2016 wrx CVT - Subaru WRX Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-29-2016, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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2016 wrx CVT

I am looking into buying a 2016 wrx with CVT, but I am curious to know which headers and exhaust are recommended for the auto and will they require a tune.
Also what stage tune can a CVT handle?
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-29-2016, 01:57 PM
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I can't really answer your question, and I don't want to come off as trolling. But why the CVT? I can tell you that my 14 impreza with CVT was a horrible gutless turd.. yes granted you are getting nearly an extra 100hp with the WRX I was just miserably unhappy with the CVT.. CVT technology could be great but the current consumer need for a transmission that "shifts" really limits what we actually get with the CVT's available to us. I literally was afraid to shoot some gaps in traffic at times due to the insane lack of off-the-line power it had. Again that was just the impreza and I can't really compare to the WRX CVT, but I do currently drive a 16 WRX MT and I wouldn't go back to the CVT if you paid me.. especially for the extra cost.

That being said I know you're going to do what you want (as you should) and I believe as far as what the CVT "can handle" any stage 2 setup should be fine. However I think where you will run into problems is finding parts and tuning options for the CVT. It will still use the same FA20 equal length headers to my knowledge. And any modifications to intake or exhaust system will definitely require a tune.

Hope that helps some... And I hope you enjoy whatever new subi you get! They are great cars.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-29-2016, 02:11 PM
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Welcome to our forums,

To answer your question, officially Cobb does not support Staged tunes for the CVT above the Stage 1 Tune. That means that power gains beyond their stage 1 ~8% are more than the CVT can handle. Also keep in mind that any change to your intake or exhaust will require a tune. Any time you intend to make more power you will require a tune. You tuner will be your best resource as far as safely making power but rule of thumb is that stage 1 is your max with the CVT.

As far as headers and exhaust systems that physically fit it is an exercise in futility because you would be nerfing your setup in order to keep the CVT happy. I understand the need for an automatic transmission ( my uncle has a bad back and clutch action is just not an option ) but you will be limiting your potential tuning options with the CVT.

If you just want a different exhaust note you can swap out the axle back without tuning but do not expect to unlock any additional power other than butt dyno power.

I hope that helps.
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- Jason
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-29-2016, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arcticscythe View Post
Welcome to our forums,

To answer your question, officially Cobb does not support Staged tunes for the CVT above the Stage 1 Tune. That means that power gains beyond their stage 1 ~8% are more than the CVT can handle. Also keep in mind that any change to your intake or exhaust will require a tune. Any time you intend to make more power you will require a tune. You tuner will be your best resource as far as safely making power but rule of thumb is that stage 1 is your max with the CVT.

As far as headers and exhaust systems that physically fit it is an exercise in futility because you would be nerfing your setup in order to keep the CVT happy. I understand the need for an automatic transmission ( my uncle has a bad back and clutch action is just not an option ) but you will be limiting your potential tuning options with the CVT.

If you just want a different exhaust note you can swap out the axle back without tuning but do not expect to unlock any additional power other than butt dyno power.

I hope that helps.

Okay that helps. So for instance If I wanted to install the mishimoto downpipe and cat back exhaust on the cvt the furthest I could go to tune it would be stage 1 so I wouldn't get the full benefit of the upgrade?
And if you could clarify one more thing, I could change the axle back exhaust to the cat back from mishimoto without a tune right?
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-30-2016, 11:29 AM
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axleback exhasuts are noise makers and they can be swapped without a tune.

As for installing a downpipe/J pipe and catback you would have to limit your power output to keep it within the safe range for the CVT. It would not be a stage 1 tune exactly but a custom tune from a local tuner thats designed to safely utilize your new exhaust ystem and limit the boost and power to safe levels.

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-30-2016, 06:47 PM
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Well that blows I'm finally getting back to the forum . After not have my STI for 9 years just ordered a 17 WRX CVT for the wife and we've been talking about mods
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-31-2016, 02:26 PM
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Im gonna get some heat for this but the CVT in the new model feels considerably better than most people let on. I love my 6MT and i loved my 5MT before it but the conversation really comes down to peoples intended use case. If you plan on attending the occasional AutoX event or track day and you plan on keeping your car at or near the stock power levels the CVT is fine, It gets the power down and is more user friendly for drivers who otherwise wouldnt be able to handle a performance car.

I spent a weekend with one and I cant think of any times when I felt like the car was gutless. I dont like the paddle "Shifters" becaues they attempt to make a CVT something that it is not. Set in its performance mode it ran around the streets just fine. The biggest drawback is in actual performance driving, AutoX or track days where having control over the throttle separate from the transmission is beneficial. For a daily driver that you'll enjoy with your family the CVT is just fine.

It does come with some performance limitations like we stated earlier, becaues it cannot handle the same power that the 6MT is capable of holding down you will be limited on the types of performance upgrades you can choose. Personally i think upgrading suspension, braking and tires really helps pin down the car and Stage 1 or similar tune would round out a great track ready car that can also pickup groceries or the kids at school, even in a CVT.

- Jason
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-01-2016, 10:23 AM
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I have a rental Forester from Subaru right now (while my WRX is getting worked on) with a CVT. Compared to a standard 5spd transmission it's really frustrating. It is miles better than my wife's Ford Focus with the universally hated PowerShift dual clutch auto, though. It would be fine for a daily driver / family car but if you plan on doing any kind of performance driving I would be hesitant to get anything with a CVT.

If you really put your foot down there is about a 1 second delay where your ECU/Transmission figures out what gear it should be in and then you finally take off. None of the jerking/rough engagement the Focus has. I end up putting the Forester in the L gear setting a lot because at low speeds in D it feels like the transmission isn't sure what gear to be in. It's makes fuel economy worse but it keeps the car right around 3,000RPM and is very smooth and responsive in L. I'm considered driving around like that all the time (especially because it's not my car), we'll see.

It's also worth nothing it makes a pretty annoying noise at high RPM. The CVT's have a belt that really starts to whine after 4,000RPM. Probably just a minor annoyance for most.
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