We know, we know. Tuned has been gone for too long. But fear not, we’re back for an extended 16-episode run, and we’re starting it off with one of our favorite budget tuner projects: the Subaru R-STi. See, it all started because we didn’t get the Subaru WRX here in the US until 2001, where other countries were treated to WRX goodness since 1998, but in the oh-so-marvelously lightweight 2-door variety, earning legendary status in the holy grail of Subaru’s, the special edition 22b. Now, the 2.5RS (the non-turbocharged version we got here) makes a great platform for either a JDM 2.oL turbo STi swap, or the USDM 2.5L turbo STi swap, but which is better? We take out a pair of swapped Subies in the mountains and engage in a little friendly rivalry.