I’ve always been more into the regular JDM STI grill, because of the more rounded 3d appearance, but this rare Prodrive UK piece is one of the few grills that makes me rethink that. It’s part of a 3-piece grill set that can use the stock side-pieces (or any other side piece that permits a factory-sized center grill piece). Pretty hard to top, rarer than the STI grill, comes factory from Subaru on the STI-Prodrive model, and as shown here flows magnificently with the Aqua reverse Hoodscoop and STI version 2 lip. Add some SSR Professor SP1 and you’re ready to roll – in true ‘Panda style.’
Two of the most love-it-or-hate-it things come together: Zerosports grill and LED retrofit. The result: I kind of dig it. Not something I’d run out and do tomorrow personally, but doesn’t look bad.
’02 WRB WRX Wagon: Blue Meanie
From the owner: ”When I got this grille I felt the same as you, like something was missing, so just out of curiosity I pulled these LEDs out and they fit perfectly. I ended up dremeling out the holes a tiny bit just to get them to fit more flush but they literally just snap in. Also fit perfectly into the DRLs too!”
This is the part. Be warned it’s from APC >.<
The Zerosports grill has always looked like it was missing something with the three holes on either side – perhaps trying to echo the lines of the three holes on either side of the bugeye sedan bumper. Oddly enough LED’s fit the holes perfectly (I’d probably skip the parking light LED)
Rare full Zerosports lip kit
Over the years the grill was the runaway success of the company’s aero offerings for the GD Impreza. Even the grill commonly known as the “Liberal replica” is in actuality a Zerosport grill with the holes shaved off (which just by coincidence looks like the Liberal grill).
Wedsport SA55M wheels, Zerosports grille, CWEST carbon headlight covers for JDM projectors…
Just came across this today – Apparently the JUN bumper (of JUN super lemon GDB time attack car fame) is back again in replica form
I actually had one my own bugeye at one point
^ ^ my cah
the JUN replica:
all carbon fiber model
More info on the JUN piece – A-Class Blog
This part was thought to be extinct for a long time… Gruppe-S produced replicas once several years ago, and JUN itself stopped all production of the $1000 original piece.
Now the part can be had from “Chaser Aero.” The company itself is a “replica kit” company which typically I DON’T support and quality is unknown. But here the part can’t be purchased new anymore from JUN, so it isn’t really losing a sale in the process.
First apologies for the lack of updates – been studying for a professional licensing exam and traveling lately. Don’t worry that this blog won’t ever go the way of JTuned and some of the other ones – just might be gaps here and there depending on my level of going crazy with work.
Came across this part from Stage21 during a recent Minkara dive – it’s similar to the rear window spoiler that you’ve undoubtably seen in the past 2 years but some key differences
Made by Stage21 of Japan:
It could just be the picture, but it seems to stick out a bit more, and doesn’t have the breaks on the side before meeting the side of the glass.
-vs- The usual rear window spoiler that you always see**:
** There are a number of different iterations of this spoiler. It first came onto the Subaru scene in 2002 when people realized that an AC Schnitzer BMW M3 rear window spoiler would “kind of fit” a GD WRX’s back glass. A few people on Nasioc started making their own versions that fit the WRX’s lines better. Can be bought on ebay or from Subaru vendors.
AC Schnitzer rear window spoiler on a BMW (ever wonder what that rectangle imprint was for):
Stage 21 has some other nifty parts for the GD WRX
– wide(-er) vented front fenders (the kind of wide fenders that can be used with OEM rear fenders and still look normal)
– one of the best-fitting v-limited spoilers for the Bugeye that I’ve yet come across.
When you can’t decide on one:
Front: Advan Racing RG
Rear: Advan Racing RGII
There are decidedly fewer options out there for external modification if you own a WRX wagon. This is because while the wagon and sedan have the same powertrain, on the outside there are some key differences: The WRX sedan’s bumper is wider and differently shaped to accommodate its wider fenders. Unfortunately this means that aftermarket sedan lips and bumpers are too wide for the wagon bumper and fenders. Even though the WRX wagon bumper in my opinion looks nicer than the sedan’s bumper, fewer companies make parts for the wagon.
