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Boosted Performance: A Comprehensive Guide to Subaru Turbocharger Upgrades -

Boosted Performance: A Comprehensive Guide to Subaru Turbocharger Upgrades

The potential for boosted performance ignites the passions of countless Subaru enthusiasts eager to transform their vehicles into tire-shredding, pavement-devouring beasts. With turbocharged engines forming the backbone of Subaru's performance lineup, the allure of turbocharger upgrades often proves irresistible for those seeking to elevate their vehicle's power, torque, and grin-inducing excitement. However, navigating the intricate world of turbochargers, intercoolers, and related modifications can be an intimidating endeavor—but fear not, for you've come to the right place.

Embrace the thrill of turbocharger upgrades as we dive deep into the world of boosted performance unrivaled by its naturally-aspirated counterparts. Let your passion for high-performance Subarus lead you on a journey of discovery, where you uncover the vital knowledge and components required to take your vehicle's power, torque, and exhilaration to unparalleled heights. Forge a path through the intricate world of turbocharger upgrades, collecting wisdom and understanding along the way, culminating in the satisfaction of piloting a Subaru that embodies the dreams of every enthusiast with an insatiable appetite for speed.

1: Choosing the Perfect Turbo: Street-Ready Power vs. Track-Ready Thrills

Selecting the right turbocharger upgrade to suit your goals and application is vital for the success of your Subaru's performance transformation:

  1. Identifying Your Objectives: Determine your performance targets, how your vehicle will be used (daily driving, autocross, drag racing, etc.), and any future upgrades you may consider, ensuring your chosen turbo matches your specific requirements.
  1. Turbocharger Types: Be aware of various turbocharger designs, including journal bearing and ball bearing options, each with their pros and cons. Journal bearing turbos typically cost less but may experience increased lag, while ball bearing turbos can provide quicker spool times and better response at higher price points.
  1. Popular Turbo Brands: Explore reputable aftermarket turbo manufacturers like Garrett, Blouch Turbo, and Forced Performance to find the ideal turbocharger upgrade for your Subaru.

Considering your goals and application will help you select the perfect turbocharger to propel your vehicle's performance to new heights.

2: Intercooler Upgrades: Essential Partners for Your Turbo Upgrade

Upgrading your intercooler is vital to managing the increased airflow, boost, and heat generated by your new turbo setup:

  1. Types of Intercoolers: Investigate the different intercooler types available for your Subaru, including top mount intercoolers (TMIC) and front mount intercoolers (FMIC). Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each, such as the TMIC's shorter piping and simpler installation versus the FMIC's greater heat dissipation capabilities.
  1. Intercooler Efficiency: Seek intercoolers that provide enhanced cooling efficiency through increased surface area and improved core designs, leading to decreased charge air temperatures and increased power output.
  1. Notable Brands: Consider reliable intercooler brands like COBB, Grimmspeed, and Process West for high-quality upgrades that ensure a harmonious partnership with your turbocharger.

Upgrading your intercooler plays a vital role in maintaining optimal engine performance in tandem with your turbocharger upgrade.

3: Supporting Modifications: Harnessing and Safeguarding Your Turbocharged Power

Implement essential accompanying modifications to enhance and protect your Subaru when upgrading your turbocharger:

  1. Fuel Delivery Upgrades: Ensuring proper fuel flow is critical to managing increased boost levels. Consider upgrading components like fuel injectors, fuel pump, and fuel pressure regulator from brands like DeatschWerks, COBB, and Injector Dynamics to meet the demands of your upgraded turbo.
  1. Exhaust System Modifications: Optimize exhaust flow to support your new turbo with cat-back exhaust systems, downpipes, headers, and up-pipes sourced from top aftermarket manufacturers like Invidia, COBB, and Tomei.
  1. Engine Management Improvements: When managing significant power increases, take advantage of engine management solutions like the COBB Accessport, ProTune, or open-source tuning options to precisely calibrate your vehicle's parameters and maintain optimal performance.

Supporting modifications are essential to safely and efficiently harness your Subaru's newfound turbocharged power.

4: Ensuring Reliability: Preparing Your Subaru for Turbocharged Dominance

Properly maintain and prepare your Subaru to cope with the strain of a turbo upgrade while safeguarding vital engine components and reliability:

  1. Strengthening the Foundation: Evaluate your engine's current health and consider if components like gaskets, seals, and hoses need replacement or reinforcement to endure higher boost levels and performance demands.
  1. Clutch and Transmission Upgrades: Upgraded power and torque may necessitate a stronger clutch and transmission components to handle increased stress. Research options from brands like ACT, South Bend Clutch, or IAG to help protect your drivetrain.
  1. Regular Maintenance and Monitoring: Maintain a strict maintenance schedule, diligently keeping track of oil changes, spark plug replacements, and coolant flushes. Utilize monitoring systems such as the COBB Accessport or AEM digital gauges to monitor your engine's vital parameters and promptly address any potential issues.

Proactive preparation and ongoing maintenance ensure your tuned Subaru remains both potent and reliable under the pressures of a turbo upgrade.


Taking the plunge into the realm of Subaru turbocharger upgrades beckons forth the promise of exhilarating power, torque, and awe-inspiring excitement. Immerse yourself in the understanding of key components like turbochargers, intercoolers, and supporting modifications, using this valuable wisdom to orchestrate your vehicle's triumphant transformation. Through vigilance, knowledge, and the proper selection of components and brands, your Subaru can transcend its former limitations and be reborn as a force to be reckoned with on the street or track.

Embrace the boundless possibilities of turbocharged performance and guide your Subaru into a stratosphere where power, efficiency, and thrills converge into a euphoric symphony. In the driver's seat of your perfectly tuned Subaru lies a gateway to a passion-driven paradise where dreams are realized and the exhilaration of turbocharged dominance is no longer just a fantasy. With profound pride and unshakable confidence, embark upon your newfound journey of unparalleled automotive performance, forever mesmerized by the echo of your turbocharger's call to adventure.

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