Subaru Legacy (to) STi

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A while ago we bought a new car – a Subaru Legacy GT-B. It was pretty much right-on-the-money of what we were after, except the sunroof. In this post, I mentioned elusive Legacy STi. The other day, out of curiosity, I had a look into what this elusive car was and how it’s different to what we have.

This post at car scoop has the best description of what the Legacy STi is (or more correctly, the Legacy S402) with some good photos.

Looking through the article, it seems that the following bits and bobs set the S402 apart from what I have:


2.5L engine versus my 2.0L one. Can’t do much about that. Or can I…see below.

STi brakes – think they are rebranded Bremen performance brakes. Mine just has the Subaru OEM brakes.

Bilstein shocks – I have these. Red suspension: dunno, who cares, its a bit of metal.

Front tower bar – see below.

Rear version of the above.

The CarScoop article also mentioned:

  • Enhanced steering.
  • Some nice tyres.

Cosmetic Bits:

These bits I’m not so interested in. Some of them are ‘nice’, but most – the S402 ones and STi badges for example – are fine on the authentic S402s, but I am not sure they should have a place elsewhere.

‘+20mm’ flared arches/ fenders. Can’t do much about this. I like it though. My car is black so I say it all get’s lost in the shadow 😉 I do wonder about that little black tab in front of the rear wheel. Mine has those… well it has one: the other fell off and it in the glove compartment.

18″ wheels. Pretty sure mine are actually the same as (or better than) these. Not a massive fan of the pink STI anyway.

I lose my keys. I do not need this button.

I do quite like this carbon fibre (mock carbon fibre?) front deflector thing

Not useful, other than as a dog chew (assuming its real leather). Actually, not sure the dog would give a damn.

To Dos

I was watching some random YouTube show about some Australian guys who had stuck a Honda VTEC engine in an old mini. They kept on mentioning JDMs. I’d never heard of a JDM (it’s not a New Zealand-ism), but reading through the Wikipedia article was enlightening. It turns out Japanese domestic vehicles (Da Da!!! JDM) were historically limited to 280BHP (self-imposed by manufacturers and lifted in  2004) and remain limited to 180KPH. To be honest I, I have no interested in going 180kph+ (or even near there), but I do like good acceleration, which is all about power really, physics-wise.

Although my car (2006) and the S402 (2008) are post-2004 they are both 4th-gen legacies. This generation was introduced in 2003 so it’s probably no coincidence that around about 280BHP is the quoted power for both: the limit still stood when the 4th gen was introduced. Also, realistically, with an additional 0.5L engine capacity the S402 should see my cat in a game of top trumps. I figure they can’t both have the same number of horses under the bonnet right? Got me wondering what a twin scroll turbo charged 2.0L engine can do…

So I googled, “How can I make my Subaru Legacy go faster?”.  I know I know – it’s weird/ macho. “Why do you want to drive faster, harder etc”. The Answer is that I don’t really. I just like the engineering aspect of it, and I like the exhilaration and freedom of it, I suppose.

Anyway, this is my wish-list:


  • de-cat the up pipe
  • upgrade ECU

These two easy mods that’ll boost power beyond the 280BHP ceiling.

  • Bremen/Sti brakes if  possible
  • New tyres, when the ones I have need replacing.
  • Nitro…nah, just kidding. That would be cool though.


Am pretty happy with how my car looks. I am not a massive fan of amateur after-market stick-ons. I would be happier if the following would just –STOP-:

  1. my dog (her claws on the paint when she is in head-out-of-window mode)
  2. my wife ( I think it is here engagement ring scratching the door) and,
  3. arseholes (kids and old people) using my car as a door stop in car parks

Other than that, I am tempted by:

  • The S402 front diffuser
  • The S402 air vents on the above and behind the front wheels.

Of these, the first is the most realistically do-able. I did entertain the idea of making the vents on my 3D printer but the idea of hacking a hole in the body work for something that does nothing. Hum? Risky.



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