awd turbo wagons

February 23, 2020 /// issue no. 54

i spent a couple of hours yesterday evening helping install an aftermarket exhaust on a friend’s WRX Wagon. hearing the boxer motor drive away brought me back to my own days of terrorizing my neighbors.

in the summer of 2005, i had my first car stolen. though this was the third time it had been stolen and since the thieves had cut harnesses in their haste the car was totaled by insurance. it took a while before the settlement check finally came but when it did i already knew what was replacing it. about a year prior i had test driven a WRX and a Legacy GT wagon. i was figuring out how many jobs i had to work to afford one of them.

the timing of the car theft was serendipitous. the new 2006 WRXs were just arriving. it received a polarizing facelift, but also a half-liter bump in displacement to land at a 2.5L flat-four. the same displacement as the STI. this requires fact checking, but i have every reason to believe i bought the first 2006 WRX Wagon in the U.S. from Costa Mesa Subaru.

over time it was prepped for track and autocross duty with a koni and ground control coilover setup, whiteline sway bars, a 4” turboxs downpipe, and an RS*R exhaust. you could hear the thing from a mile away. it was life giving. haul all of your own parts to the shop and track. take all of your (suffering) friends to Lake Tahoe in the winter. and do all of that very quickly.

eventually it came time to sell the car. it wasn’t getting used very much and it fit rear-facing car seats rather poorly. luckily her new owner has documented the car’s progression quite nicely…

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there’s definitely room in my heart for another turbo AWD wagon. it seems very wrong to give up the E90 M3, but the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant raises the M3’s 4.0L with twin-turbos. there’s a lot to like about this car… except the price tag.

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coffee time,
steven


daily automotive addiction.