There have been some workarounds – many people swap to sedan front fenders/bumper (bolt-on mod) to take advantage of sedan parts up front (however it’s more expensive than adding a simple lip, and possibly looks unbalanced without the rear sedan fenders – which can also be added, but not a bolt-on, and very expensive)
For those that don’t want to go through all that trouble I’m a big fan of these mods for the wagon – it’s probably how I would modify a bugeye wagon if I had one:
OEM Sedan 3-piece rear lip / diffuser – custom fit on a wagon bumper
No idea how little or much work went into making it fit but it looks solid.
BURN-UP WRC front bumper for wagons
While surfing Minkara one day I came across these pics. Turns out the WRC replica bodykit maker Burn-Up now makes their WRC bumper for the wagon. I like it because it looks functionally the same as the sedan-only STI-Prodrive Edition bumper… but much harder:
this last car has an S7 (WRC)-style hood and bottom part/lip is body-color-matched which is why it looks a bit different than the other pics.
from when Prodrive USA was still around…
Photo: Andy Tran
Taking a rare moment to edit this post in light of the recent bankruptcies or otherwise closures at Zerosports, ARC, HKS USA, Prodrive USA, and before that SSR.
It seems that all JDM blogs lately like Aclassblog, JDM EGO, and Bulletproof (although they have a vested interest to be sure ;_) have been railing against the replica parts epidemic of the last few years like it’s a thing to do…
I bought this authentic Prodrive WR-Sport lip for my car right around the time that Prodrive USA was going out of business. It was NOT an expensive part, costing roughly $240 shipped. For that small money you got wind-tunnel-tested R&D, original design (which imho is the most important), and an OEM-quality part which Prodrive actually used on its limited edition “UK300″ model WRX’s which were sold in England. Even though the lip isn’t exactly a formula one gearbox, it comes from the same company that has cars in WRC, Formula One, and FIA GT series – I couldn’t imagine it fitting anything less than 100% perfect.
But then came the replicas… costing bugeye owners less money than I keep in my wallet (and I’m a student!). Soon every bugeye on the block had the replica model. When I needed to buy a new one, I ended up buying a different lip altogether, just because I didn’t want to look like every other bugeye out there. I considered but rejected the idea of getting another Prodrive lip (even though they look amazing…)
To me this is dispositive proof of the REAL harm done by replicas: People who would shell out the cash for the original model don’t want the original because everyone HAS the replica. In this example: Prodrive lost business from both people who would only buy authentic models AND people who would buy replicas if available.
Everyone should read this blog post (via “The Real JDM” aka BulletproofAutomotive by way of JDM EGO) which really captures the heart of the beast. Basically: there are far fewer new aftermarket parts being produced for our market segment (introductory level sports cars) due to replica parts. The only time this might be OK is to bring parts back into production that are no longer available by the original manufacturer (i.e. “OE” parts)
Just scooped up something new for my bugeye : D
This is one thing that I’ve always been jealous of 04-05 STI owners for having available to them (well that and an STI models) – JDM “Ionic” blue yellow foglights. Yellow fogs are used on FIA GT cars because of better visibility in inclement weather. Only recently did I learn that Subaru actually makes them for the bugeye as well.
If you can believe it, these are actually FACTORY Subaru foglights straight from the STI catalog. I think for 8 years I’ve just been glazing over that part of the catalog because I have foglights and I just assumed they were the same that come stock on bugeye WRX’s. However, there’s apparently an option called “Multi-Coating Type” fog lights that I’ve never paid much attention to. I have never seen them on a U.S. bugeye.
