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FA20 engine and the EJ257 my take!

8777 Views 23 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  livid_wrx
First as some of you know im thinking about getting back into a Subaru. Ive been away for a couple years driving around in some American muscle. Since ive been away a lot has changed. The new gen WRX/STI came out in 2015 and with that the new FA20 was born in the WRX while the STI stayed the same with its EJ257. With that ive been looking at both of these cars closely as im in need of an awd car for the winter. Im going to say something that might offend some new gen WRX owners. I feel like with the new FA20 engine in the WRX has no soul... It no longer has that beautiful boxer sound track. Yes it may be a great fuel efficient engine and time will tell how durable it is but it sounds quite , raspy when reved and soulless.. To me buying a WRX/STI the boxer growl is a huge part of it. It would be like Harley Davidson redesigning there vtwin in a way that it ran quiet just for better feul economy. That would suck. I dont buy performance cars for feul economy. I pray they dont ruin the STI with a quite DI feul efficient thing with no soul. Instead i pray they keep the same EJ257 engine and just improve it. They can easily raise the power level from the factory just like the professional tuning shops do with no issues. Notice i said professional tuning shops. Yes because there are plenty of crap shops that tune these cars and cause engine problems because there not knowledgeable enough. Theres a lot more involved in just changing downpipe even. Like if you go with a catted down pipe it can turn solid restrict airflow and cause major problems. Or go with a biger turbo and bigger injectors but dont change the fuel line to match the higher flow. Yes some tunning shops are that dumb. With these cars it only takes one small mistake and bang there goes the engine. But in the hands of a pro the EJ257 is a beast. And the STI drive train stock can handle a ton of power. I was behind a regular new gen WRX 3 days ago driving in town. It barley made any sound and when it did it sounded like a Ford focus. This amoung other reasons is why the STI is the clear choice for me if i do buy another subie in the near future. And to be clear this is just my opinion and the way i feel im not bashing anyones car and we all have different taste.
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As aa forewarning: Everyone is to remain civil in this thread. No bashing.

. They can easily raise the power level from the factory just like the professional tuning shops do with no issues. Notice i said professional tuning shops.
Unfortunately they really can't. Aftermarket tuning companies are not burdened by increasingly stringent CAFE and EPA regulations. Subaru, fortunately, is required to conform to these regs.

The EJ257 is long in the tooth. I can agree with your assessment on character, but the approaching 2020 EPA squeeze will probably force the engine out.

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I totally understand the EPA and other regs. But the EJ257 is still passing them or it wouldn't be in the car. I know tuning shops do not have to follow them and make sick horsepower but i was trying to say that i think the factory can at least tweek it to 320hp just for sales and still be ok. And then for those who want more power take it to a professional tuner. I personally would rather that then lose the famous Boxer sound. That sound is one of the things that makes the WRX so popular. And if they do make another brand new engine to replace it they need it to still make that boxer sound.
The cars I currently own will be driven until they die. Then I hope to buy a fully electric or alternate propulsion Subaru.

I think (hope?) I'm done with internal combustion after this.

Everyone will be done with internal combustion sooner or later. Subaru had best start sooner IMO. Do away with their current engines entirely ASAP. DI is a stop gap not a solution.

Just IMO.
^ Lol.... And everyone should go Vegan too!
^ Lol.... And everyone should go Vegan too!
I'm not sure I understand the comparison.

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I was just kidding around. But the comparison was doing away with combustion and fuel and oil for the environment is along the same mind frame and trend of doing away with eating meat to be animal freindly. Just think if and when every vehicle goes electric how boring its going to be. And then the vehicles will drive themselves and passengers will just sit there like a zombie. Yay... sounds so exciting. Lol....
Frankly, you don't know how boring it will be.

I find electric go karts exciting.

We, as humans, are an exceptionally wasteful and destructive species... extirpating animal species and habits (even other humans) in our quest for expansion.

I'm ready for more co-habitive energy and transportation options personally.

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The internal combustion engine being isn't long for this world. At least as far as mass produced vehicles goes.

I love my 'boxer rumble,' but that era is about over. If it's that important to you, I strongly suggest you buy a new STI and hang on to it. While everyone else was complaining about the EJ motor being retained in the new STI's, I was ordering mine while it still maintained that portion of nostalgia. Even so, I'll likely one day make the switch to an equal length header if I want to make any reliable power past your standard down pipe and tune "stage 2" setup.
I was just kidding around. But the comparison was doing away with combustion and fuel and oil for the environment is along the same mind frame and trend of doing away with eating meat to be animal freindly. Just think if and when every vehicle goes electric how boring its going to be. And then the vehicles will drive themselves and passengers will just sit there like a zombie. Yay... sounds so exciting. Lol....
Sorry I don't follow the analogy.

Eating meat is a choice.

Internal combustion engines will not be a choice for long.
The fracking revolution means that thankfully the internal combustion engine is not going away anytime soon. Yes, I am sure it will eventually be replaced but it ain't happening very soon.

