Souped-Up Subie Showdown—STI Face-Off

For this month’s showdown we have a couple of Subarus, each representing the personal tastes of their respective owners. However, these AWD icons are no standard Subies. In fact, this pair of late model, MagnaFlow equipped WRX STIs represent the pinnacle of Subaru performance vehicles. These road legal rally cars benefit  from over 30 years of experience competing in the World Rally Championship, racing on all kinds of surfaces: from snow, mud and dirt to loose gravel and tarmac. With such motorsport heritage and a well-earned reputation for fairly bulletproof reliability, it’s easy to understand why people love their Subarus so much, especially both the WRX and its even faster sibling, the WRX STI.

True Blue


Subaru WRX STI

First up is Emma Landree (Ig: @subiemma), whose Subaru’s WR Pearl Blue paintjob evokes the brand’s World Rally Championship STIs. When we asked her why she chose this car, she said, “I have been a Subaru girl since I can remember.  Since the Bugeye hit the market back in the early 2000s I just fell in love. I love the go kart feel they have and the dependability. I have had no issues with my STI, and it doesn’t skip a beat. I was in a head on car accident back in 2018 in a Bugeye WRX and I was able to walk away with a few broken bones and bruises. The paramedics and doctors said I would have sustained more injuries if I wasn’t in a Subaru. I will forever be in debt to them. I have met lifelong friends through the Subaru community. This build and the memories I’ve made with it will last a lifetime. I absolutely love this car.” 

Emma’s love for her Subaru can be seen in the many personal touches she’s made to the vehicle so far, including suspension improvements such as a set of Fortune Auto 500 coils with swift springs, SPC lower control arms and Kartboy end links, as well as a set of 18” Enkei NT03M wheels and 245/35 tires. A set of Hawk ceramic brake pads and Fortune Auto slotted rotors front and rear round out the handling upgrades.

When it came to swapping out the exhaust, Emma opted for a complete exhaust system without compromises: the MagnaFlow xMOD Series Cat-Back Performance Exhaust System (#19547). This kit offers Emma multiple modules that she can switch between with a few turns of a wrench, each bringing a completely different sound and character to the car’s exhaust note.

Emma’s biggest complaint before the upgrade was that “the drone from the stock exhaust was getting old.” She loves that the xMOD system’s integrated No Drone Technology (NDT) and NDT module. Most importantly: “This exhaust brings you peace and quiet in the cabin while maintaining the classic sound of a boxer engine.” The car is in the process of getting some additional power upgrades.

Cosmetic enhancements include a JDMuscle carbon fiber grille, New Provisions Racing fog lights and carbon fiber mirrors, gloss black Bayson R CS lip and carbon fiber trunk trim, aerodynamic side skirts, OEM rain guards, APR carbon fiber license plate backing, IcyAero short fin diffuser, a duckbill from Amazon and a Carbon Reproductions carbon fiber roof spoiler. The interior features SubieBros carbon fiber steering wheel and shift knob, as well as a short throw shifter and upgraded Subaru Forester Sport red dash trim.

Dark Mode


Subaru WRX STI

YouTuber TJ Shoop (Ig: tjshoop_sti) took a different aesthetic approach with his carbon-on-black STI, which comes across as both tasteful and striking whether it’s tearing down the street or merely parked in a lot. Like Emma, TJ has had a great experience owning previous Subarus.

Also, like Emma, his previous Subaru was a WRX, which he owned for about five years. He eventually traded in his old WRX for a 2018 Camaro SS 1LE but decided after four months that what he really wanted was an even faster Subaru and traded it in for this 2020 STI.

In addition to upgrading to a MagnaFlow Competition Series Performance Exhaust (#19361), TJ has made several cosmetic and suspension modification to the car. These include an Airlight 3p air suspension system, 18” Enkei RS05RR wheels, Hankook Ventus V12 235/40/19 tires, Megan Racing rear lower control and toe arms, and a CS Style carbon fiber front lip.

Subaru WRX STI with MagnaFlow Competition Series Exhaust System

TJ went with a MagnaFlow Competition Series exhaust system because he was looking for an affordable 3” exhaust with quad tips and a far less muffled sound. According to TJ, “When I found this exhaust and knowing the great reputation of MagnaFlow I knew I had to give it a go. I wouldn’t trade it for any other exhaust.”

Interested in seeing more of TJ’s Subaru? Check out his YouTube channel: TJ Shoop. He has a video there where he shows how simple it is to install the Competition Series system and gives viewers a sample of how the exhaust sounds.

More MagnaFlow for Subarus!


Sidenote: If you own a 2022 Subaru WRX and like the way TJ’s STI sounds, we’ve got great news! MagnaFlow recently released two 2022 Subaru WRX Competition Series Cat-Back Performance Exhaust Systems (#19608 & #19609), which bring that same great sound and performance that MagnaFlow is known for to your 2022 WRX, this time with quad split 4” black chrome tips.

MagnaFlow 2022 Subaru WRX Competition Series Cat-Back Performance Exhaust Systems


Which STI Caught Your Eye?


Do you prefer Emma’s classically blue-hued rally-bred beast or TJ’s AWD Dark Knight? Which one has your vote? Leave us a comment on Instagram and let us know. Interested in being featured in one of our future matchups? Make sure to tag us in your Instagram post with #MagnaFlow for your own chance to compete.