Tuning a naturally aspirated/non turbo car

I have a 2011 Subaru Impreza with a muffler and resonator delete on. Just wondering what’s possible with tuning it. Probably not much more power, but maybe get the exhaust to pop?

What is possible is that you will regret wasting your money . If you really want better performance then trade this thing on a better vehicle.
Seriously , your time should be spent on solving the oil leaks that your other threads are about and if you keep it put a proper exhaust system on.

I fixed the oil leak already.

Not looking for too much more performance just wondering if I could get the exhaust to make some better noises lol

Also relax you drive a Volvo dad wagon

Which will run circles around your vehicle and be quiet at the same time.


Non turbo, no. The performance possibilities are greatly limited unless you are willing to build the engine for more power - $$$$ - better spent trading on an actual turbo version. Even with a built engine, the turbo cars will spank you like you begged for it.

I considered tuning a non turbo engine myself, but have just about talked myself out of it. The only way they can increase performance on a naturally aspirated engine is to turn the timing up. Which will require higher octane fuel to be used. And I’m cheap. Adjusting shift points on an automatic trans or altering the throttle control on a drive by wire system, if offered by the tuner and applicable to the vehicle, could enhance driveability enough to make it worthwhile. In my application with the tuner I was considering, I don’t think it’s worth the money, as all the tuner will do is turn up the timing. A few peak hp at the expense of having to use high octane gas isn’t worth it for me.

There is no performance tuning to be had here… I personally hate Subaru’s exhaust note but that is the nature of that beast. If you want to go fast it is going to cost you a lot of money, it really is that simple. Buy a Turbo vehicle and you will have plenty of things you can do performance wise, but not in your instance. That is really the long and short of it.


I agree, the Subarus I’ve heard with a loud exhaust sounded obnoxious.

It’s not going to get much louder than it already is with a muffler/resonator delete. Note: loud doesn’t necessarily = good sounding. An small displacement N/A boxer engine isn’t really going to be cost effective to modify anyway. The crackling/popping on the overrun can be achieved with ECU tuning, mainly as a side effect of aggressive fuel injector timing. But at the same time, it would be kind of embarrassing to do all that only to have your doors blown off by a family in their newer Toyota minivan.

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As if it isn’t already embarrassing enough to have a 2011 Subaru that sounds worse than an abused 1968 VW.

Said the person that drives a camry

I used to have 2007 Impreza, which had the same 2.5 normally aspirated engine and manual transmission.

Let’s admit it, performance-wise, it shares not much with WRX or STI and even lazy/bigger 2.5 liter Altima I bought next would beat it to the dust acceleration-wise… and handling-wise if that comes to that… AWD on Subie has its own set of advantages, but one has to knowingly accept other weaknesses of Impreza when buying it for AWD reasons.

I would suggest you to listen to @VOLVO_V70 early comment “trade this car to get something better suiting your needs/wants”

Ok, that was pretty funny.

Said the guy who drives a Lesabre. :laughing:

But it’s a straight piped Lesabre (ok, not really).

Yep, a Camry that will out perform your Subbie on all accounts, (except maybe MPG) and doesn’t attract any attention by screaming all that, “look at me, look at me, I think I’m a race car”.


Actually, that Camry will do better on MPG as well.
Impreza may look small, but gobbles (not sips!) fuel like much bigger car :slight_smile: