Archive for WRX

Subarus Of Instagram

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 03.02.2014 by aclasschris

My apologies for the lack of updates lately. It’s been a very busy few weeks at work, but as things settle down and the Formula 1 season gets underway, I should have a lot of new topics to discuss. Blogs seem to have taken a backseat to Instagram lately and there are certainly lots of great cars to be found on there. Here a couple Subarus I’ve been meaning to post for a while.


@twelveam’s GDB sporting an all-black theme. I believe the car has gotten some wide fenders installed on the front since this photo was taken. Definitely one of the better looking Bay Area Subarus.


@ih8vermont’s GDB with a bugeye front end swap and some aggressive NT03s.

Hit me up on Instagram @aclass which has been getting a lot more updates than the blog and as usual, thanks for the support!

Photos courtesy of twelveam, ih8vermont & 247 Media.

2015 Subaru STI

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 01.08.2014 by aclasschris

Ironic, considering I was just discussing the 2015 WRX, that “leaked” photos of the new STI would emerge.

The car is set to debut at the North American International Auto Show and I have my suspicions of just how “leaked” these photos really are.



I’ll have more thoughts on the car later.

Photos courtesy of Subaru.

Identity Crisis: The Subaru Impreza

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01.05.2014 by aclasschris

The current GVB STI really isn’t a good looking car. When it was first revealed I thought, “give it some time and it will age well”. It hasn’t. In fact it will probably be remembered as one of the least memorable Subarus ever and judging by the 2015 WRX, it’s only going to get worse.


I email back and forth with my buddy Earl a lot and we often discuss the current state of Subaru, where the brand has been and where it’s headed. Not too long ago he sent me this article from The Truth About Cars. It primarily discusses the way automotive manufacturers are continually using less interesting power plants in their cars and the way competing brands are offering more similar products. One of the article’s more interesting points discusses the way manufacturers are using their brand’s heritage to sell cars and how that will become more important as time goes on.


Take Subaru for example. They haven’t really raced in years. After pulling out of the WRC in 2008, the Impreza doesn’t have the motor sports tie-in it once did. As a result, Subaru have shifted the car’s focus and rather than building a road-going rally car, they’ve designed the Impreza to be more comfortable and more “luxurious” to compete with the Europeans. The change in direction can’t solely be blamed for its weight gain and stubborn styling. Heightened crash and pedestrian safety regulations are also a major factor. The interesting thing to consider is that the Europeans have to deal with the same kinds of regulations, but they’ve still managed to produce very good looking cars. In fact, 2014 is set to be a stellar year for European car design – the BMW M3, Alfa Romeo 4C, Volkswagen Golf GTI and the absolutely stunning Jaguar F-Type Coupe to name a few. There’s also a new golden age of hyper cars emerging with LaFerrari, McLaren’s P1, the Porsche 918 Spyder and anything Pagani are building at the moment. Consider that and Subaru, who had their best sales year in 2013 are sort of missing the mark.


But wait, what about the WRX Concept you say? Well that was indeed a very good looking car and shows what Subaru are capable of building, but for whatever reason they’ve decided that the upcoming WRX is good enough. This harks back to the idea of manufactures selling heritage. As a consumer, when you buy the 2015 WRX, you’re buying over 20 years of rallying history and you’re buying a car that was “inspired” by the WRX Concept. In the eyes of the manufacturer it becomes more about everything tied to the car, rather than the car itself.


You may remember when Subaru first debuted the 2015 WRX, they began producing special videos about past iterations of the Impreza, including the 22B. These were not only intended to showcase some truly great moments in the brand’s history, but to assure the consumer, “yes, this is where we came from and this is what you’re buying into”. While it’s nice in theory, the whole idea falls flat and instead leaves us wishing we could somehow buy a 22B, rather than the current, boring and frankly ugly new WRX.


