The 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS… probably one of my favorite cars in the entire world. As far as Subaru’s go the GC8 is met with unfathomable attention. Jalopnik recently wrote an article on the 2.5RS and listed 5 reasons that you NEED to purchase one of these magnificent vehicles. That link can be found here:

So the question is, why am I writing about it right now? What has caused me to bring up the 2.5RS? Some of you may remember the AJW Performance RS. This was a vehicle that had spent years of its life in various forms of being built and then it kind of disappeared… I am here to tell you that it did not actually disappear, but instead enlighten you about its true whereabouts.


The AJW Performance RS has been in hibernation, being built, finished, and molded by our technician Kyle Shedrick. The RS has gone through many transformations including a total overhaul of the interior and body. This consisted of a 100% 2004 STi swap. This included the seats, transmission, motor, dash, sub frame, literally… everything. This made the car fun itself, the interior is pristine and comfortable and fits the coupes body perfectly.

This was completed a few years ago, and the car eventually went back under the knife for a motor rebuild by Jay Perry. It sat on the back burner of project cars that we had an didn’t get the attention it deserved until last winter. During down time Andrew purchased a set of wide body rear quarter panels and front fenders to convert the body of the RS into one similar to the 22B. This took time, and care as Kyle carefully worked on getting the body to be as perfect as possible and smoothing the body lines into what we see today.


At the beginning of 2014 the car was sent off for paint to a family friend and remained there for half a year. Now almost a year later and fully painted, the RS has been going through its final phases. Andrew wanted to ensure that the car was going to make peak reliable Subaru power and enlisted a large amount of Subaru friendly companies to get the vehicle up and running.

The car starts at its core, the 2.5 Liter motor built by Jay Perry of The Subaru Shop and Perry Tuned Motors and Tuning. The EJ257 features a STi Crank, H Beam Rods by Manley, CP Forged Pistons, ACL Bearings, ARP Head studs, Stage 2 Brian Crower Camshafts, and valve springs and retainers. The motor is built rock solid and is ready for lots of third gear pulls and fun times.

The next thing on Andrews mind was to get a proper turbo setup for the motor. Andrew purchased a Blouch 2.5 XTR Turbocharger with a welded waste gate. He also picked up a Grimmspeed up-pipe with 38mm Tial EWG for maximum strength. To complete the exhaust system was a set of Perrin’s new Big Tube Headers, Invidia Catless Downpipe, and P & L Motorsports N1 style catback exhaust. In addition to the exhaust goodies Andrew also picked up Agency Power Fuel Rails, 100 CC Injectors, Mishimoto Radiator and Fans, and a Grimmspeed Top Mount Intercooler. He also picked up a Perrin Tubo Inlet, Killer B Oil Pickup and Baffle, Gates Racing Timing Belt Kit, and NGK One Step Colder Plugs. No stone was left unturned for this build, and Andrew made sure of that.


Now that the motor and accessories were out of the way he turned to suspension. A vehicle is only as fast as it can stay planted on the ground, and Andrew started the build with signature ISC N1 Track Race coilovers to keep the handling of the car aggressive and track like. He also added Whiteline front and rear sway bars to get the handling stiff and solid on and off the track. He also purchased rear sub frame lockdown bolts, and a DRT Harness for autocross and track racing.

The final components for the RS was its stopping power. A fast car can be dangerous without the proper equipment and Andrew made sure the car could stop with ISC front 6 pot brakes, Stainless Steel Lines, and Rear Brembos. An FX300 clutch ensured that the transmission would shift smoothly and light weight flywheel sealed the deal together.

In its current state the vehicle is now waiting and lurking for its tune. Jay Perry will be providing the base map for the vehicle and then it will be brought down to be put on Jay’s dyno to see solid numbers. The AJW Performance RS is almost done, stay tuned to see and read more on the build!

Check out AJW Performance and their store for all your performance parts!