Unfortunately they’re not exactly cheap – some sites have them listed at $415 thanks to the less than ideal JPY-to-USD conversion rate. However, sometimes you can get lucky and find one used –
I came across a used set at a fraction of the price. I bought a used set of 04-05 ion foglights because I thought “watery eyes” in Japanese referred to the blue color, when what they apparently meant was “teardrop-shaped eyes” or the 04-05…… then I ponied up the cash for a new set from http://www.Japanparts.com
I think it matches up with the JDM HID’s better than halogen fogs. I’ve had ion yellow bulbs in my clear-lense foglights which matched the HID better than halogen, but didn’t look nearly yellow enough (large diameter diffuses the intensity of the yellow).
I currently have black JDM mesh fog light covers on my bugeye (minus the STI lettering) I took out the JDM fog covers so has not to hide the ion-ness…
So it should look something like this
Doing their thing on an 04 STi in the rain:
installation/installed pics to follow : )
This is a mod I’ve been thinking about for some time
I’m surprised that this isn’t more common for how clean it looks – polishing engine parts may be more common to the domestic/hot rod scene and its a little extra effort (or expense if you don’t do it yourself)… but I think it looks way better than painted (e.g. STi) or bare manifold. Reminds me of a GTR and the kind of attention to detail like you’d find on a more expensive car.
Ever since I posted the SPI Motorsports WRX, dubbed “Darth Vader’s WRX” on the cover of Turbo Magazine, I’ve been on a quest to find a photo of the real car worthy of this title… the SYMS wind-tunnel test bugeye.
At the 2002 Tokyo Auto Salon, Subaru-tuner SYMS (www.syms.jp) debuted a bugeye display model (pretty sure not an operational car) which featured their aero products for the bugeye. The car was intended to display the extensive wind tunnel testing done for their parts. Like many original-design aero bits from Japan’s top tuners, SYMS aero parts for the bugeye may have been discontinued – they are no longer on their website.
This is a car befitting of the title “Darth Vader’s WRX”…
Though less common than some Japanese manufacturers on the U.S. scene, Syms has been a major player in the Subaru game since the days of the classic GC Impreza – even going so far as to enter a WRX station wagon into JTCC (Japan Touring Car Championship) competition. It was mostly a publicity stunt, the car broke a lot and didn’t finish the season. However seeing a bright yellow Impreza station wagon flying around the track was quite an eye catcher. Cusco went on to keep Subaru alive in JGTC (Super GT) with its WRX coupe entry zipping in between McLaren F1′s and Calsonic GT-R’s, while SYMS continued to operate as a Subaru-only aftermarket parts manufacturer and tune shop.
The wind-tunnel car above has the SYMS full bumper kit with integrated grille… one of 2 different aero lineups the company offered for the bugeye (they also offered a lip kit with separate grille, along with a number of wing options)
Syms full bumper kit on a bugeye sedan
(Also seen on this car: CWEST headlight covers for JDM/EDM STI projector headlights, Chargespeed carbon fiber vented hood (with 04+ STI scoop), custom foglights (possibly not a SYMS offering), Zerosports CF front marker ducts, Racing Hart CP035-R wheels),
The JDM STI version 1 front lip is one of the best looking lips for bugeyes and also one of the best looking factory lip designs offered by any car manufacturer… it almost looks too aggressive to be an OEM offering… it looks more aftermarket.
Rumor has been going around for some time that the STI version 1 front lip has been discontinued within the past year or two… and considering that it cost in the area of $500 new, there aren’t too many kicking around the U.S. to snap up used either.
So what do you do if you break an increasingly rare example of this lip?
…you save the pieces
This widebody bugeye JDM STI type RA spec C belongs to Itakichi and is pretty well documented on Japan’s Minkara website… more pics to follow when I have more time to dig up some different pics
Subaru recently unveiled the future of its boxer motor – the new FB20. You can read more on the tech specs HERE.
It replaces the formidable EJ-series engine that has spanned over two decades in various displacements (1989-2012 and possibly beyond). The new motor has already found a home in the latest Subaru Foresters, including U.S.-spec models. I was turned onto this from a post on AClassBlog on the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon (Japan’s trade show for auto tuners), Subarus of the Tokyo Auto Salon:
“The new evolution of the boxer engine, the FB20 was on display at the manufacturer’s presentation. The new engine promises to be better for the environment without giving up performance.”