Rather than stepping back and recognizing the 22B as their peak, Subaru should be striving to outdo it. Since the WRX has become so similar to the STI, why not make the latter even more outlandish? As of 2015 all you’ll really be getting from buying an STI over the WRX are some big brakes, more aggressive bumpers and lots of badges. Subaru should give it the premium quality and performance it’s price tag warrants. Instead of doing a limited production, JDM-only tS Type RA, make that the standard STI! If they’re trying to emulate the 22B, why not make the new car a coupe, give it more horsepower and then it can truly compete with the M, AMG and S models of the world.


The Impreza lineup has become complacent and it’s all for the simple fact that it has no competition. Not only is the Mitsubishi Evo extinct, but the brand itself may be in a few years time. The Impreza occupies a place in the Japanese market where it has no competition, so why would Subaru feel the need to actually put that WRX Concept into production? They’re doing just enough to keep enthusiasts on the hook and nothing more. I just hope we don’t see the STIs of the future suffer the same fate as their Mitsubishi counterparts.

The A Class Top 10 Most Read In 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 01.01.2014 by aclasschris

2013 was another big year on A Class and I couldn’t be happier with all of the support. Despite it being one of the leaner years in terms of posts, there were some big milestones including the blog’s 5 year anniversary at the beginning of December! A Class also crossed the 1 million mark in total visitors and experienced its busiest day ever with over 1600 views on March 25. Take all of that into account and 2013 was a big success!

In honor of the new year, I wanted to take a look back at the top 10 most read posts in 2013.

1. F1 Legend: The McLaren MP4/4

Formula One World Championship

McLaren’s MP4/4 is considered by most to be the greatest Formula 1 car of all time. Its 6-cylinder, turbocharged Honda engine was capable of over 1000 HP and helped the car win all but 1 of the Grands Prix it participated in during the 1988 season. At the hands of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, there’s no better car and driver combo to earn the top spot on A Class’ most read posts of 2013. Read the full story.

2. NISMO Omori Factory: The R-Tune


These days it’s become pretty common for car enthusiasts and bloggers alike to make to pilgrimage to Japan. However back in 2006 the closest most of us got to our Japanese tuning idols was through DVDs and YouTube. I was fortunate enough to make the trip to the Land of The Rising Sun and visit NISMO Omori Factory in Tokyo. My accounts of the visit are some of the articles I’m most proud of and they’ve also proven to be the most popular. The R-Tune parked outside Omori Factory was one of those “pinch me” moments that I’ll always cherish. Read the full story.

3. BenSopra 180SX At TAS


Any Japanese auto enthusiast will tell you that 2013 was the year of Miura-san. The head designer for Rocket Bunny and a slew of other Japanese tuning houses was churning out a new build seemly every month. While things started with a bang at Tokyo Auto Salon last January, the style and the hype quickly grew tired. Love his designs or not, you have to respect that Miura-san took full advantage of his time in the spotlight and the way things are going, we’ll be seeing more of his work for many years to come. Read the full story.

4. Kansai Service 86 & BRZ At TAS


There was no other car in 2013 that captured the collective imagination of the automotive industry quite like the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ. Many called it the savior of the tuning industry and for good reason because the car absolutely revitalized it. At its core the 86/BRZ is a throwback car, a greatest hits of what true enthusiasts love most about driving – a fizzy engine at the front, a proper manual in the middle and RWD at the back. Kansai Service did their part in creating 2 shining examples of what the aftermarket has to offer at last year’s Tokyo Auto Salon. Read the full story.

5. NISMO Omori Factory: Part I


At its core, A Class has always been about my love for all things Japanese tuning and motor sports. I can’t think of a place where the 2 meet in perfect harmony better than NISMO Omori Factory in Tokyo. The articles I wrote about my experience there in 2006 have been some of the most read ever on the blog and 2013 was no different. NISMO has since moved to a new location but the old showroom was absolute magic. Read the full story.

