You realize Signal Auto for its ostentatiousness, for its signature-orange paint schemes, for being the company responsible for turning out cars like its legendary pair of chop-top JDM Civic drag cars-one of which had been powered by way of a front-wheel-drive NSX platform-or its equally infamous 180SX duo that did their part in helping establish drifting within theWithin Reach
Officially founded in 1978 by Kosuke MAD Kida, today, Signal Auto would it all. Limiting Signal Auto to something as menial as all that would be foolish, although the JDM powerhouse’s selection of services on its website tells you that its auto body side is equipped for jobs as small as repairing a single scratch or dent. Deep in their suburban headquarters, the Signal Auto team thrives on unparalleled undertakings-like Civics because of their roofs lopped off, shortened, and then grafted back into place. Big-power engine builds that aren’t limited by any particular make, body work, tuning, and fabrication all make up the list of precisely what the Japanese tuning company can perform and complement its manufacturing side that makes high-end aero pieces, exhaust components, and engine bits. Over the years the JDM firm has expanded and then scaled back, opening a North American facility in Torrance, CA, in 2000, that has since been shut down, as well asNot all Signal Auto buildup is just as glorified as those that have made their way onto American soil, though. In between every iconic Signal Auto project are two more that are every bit as attainable since the others are majestic. Like the company’s most recent JDM creations-its STi-swapped GC8 Subaru WRX and moderately modified R34 Nissan Skyline-either which are orders of magnitude more realistic than what the company’s been known for before but, in their ownIf you could, you’d would like it to be like Signal Auto client Yasuhiro Kimura’s, you can’t just go out and buy your personal GC8 WRX-the upgraded Impreza based upon Subaru’s World Rally Cross cars wasn’t offered to American buyers until ’02-but. The Osaka tuning company started with all the JDM WRX’s original boxer engine but soon pulled the short-filter out from underneath it, replacing it using the later-model GDB STi’s stronger, more powerful version. It’s an evident swap that’s done for obvious reasons: thepistons and cylinders, connecting rods, and crank are all capable of handlingThat is a good thing because the pressure was promptly crankedup and although, interestingly enough, the first turbo was retained. Here, the factory turbine bolts up to a Maxim Works exhaust manifold that’s fed from your other end by way of a Blitz intercooler and a myriad of piping from Signal Zero and Auto Sports. Signal Auto dialed from the EJ20’s air/fuel mixture utilizing an A’PEXi Power FC as well as Power Enterprise injectors along with a SARD fuel pressure regulator. The results are every bit as tame and streetable as you think, which is, in the endWithin Easy Reach
Like most of Signal Auto’s demo cars, Kimura’s GC8 exacts balance. The moderate power level complements the pointedly modified chassis that’s been outfitted with Zeal shocks, Hyperco springs, and just about everybar and brace, and bracket that Cusco says any Impreza ought to have. It’s the same type of balance that’s inherent with Subaru’s boxer-engine layout. Unlike conventional inline or V-style engines that distribute their weight unevenly over the chassis, boxer engines are nearly symmetrical. Rip the vehicle in half from front to rear along with the two halves of the transmission, driveline and engine are identical to each other. Do the same to any inline or V-style engine and you’ll end up with an exhaust manifold in one side, maybe three-quarters of the crank on the other, or even an entire transaxle on one end. Such boxer symmetry brings about reduced body roll, less torque steer and reduced engine vibrations, or, to put it differently, the perfectly balanced WRX that you’ve always imagined.