I love my 2013 WRX hatch. There are a few things I'd like to improve, and I'd like to try to keep a budget of about $2,000 over the next two years. I think the non-technical pieces will cost me around $800 or under (head unit, rear-view mirror, head & taillights).
Which leaves me about $1200 to address the powertrain. I don't have a specific WHP goal--my butt dynometer can't tell me whether a car I'm in is 250 WHP or 260 WHP, but I know I'd like to decrease the turbo lag and increase low/mid range response / power.
My initial thought was to replace the turbo inlet and get a torqued performance e-tune (open source) and roll with that for a while. Maybe 10k miles later I'd replace the down pipe and a catless or high-flow and get a pro-tune. I would just gut the down pipe but I lack the equipment. I would consult a tuner before picking the pipe.
So the way I usually see these threads go my main questions is:
1) Do I seem to have my head on straight? I don't think
I'm way off base.
And if I'm not way off base:
2) Is there anything else I could do to get me a better bang for the buck given my (somewhat vague) intent?
3) (Crystal ball question) How likely am I to just want more after this?
It's of secondary concern, but still very important to me, to not impact the reliability of the car.