6. Rocket Bunny FR-S


More validation that Miura-san and the Toyota 86 dominated the Japanese tuning landscape in 2013. While you’re likely to see carbon copies at meets and shows around the world, this is the car that started it all, an imported Scion FR-S with a touch of madness. I’ve grown tired of the repetitive nature and overly hyped trends of the industry in 2013, but give credit where it is certainly due. Read the full story.

7. Throwback Thursdays: Lancia Delta Integrale


I adore Italian cars and this is proof that I should feature them more often. Their presence and style are difficult to match and the Delta Integrale is one of those rare Lancias that actually drove and worked as good as it looked. In my dream garage there would most certainly be one of these in red with a tan interior. Read the full story.

8. Okachan’s C-SER GRB STi


Yashio Factory’s Okamura-san is one of the most outspoken and well known personalities in the Japanese tuning industry. Known for his fascination with the color pink and building some of the fastest Silvias on the planet, Okachan began working with Subarus and started C-SER. The brand has become a mainstay in the Japanese time attack scene, offering a wide selection of power and suspension components for later model STis. Where other manufacturers have shied away from Subaru in recent years, C-SER has filled the void. Read the full story.

9. Tokyo Auto Salon 2013


There are few things in the automotive industry more exciting than Tokyo Auto Salon. Every January the Makuhari Messe comes alive with the latest and greatest the Japanese tuning industry has to offer and 2013 was no exception. While the show has dwindled from its glory years last decade, it’s still something to behold. Many things really are bigger in Japan and car shows are certainly one of them. Read the full story.

10. ‘Leave Me Alone’ Tee


The most famous quote in international motor sport in 2012. During the final laps on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, (then) Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen barked the now infamous words “leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” to his engineer before taking his first win of 2012. In the last 2 seasons, Raikkonen was managed to win the Formula 1 fan base over by being himself. In a sport dominated by scripted responses and corporate contracts, Kimi has always been Kimi. Things got ugly at the end of 2013 between the driver and the cash-strapped Lotus, who weren’t able to pay him. Now off to Scuderia Ferrari in 2014, Raikkonen was just named the most popular driver in the sport by a recent poll on F1 Fanatic. Read the full story.

2013 saw many trends come and go within the tuning industry. It saw Mark Webber retire from Formula 1 amidst a major identity crisis for the sport. There was Audi dominating Le Mans, a new hyper car war between McLaren, Porsche and Ferrari and the tragic skiing accident involving Michael Schumacher – may we wish him the very best with his recovery. There was hype, there was bankruptcy, there was Chris Harris power sliding an all of our computers. But most of all, 2013 was a proper year to be a petrolhead. Farewell 2013 and hello to an exciting new year. All the best in 2014.

Two Sides Of The Subaru Coin

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10.19.2013 by aclasschris

This week’s episode of /TUNED was pretty interesting and did a great job of showing the two very distinctive halves of the Subaru community.

First, there’s the Slammed Society GC8 complete with ruined fenders and Rota wheels because that’s what all HellaFlush Subarus rock. Props to the owner for doing a clean EJ25 swap, which is rendered useless because the car is bordering on undrivable. This car is pretty representative of where the Subaru community has been headed for the last 3 years.

On the other side of the spectrum, the second car is much more my speed and apparently Matt Farrah’s as well. The owner gets bonus points for the JDM EJ207 swap and seems to have an eye for quality parts – I didn’t know the Tomei made an exhaust for the GC8. This car is more along the lines of what many of us would hope to do with a GC8 build. The instant power and tuned suspension take full advantage of the car’s compact size.

This is why videos are fantastic because they tell the story you’re not seeing in photos. Perhaps the stance car looks more interesting in the NASIOC gallery, but which car do you think will put the bigger smile on your face behind the wheel? My thoughts exactly.

Video courtesy of /DRIVE.

Bay Area Bugeye

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 09.15.2013 by aclasschris

Here’s something you don’t see everyday, a nicely built bugeye WRX.

