@hammerheadfistpunch well inefficiency is arguable. It is a trade-off of packaging, safety, airflow, and volume.
Subaru’s choice is clearly driven by packaging since the intercooler can go in with the motor package, meaning less hand-assembly of the engine room. They also gain an advantage of not needing to adjust the safety structures up front to fit an intercooler in the bumper area.
The trade-off is smaller IC dimensions, reduced ambient air flow through the core, and maybe a visual impact to driver sightlines, but I can confirm the front of this car is so low in respect to the driver that you barely see the IC inlet.
The benefit we get from it is improved throttle response as the amount of piping volume is kept low. For a stock car this is fine. Heck even upgraded TMIC’s are enough for lightly modded cars. We often get too caught up in what is best performing component and don’t consider if the best is even relevant to the limitations across the rest of the system.
EDIT: Here is a picture of my sightline in the STI.
I like FMIC’s but this car doesn’t need one stock. I would love to see a setup with an FMIC and reversed hood scoop (to make it a heat extractor instead) with underhood ducting like a C7 Corvette in a highly modified one though. The way Subbie changed the hood, likely to improve your very complaint of the older ones, sort of negated that possibility with the stock hood.
@dipodomysdeserti It’s like saying you can get a Big Mac when you want Spicy McChicken. I understand what you’re saying, but it’s apples and oranges. There are plenty of larger cars you can have for less.
Yes, if they removed all the spice from the Spicy McChicken, and made it slow as shit.
@bandit In theory you can diagnose a system by hand. Touch the discharge line, it ought to be about 140 degrees. If it is 200 degrees, you have high head pressure and a plugged or over filled condenser. Though it won't stay hot long because it should cycle on the high pressure switch,
If it is hardly over ambient, its not pumping or there is no flow due to low charge. Though low charge should be cycling the compressor on the low pressure switch.
Down stream of the expansion device should be maybe 25 f. If it is a big ice ball, you have a plugged expansion device.
If the suction line should ba about 40 f. If it is 25 f. you have a plugged coil. with no airflow.
By the way, could it be possible that your blend door is stuck on heat? Is the air unusually hot when you are in AC mode and you shut the compressor off?