Subie Life Interviews AMS tuner Mitch McKee about 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX Tuning

An our friend of ours, Mitch McKee from AMS Performance took a moment to let me know about how he recently tuned a 2011 WRX.

Q: Hey Mitch. Thanks for joining us at for a quick look at tuning the new 2011 WRX. Now, tell us what you do and little about your background.

A: My name is Mitch Mckee and I am a tuner at AMS Performance in West Chicago, IL. My background is in tuning for various levels of competition including rally, drift, drag and circuit racing. I deal mostly in import cars and have most of my experience with Subaru and Mitsubishi’s.

Q: When the customer came in for the tune on the 2011 WRX, where there any expectations or things you had to overcome since it’s slightly different from the previous models?

A: Since the car is so new we had to find a solid way to tune the car since support for the cars is limited so far. That is why we turned to Cobb Tuning for there help. As usual they had a solution and there customer service was excellent in getting us the beta software to tune the car.

From a tuning standpoint things were very similar to previous models Subarus, but the factory calibration that came in it was much better than in previous years.

Q: How tuner friendly is the 2011 WRX?

A: I think it will prove to be an excellent platform to modify and as will make a great car for the tuner market.

Q: What was done to the 2011 WRX that you tuned?

A: The car we tuned only had a downpipe and a cold air intake.

Q: What kind of gains could you see if the customer did the usual Stage 2 (intake, exhaust, downpipe, up pipe, etc.) upgrades?

A: I think with the addition of a full exhaust the car should be able to gain around 20 additional horsepower and 20ft/lbs. The stock exhaust on the WRX is very very restrictive and a larger diameter pipe would yield great gains.

Q: Have you had a chance to mess around with the 2011 STi and if so, what were the numbers on that

A: I have not had a chance to yet, but we will be here soon.

Q: Thanks Mitch for your time. We’ll keep in touch in regards to future developments with AMS Performance.

A: Thank you Yukio and Subie Life.

We hope to hear Mitch shortly when he gets the chance to tune the 2011 STi! Meanwhile, check out AMS Performance’s Website for more information!

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