I really like this build and it reminds me of many of the cars I used to lust for about 10 years ago. When it comes to bugeyes there are few better options than the STI V2 front lip and a set of JDM projector headlamps.


This car looks to have all sorts of interesting parts, including the Ganador side mirrors and discontinued ARC intercooler.

I’m interested to learn more so if anyone reading knows the owner, let me know in the comments. I see a Speed Element sticker on the windshield – shop car? Great build and happy to see people are still doing things the good old-fashioned way!

Photo courtesy of 247 Media.

Subaru Parts For Sale

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 07.12.2013 by aclasschris

I have a few parts for the Subaru WRX and STi that I’m looking to sell if anyone is interested.

Blitz SUS Intake – Used


Picked this up used and never installed it. The original owner ran the intake for less than 10,000 miles and it’s still in great shape. I’m also including a brand new replacement filter – all installation hardware is included.

Blitz FATT DC Turbo Timer – Used


Picked this up used and never installed it. I’m also including a brand new Blitz wiring harness for the WRX.

Porterfield R4-S Rear Brake Pads – Brand New


Brand new in the box. These rear pads are a replacement for the OEM D1004 pads found on late model 2003 and all 2004-2005 WRXs.

I’ve got some prices in mind but I’m also willing to take your offers – be reasonable. I can ship anywhere in the lower 48 States or arrange for a local pickup if you live in the Southern California area. Email and put the product you’re interested in as the subject line. I’m more than happy to send additional photos and info to interested buyers.

Subaru STI tS Type RA Overview

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 07.04.2013 by aclasschris

Yesterday I was talking about Subaru’s new STI tS Type RA – the GVB version of the old Spec C. This video overview is mostly 2 guys driving around in the rain talking about the car in Japanese – hopefully English subtitles will be added eventually because I’m sure it’s all quite interesting.

At least it shows some more detailed shots of the tS Type RA in action.

Video courtesy of Subaru.

Subaru STI tS Type RA

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 07.03.2013 by aclasschris

With the arrival of any new STI, it’s only a matter of time before we can expect a tuned up, limited edition variant. Subaru doesn’t disappoint with their latest GVB version of the old Spec C – the STI tS Type RA.


These days it seems like every manufacturer is offering a special tuned model that alludes to “racing pedigree”. While others have recently jumped on the bandwagon of giving enthusiasts less for more, Subaru have long been one of a handful of brands to offer such models, going back to the original Impreza.


One trend they seem to have taken from their competitors is the notion that bright orange paint equals high performance. Cliche’s aside, the GVB wears the hue quite well.

The exterior comes with an STI V-Limited front lip and an adjustable carbon rear wing. Special tS and Type RA branding is found throughout the car.


A set of gloss black, forged BBS mesh wheels replace the standard units and tucked beneath are a set of massive 6-piston (front) and 2-piston (rear) Brembo calipers with 2-piece slotted rotors. The car’s also been put on a diet with the addition of an aluminum bonnet and plenty of lightened suspension components. Based on previous special models, the car will likely come with an aggressively tuned ECU and a more breathable 3″ exhaust system.


Long gone are the old days of the original Spec C which gave you little more than a steering wheel, windup windows and a seat. The tS Type RA will come in 2 different trim levels – The NBR Challenge Package features the exterior upgrades (shown) and a spruced up interior with leather Recaro seats.

Intrigued? Only 300 will be produced and are for sale in Japan only, as is typical with Subaru’s most exciting offerings. Overall the tS Type RA marks a fond farewell to the current GVB before the redesign rolls out next year.

Photos courtesy of Subaru.

Welcome Back

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 06.27.2013 by aclasschris

Since selling his WRX in 2007, my good friend Nat has owned a few different cars including a G35 sedan you’ve seen on here before. We’ve been discussing him getting back into a Subaru for years and he finally took the plunge last week.


Nat definitely has plans for the car, but nothing too crazy.

It’s exciting to have my friends getting back into Subarus again. Expect to see a lot of this car in the future.


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