover– 2022+ Subaru WRX Underhood Panels – Pulley Cover
There’s more to performance than speed. Sure, we enthusiasts are aiming for the optimal cornering or reducing the 0-60 time, but we want more. These speed machines obviously need to look good while sweeping through corners or hard parked at the local cars and coffee. When it comes to aesthetic performance, there’s something to be said about a vehicle’s ability to elicit wide eyes and dropped jaws. These VB WRXs came underrated in ‘wow-power’ from the factory, but we have a plan to rectify this.
Popping the hood on your 2022+ WRX reveals an intercooler island surrounded by a sea of drab plastic in various shades of greyscale that doesn’t exactly tip any scales of excitement. But the WRX is supposed to be an exciting mode of transportation, so we wanted the engine bay to match the energy of the WRX’s reputation. So our makeover starts with beautifying the austere pulley cover.
We begin in Solidworks. Using the Faro Design ScanArm, our engineer, Mitch, captured a digital replica of the WRX’s engine bay that he uses to start drawing up the new design. Our engineers can draw up and rework their design visions on the virtual workbench without using a scrap of physical material, which streamlines our entire process. Once the digital design is finalized, we head to our fabrication shop to bring our 3D model to life.
The first iteration of our pulley cover’s physical manifestation was made from sheet steel and started life on our water jet. This computer-controlled robotic arm spits a combination of water and crushed garnet through a nozzle at upwards of 60,000 psi to precisely slice complex designs from just about any material. Then, fresh from the jet, our fabricator, Mike, bends our prototype into shape for a final test fit on our WRX.
With the final fit Mitch approved, we sent our design to mass production, with the first production sample already here in the facility. While we did make some adjustments since the prototype, the overall design should look familiar. We squared off some of the back edges to leave more room for growth for other upgrades and favored a simple screen-printed logo over the cutout for a cleaner look. Finally, these pulley covers keep the look OEM+ with a slick micro-wrinkle black powder coat and a design cutout that matches the front grille.
Performance covers much more in the automotive world than speed. Style and aesthetics are equally as vital, and, let’s face it; your car can look cool at any speed. There’s still plenty of work to beautify the VB WRX’s engine bay, but swapping out the dull OEM pulley cover for our new design is a start. Make sure you stay tuned for our other underhood projects that improve both aspects of performance, like our intake and intercooler and drop a comment below for any colors or other engine bay panels you’d like to see for your 2022+ WRX. While you’re at it, make sure that you grab your pulley cover today!