I wonder if the inevitable high-performance turbo variant of the FB engine will ever become a weapon of choice for future Bugeye motor swaps.
When my car was relatively new, I always dreamed of doing a full year-correct EJ207 engine swap, and transforming my car into the complete bugeye WRX STi that was never sold in America. However, first the stock engine had to go. Because my priority has been reliability as a daily driver, keeping engine mods to “everything you can do except a turbo swap” – and more broadly because the EJ205 in my WRX has held up like a champ – almost nine years later my car remains a USDM WRX. (At least it looks the part of a Bugeye STI ; )
I have to assume the bugeye v7 STI swaps available out there are probably much higher in mileage.
Bugeye STI packing an EJ207
However, while there is an appeal to running a Subaru’s latest-and-greatest powertrain – sort of like doing a “Terminator” ’04 Cobra swap into a classic ’67 Mustang notchback – it feels like in some ways it would be sacrificing some of the essential character of the bugeye WRX.
The bugeye WRX was one of the few imported cars that in its day that was not technology-bloated or laden with electronic everything. The bugeye was pre-drive-by-wire, meaning your foot actually connected to the throttle body. It had a simple mechanical design that should be appreciated – sort of how classic mechanical watches that you have to wind have become lusted after in an era impelled by technology.
That, and look at all that plastic in the new FB20′s engine bay. boooo : P
The new STI’s are high tech stuff
Came across this pic the other night on Minkara described as “unknown hood” by the owner of the car… Never seen it ever before anywhere but I love/want it (painted though)
…also reminds me of something you’d find on a Skyline GT-R from Top Secret
Has anyone seen this bugeye hood before / know the manufacturer?
So one day I’m out walking and I saw a pretty clean looking white S2000 – Noticed it had a cool looking front license plate holder. Usually, I’m not a fan of those tilted license frames but this had me stopping to take a look. It looked cooool… and made me want it. After some searching I found out it’s made by JDM Honda tuning company Backyard Special for the S2000 — However it doesn’t work for U.S. and Canadian license plates (only jdm plates).
However Rick’s Signature Accessories in Maryland makes a similar model for U.S. plates. From the product description: “this is the only front license plate holder of its kind available for the S2000 that fits US and Canadian license plates. It replaces the ugly and arcane holder that comes stock with the car.”
Subaru bumpers actually come with pre-cut holes – this license bracket (made for S2000′s) surprisingly lines up with these holes
However, the hardware provided with the bracket won’t work on a Subaru. I had to get some license plate mounts (available at any hardware store) to fill the 10mm pre-cut holes.
Love this part. Way better than the bucktooth and directs airflow to the radiator. I like that it’s simple/clean/functional – but really I think I just like the “speed holes.”
The bracket can be bought at Rick’s Signature Accessories ($32). The license plate mounts (needed to install) are at any hardware or automotive supply store. I found mine at ACE hardware (74 cents)
DIY mods (or do-it-yourself mods) are inexpensive mods that can be done in your own garage using your own handiwork… when done right it adds a great personal touch to your car for not much money… when done wrong it makes your car look really cheap. Moderation and an objective sense of taste is the key.
DIY done right: Iheartmysuby’s Bugeye with DIY splitter under a Prodrive lip, and DIY painted headlights. definitely look for more on this car in the future.
Another place for DIY’s and step by step install write-ups –> SCOOBYMODS.com (serving the Subaru community since you could pick up GC 2.5RS’s new in showrooms)
Rare look at a Tommy Kaira fully-built “complete car” M20b impreza with Tommy Kaira body kit for the GDB. Super rare kit.
