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Ok. Thanks for the answers in the previous thread. Very helpful.

To focus on the question of adding the STI exhaust to a 2018 wrx premium vs adding an aftermarket exhaust:

I understand there will be no performance gains from adding the STI exhaust. But I like the idea of a better sounding car with a factory warranty. My goal is to get a better sound - that is subtle at idle. In other words I want my car to sound good, but I don't want it to sound stupid when I pull up at work.

1) will an aftermarket exhaust void my warranty ?
2) I might go to stage 1 or 2 after my 36,000 mile warranty expires. Will a 3 inch exhaust help with a stage 1 tune?
3) does a 3 inch exhaust provide any performance benefit to a stock wrx?

Based on what I am looking for: better sound and maybe a tune down the road, Should I get the STI exhaust from the dealer or put on an aftermarket exhaust ?

I understand the sti exhaust is basically an expensive noise maker. Is there a better noice maker I can get installed for under $1000 - that improves performance and/ or might work better with a stage 1 or 2 tune -and provides a better engine note without being too loud?
 

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I understand there will be no performance gains from adding the STI exhaust. But I like the idea of a better sounding car with a factory warranty.
It won't make much difference in the sound of your car.

1) will an aftermarket exhaust void my warranty ?
Warranties don't work like that.

2) I might go to stage 1 or 2 after my 36,000 mile warranty expires. Will a 3 inch exhaust help with a stage 1 tune?
No

3) does a 3 inch exhaust provide any performance benefit to a stock wrx?
Typically the performance is gaind from the downpipe. I'm sure at a certain point the cat back begins to become a limiting point but in general no.

Should I get the STI exhaust from the dealer or put on an aftermarket exhaust ?
Aftermarket. The sti exhaust isn't going to make much if any difference.

I understand the sti exhaust is basically an expensive noise maker. Is there a better noice maker I can get installed for under $1000 - that improves performance and/ or might work better with a stage 1 or 2 tune -and provides a better engine note without being too loud?
There are tons of better exhausts out there. It needs to be clear as it's a running theme in this post. You will not see any tangible performance gain from a cat back exhaust. Loud is subjective. People don't think straight pipes are loud. Generic stage 1 or 2 tunes will see no benefit or loss from the exhaust.
 
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