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Drive Performance WRX: PART 7 –
Our baby goes to college


The 2010 (DP) WRX Platform


Before handing off the DP WRX to Penn State, it had to be returned to stock.

Penn State plans to add the DP WRX to its GATE Focus Vehicle fleet in order to demonstrate the potential of natural gas. Right now, the fleet consists of vehicles ranging from electric golf carts to SUVs.


Dr. Anstrom explained, “We propose to design and install a natural-gas conversion and control system on the WRX using either a commercially available kit or by adapting a generic fuel-injection system.


“We then plan to collect considerable data using both natural gas and gasoline fuels in a series of driving scenarios including:

  • Everyday local driving
  • Highway driving on long trips
  • Efficiency driving during the 21st Century Automotive Challenge fuel efficiency competition hosted at Penn State
  • SCCA Solo® II autocross events
  • Quarter-mile events”


So they’re going to have some fun with it!


During the first year that Penn State operates the WRX, graduate students in the GATE Program will compile data from the WRX using gasoline for fuel. The car will then be converted to natural gas in order to compare data from participating in the same events the second year. Comparisons will be made regarding the fuel efficiency, performance, and greenhouse gas emissions of the WRX using both natural gas and gasoline for fuel.


Drive Performance will keep track of Penn State’s progress with the car. After touring the country the past two years, its performance side will now be exploited by the Penn State staff as it goes through the various exercises … twice!


After the first autocross with the car, graduate student Max Ripepi commented, “I was very pleased with the performance characteristics of the WRX at the SCCA autocross. I would like to implement the CNG conversion and see equivalent or increased performance after tuning.”


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