Tommy Kaira, the famed Japanese tuner (famed by way of Gran Turismo) does things a little differently than most JDM tune shops… This car is a “complete“ turnkey tuned car sold by Tommy and marketed in its own manufacturer name and model – the “TommyKaira M20b” (think of it as what Saleen does
for to Mustangs. Or John Lingenfelter + Corvette). They’ve only recently beginning to sell and market their parts à la carte.
Not to mention 2.2-liter stroker motor fully built by Tommy Kaira. This is not a just a bolt on appearance package with stickers. TK did this car right by giving it an enlarged version of the JDM EJ207 (sti 2.0) from the factory built to TK’s own specs. ……..it also comes with a bolt on appearance package : P (body kit + wheels + interior… stickers optional) if you couldn’t tell from the pics. There are a few examples of this body kit that I’ve seen in the U.S., though not many to be sure.
Wheels: SSR type C (the Japanese version of the SSR Competitions sold in the U.S.) and lowered on Buddy Club Racing Spec coilovers… Tommy Kaira also manufactures it’s own original design 6-spoke wheel.
The lines of this kit are very aggressive (this is not a kit for those who thinks the modding stops after a ”V-limited” lip) and it packs a menacing look that is only matched by the M20b’s performance.
Just came across these mirrors for the Bugeye (and other GD impreza’s) made by the aftermarket styling company Lester in Italy.
Lester has somewhat flown under the radar in the U.S., but they’ve been making original-design aftermarket parts for Subaru (and others) since the WRX was released over here.
Similar to the mirrors on the JUN WRX also (…OK maybe that’s the reason I really like them)
They also remind me of the “flamboyant sticky outbits” mirrors on the Mitsubishi Evo FQ400
These are also the correct-year bugeye-style WRC mirrors. Other companies have WRC-style mirrors out there which fit the bugeye as well but they’re from non-bugeye WRC years (notably Chargespeed mirrors (replicas of the 2004+ WRC mirrors), and RavSpec’s blacktop aero mirrors (replicas of the 2006+ WRC mirrors))
Ever since falling in love with them on the JUN car I have never seen anyone sell this type of WRC mirror in 9 years… and guaranteed that nobody in the USA has them : D
MINES of Japan had a Bugeye WRX demo car back in the day which it debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon in 2001.
One of the parts which Mines came out with for the bugeye WRX was a decklid underspoiler which came in carbon fiber and fiberglass.
Contrary to popular perception the MINES wing was never intended to be a standalone spoiler. In actuality it is an underspoiler meant to be used in conjunction with the WRX wing (which for bugeyes was the standard wing for WRX and WRX STI models)
The idea is that it catches air that travels under the rear WRX wing and maximizes downforce. After 2004 the STI came equipped with a wing that featured a base on the decklid that provided downforce so there was no need for an underspoiler – and the part was eventually discontinued.
Mines produces similar underspoilers for other cars like EVO’s and GTR’s (seen in the background of Pic #1)
Subaru dropped a special model version 7 WRX STI called the “STi Prodrive Edition”… and the similarly equipped ”STi Type UK” (for UK markets).
They were known for their custom WRC-themed front bumper, custom grille, custom sideskirts, and custom high-rise wing (same as the stock 04+ STI wing/the bugeye STi came with a WRX wing in stock form)… as such all of these parts have become hot commodities
The Prodrive edition bumper fits on bugeye WRX sedans (or wagons with sedan fenders although I have yet to see a Wagon-Prodrive! edit: found a widebody wagon Prodrive in progress in Australia)
Prodrive edition bumper – Ritch’s WRX from Nasioc
Optional Prodrive foglight kit You could also further customize the bumper with an optional foglight kit featuring Prodrive foglights and fog covers with cutouts
GoJohnnyGo from ScoobyIreland‘s modified authentic STI Prodrive for good measure
Also found this old pic of what appears to be an STI-Prodrive (possibly concept?) at the 2001 Tokyo Auto Show. Notice the differences: extra light on the foglight cutouts similar to the bugeye WRC rally car. No info on whether these parts are production, but they’re certainly rare if not one-of-a-kind.