Just thought I would expressed my thought's over the recent purchase of the MRT XC kit, and I thought it important to go through the background and thought process in why I chose MRT.
I purchased 2008 WRX back in Feb 2008, and having owned previous modified WRX's before, i had no problems in committing again to the purchase of the iconic Subaru WRX brand, as it was unsurpassable for reliability and safety. With the new options of Sat Nav and Xenon headlights the decision was even made easier. After waiting 3 long months for the car, I finally took possession of the vehicle on May 2008.
While my friends and colleagues moved onto more expensive and technically convoluted European cars, i stuck with the iconic WRX, refusing to give into the temptations offered by BMW, Merc and VW.
Having friends and colleagues that were very much car enthusiast, the tick of approval and respect i was hoping for was unfortunately met with many chuckles on why i would pick such an ugly car? to down right contempt. My friends certainly did not share my enthusiasm for the WRX and/or for Subaru Power. And yes there was certainly a big "?" over the 2008 WRX’s power. The 2008 WRX was to refined and lacked the grunt and aggression of the older models. The handling was far to compliant and the body roll is liken to that of a mini van as best.
Then, to rub salt to my wounds, and to my grave disappointment, a mere 5 months into my ownership of 2008 WRX, Subaru released a 2009 WRX that was superior in performance, handling, and also included wider and better tyres, leather and sun roof options. The flooding of emails soon entered my email box from friends, and kind condolences we offered to me, and it was clear, I had bought a lemon.
Nearly is tears, having felt like I had made the wrong decision in purchasing the 2008 WRX, i was extremely close to getting rid of the Subbie in favour of the BMW 135. But as fate would have it, it was impractical for me to wait another 5 months for another car, not to mention 45K change over price.
Having been humorously liken to the Toyota Prius (for both power and looks), my subbie was continuously battered fwith unkind remarks on both the looks and more importantly the lack lustre in performance, to which I had no response to their comments.
The so-called "straw that broke the camel's back" was when a I struggled to pull away from a Toyota RAV 4 (200kw), and while the RAV did not beat me, the engine had to be strained to keep the RAV behind.
Enough was Enough!
I started the arduous task of researching modifications for the WRX 2008, and to my disappointment, while our American counterparts were very much into their modifications, I found it relatively hard to find anyone in Aust that had undertaken any significant mods to the 2008 WRX.
I approached a few local mods shops, in which i had previously done work with, but preliminary talks failed to inspire any confidence. It was then down to XXXX [deleted for professional courtesy by MRT] (a local Melbourne tuner) and MRT.
While I found XXXX helpful in person, there was very very little information available, certainly in terms of any R&D and upgrade package information.
In contrast, MRT had very very extensive and specific information online about their mods packages for 2008 WRX. The only downer was that MRT was located in Sydney, and I was located in Melb. But then after quick call to Chris/Brett I was quickly made aware that MRT was coming to Melb for a tuning trip.
On the onset Brett took the time out to go through the specifics on the best way to extract and squeeze to most out the WRX 2008 "safely and reliably" and went through in detail the performance aspects of each kit.
My initial impression was that MRT had an unbelievably high level of service, always taking the time out to answer my questions/concerns. After countless emails, phone conversations and a lot of to-ing and fro-ing on my behalf, which was met with patience and understanding on MRT's behalf, I made the decision to get the MRT XC kit, whiteline sways, anti lift kit, positive gear, traction and diff kits, and GFB Short shifter.
Having never undertaken the services of MRT/YYYY (melbourne partner for tuning trips) before, i was understandably nervous. Again Brett again took the time to assure me that my car was in good hands.
So I dropped off my car to YYYY, and the work began. That same night I took my partner out for a nice dinner before coming clean that I was modifying my car, and to be brief, lets just say it that we did't stay for dessert and the couch became my resting place for the night. She was more upset that I did't tell her in the first place rather than the amount of money/modifications I was throwing into the car, a lesson learnt.
Five days later, I collected my car.
One word, WOW! In writing this emailed of appreciation to you Brett (MRT) and the YYYY (Melb team) i really struggled to find the right words to describe the car, not for the sake of eloquence, but to accurately describe the transformation of 2008 WRX that comes from the MRT XC kit and whiteline parts.
So let me say it again WOW! After its transplant, the WRX not only pulls extremely hard all the way and beyond the red line. The car sounds like an absolute beast on full boost and the exhaust note is great. Exhaust is not loud at idle, but when you pedal it, the note explodes, commanding respect. While the performance figs from the dyno looked impressive, it was all about how the car felt on the road.
The Ecutek tune ensured that there were no in-boost weak spots, and that power is delivered with rush throughout the in-boost rev zone. With the whiteline handling upgrades, the car is amazingly taunt and sharp, with body roll significantly reduced. The anti lift kit improves the car’s corner exit confidence, and the car is now down right fun and exciting to drive. The short shift makes the every gear fun, and the positive gear kit is absolute must for crisp and direct gear changes. The car is five times the fun now, with great enjoyment coming from every gear.
This is the Car that Subaru should have built from the beginning.
I really want to thank you Brett for all you help, and must commend you on institutionalising MRT's strong service philosophy in being so customer focused. Your experience and specialist knowledge in Subaru's is really evident in the development and delivery of the XC kit. I would also like to extend my appreciation to YYYY (and Melb crew ) for looking after my car and for their great work. Finally, please also pass my thanks to Ben (your tuner), as I did't get a chance to catch up with him as was busy tuning other cars.
At the end of the day, i'm extremely happy (WOW again!) with the results and I would certainly recommend MRT and YYYY to any WRX 2008 owners. A simple rule applied to my decision process, you get what you pay for with MRT. Quality, reliability and performance all of which was delivered above and beyond my expectations.
I'm also happy to show my car to serious Melbourne customers about to undertake the XC kit transformation.
Lastly, I leave you with this thought, MRT should consider renaming its "XC Kit" to "XSmile Kit".
And if your wondering, an emphatic "YES", the one night on the couch was well worth it!
Thanks again and with appreciation,