Relatively cheap easy power production such as from traditional fuels has been a big part of the wealth creation in much of the world the last 2 centuries. It is a big part of what helped many places like the US make huge gains in productivity (The big reason wages are higher in the US).

Forcing less economically efficient, more expensive (and often not more "green" all things considered, see: ethanol) options by mandate, actually results a in a reduction in the living standards of everyone, misallocation of resources and less wealth creation in the future than would be otherwise.

While it is true that the absolute poverty rate in the world has dropped by something like 50% in recent decades, I don't think limiting wealth creation in the world or the productive capacity of those who are only now emerging from that abject poverty (by forcing less economic efficiency) is particularly moral road to take.

Purposely limiting wealth creation has other negative effects as well. Greater affluence typically leads to higher living standards and lower infant mortality rates. Greater affluence, higher living standards and lower infant mortality rates all lead to lower population growth and eventually contraction of population as can be observed in all the more affluent nations. Only immigration has allowed some affluent nations to maintain population growth. So if one truly believes humans are a big negative on the world in many ways, one probably should be in favor of greater affluence not less.

Greater affluence not only means less population but typically leads to a demands for greater care of the environment. This can be observed in the most affluent countries all over the world. Just as importantly greater affluence enables those folks to actual have the resources to follow through on their desire to take better care of the environment. Things like paying for exploration of new technologies in cars that are more efficient and economically viable.
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^ As of right now internal combustion engines are a choice as well. I doubt any of us will be around for the complete revamp of the auto industry to everything electric. I pray im not. I love engines, Loud Harleys, Muscle cars and everything else similar. And for the people that think all the combustion engines going away will help the environment dont wory the Cascadia Subduction Zone will go nuts and the Juan de fuca plate will slip out from the North American plate activating most of the monster Volcanos all through the Cascadia mountains from Washington and the way down to Northern California blasting billions of tons of pollution into the atmosphere way more then any motor vehicles will ever do especially with the strict emissions these days. As people are a destructive force so is mother nature! !
Juan de fuca
Ιωάννης Φωκάς! One of my heroes. Off topic sorry.
This entire thread went off topic.. Lol
My fault sorry!
I've always been one to place a premium on performance . . . and honestly, while the Subaru rumble is nice, I value the better gas mileage and low-down torque in the FA engine vs. the older engine. It's not for everyone to be sure, but since I am using my car for a 66-mile round trip commute year-round gas mileage (along with a decent handling car) was one of the things I looked at when I was shopping for a new car. If it means giving up the sound . . . I'm OK with that.
My brother has a 2014 wrx and it is what prompted to me to make the switch to subaru. I really liked his car. 2 years later I purchased a 2016. I liked the redesigned body and interior. At the time I was not terribly familiar with the new engine. Like firefighterjake I daily drive mine and put about 40 to 50 miles a day so I was happy to see the increased fuel rating. However, after driving my 2016 for almost a year and then getting back into his with the EJ I must say I got much more of a thrill/ excitement out of the previous Gen with the EJ. The FA does indeed feel a little to tame and "soul less" but i guess it is what it is. I am not going to be trading down to a 2014 any time soon.
Ever since I drove a colleague's Tesla Model S, I was sold on electric cars. The low end torque and smoothness of an electric motor is a very different feel than an internal combustion engine. Yeah, it lacks a third pedal and is as quiet as a mouse fart, but I think that is part of the appeal of electric cars. Honestly, I would welcome an electric WRX/STI. I don't know how fast a Models S can be, but my butt-dyno says it is a fair bit faster than my WRX. I chose the WRX because I have always wanted one since they came to the US, and it was half the price of the Model S I would have bought (if I could afford one). I hear BMW and some other makes use the sound system to enhance the engine sound. Perhaps play the Subi rumble in that manner? That would be really lame....
Yeah im definitely not knocking anyone's decision or what they like. And of course the extra fuel economy of the FA is great. But for me i just love my performance cars to sing. Especially a manual car. Thats half the fun rowing through the gears and listening to the exhaust note. Ill definitely miss my Challenger Scat Pack if i do trade it for the STI. But the AWD and that sweet STI boxer sound will help make it a little easier.
I think Subaru made changes to a) improve gas mileage, which every manufacturer is under pressure to do, and b) appeal to a broader segment of buyers than just fanboys (no offense).

After the 2015 redesign the WRX/STI annual sales numbers jumped from 25K to 34K. They actually quadrupled their numbers from 2010!

I think it is to their credit that they can redesign the car in such a way as to upgrade certain basic features like the interior trim and exterior design elements, plus the powertrain, while keeping it still a performance car. There is still the opportunity for modifying it aftermarket--wouldn't a new exhaust fix any deficiencies in that department?

For the future I don't think the internal combustion engine will disappear in my lifetime. Tesla is a good model for how electric cars can be made which are exciting to drive, and maybe Subie will head down this path. Or may they'll pursue a hybrid engine (ala Volvo and BMW).
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