WRX Prodrive Edition

 

The engine enhancement package is built around a Prodrive-licensed upgrade to the Electronic Control Module. Unlike ‘grey market’ electronic conversions, all safety parameters remain unchanged.  The electronic upgrade fuel and ignition values are set to a pre-programmed ‘map’ written specifically for our unique conditions. Use of 95 octane fuel is a prerequisite, as the consequences of using lower quality fuel would affect the terms of the warranty and maintenance plan contract.

The other significant element of the conversion is a Prodrive performance exhaust system. Comprising a revised centre section with one of the car’s two catalytic converters removed and a rear portion with the Prodrive name scripted around its tailpiece, it emits a slightly more aggressive tone under full throttle, but is barely any louder at cruising speeds, and still exceeding stringent European emissions standards.

The less restrictive exhaust and the engine management changes result in a hike in power from 169 kW at 5 600 revs/min to 185 at 5 000, torque rising 40 Nm to 360 at 3 000 revs/min.

And against the clock there are significant gains. Tested at Reef altitude against a standard WRX, the 0 – 100 km/h sprint is shaved from 6.85 to 6.1 seconds, with the standing kilometre covered in a ballistic 26.4 seconds at a terminal speed of  196.4 km/h. By comparison, the standard car takes 27.2 seconds, crossing the 1 000 metre mark at 192.1 km/h.

Improvements to in-gear flexibility is marked. For example, 80 to 120 km/h is dispatched in an electric 6.9 seconds in top gear, versus 8.4 seconds for the standard car. Sixty to 100 km/h in fourth takes just 5.2 seconds, making the Prodrive WRX the ideal overtaking machine: few cars are capable of gaining speed in-gear as briskly, for safe, effortless passing manoeuvres.

The Prodrive conversion is available on all WRX models, the sedan and SportsWagon selling for R315 000, and the Premium sedan for R329 000. The wheel/tyre combination adds a further R17 000 to the retail price.

 

© 2005-2009 Frank Göpfert