Meet the “Phoenix”, in the shape of a Subaru Impreza WRX, born from the ruff and tumble world of rallying – crashes, rolls and spectacular leaps of faith included. When the third generation Impreza WRX STi made its debut in 2007 at the Tokyo Auto Show, heads were reeling in sheer surprise, as the world caught a glimpse of what was possible – a mean-looking five-door hatchback.
What about the sedan then? Subaru’s redesign of the sedan was meant for it to go up against other Japanese class rivals. This particular generation of WRX also polarized opinions of the fans as well. While the previous generation was the in-your-face brute that doesn’t take no for an answer, this model is more of a pacifist, trying to bring balance to the (market) forces.
As a result the fans flocked mostly to the less-compromising hatchback, the GEE sedan did have its fanbase who needed power with boot space to spare. A lists of musts for performance sedans: A slick manual, low weight and power on tap – all the things that made the Rex a cult classic. 2.5-litre horizontally opposed engine, power to all four wheels.
The relationship had a rough start, beginning by fixing what was broken, which resulted in having to pull the engine apart and making sure that it worked the way Subaru intended.
Being a track junkie, northern ventures to Pasir Gudang and Sepang at least once a year to unleash the full potential of his ride also meant many scary moments when parts failed him. One of the examples was one of the brake kit upgrades, which worked perfectly well on the street, but failed after one warm up lap and nearly ended his life.
The journey was filled with buying new gear, and selling parts that failed to satisfy his thirst of performance. What you see here, can be considered the ultimate form. Guided by peers in the car club, he set off to work on making his ride truly one of a kind.
More air, more fuel, more power. These de facto components to increase power of the EJ have been proven over time. Here though, one of the modifications hawks back to the old hot-rod “chuck it” methods. The tumble generator valves, which gives the boxer a smooth cold-start idle, were removed for the sake of maximum airflow from the turbo.
Being a track aficionado, oil starvation is a real issue for any car that experiences more than 1.5Gs around the corner, especially on long sweeping turns taken at WOT. The last thing anyone wants is a oil feed system which will only send little shards of metal through the engine at high RPM. Hence, a beefier pickup, sump and baffles are installed to avoid starvation, and reduce the chance of the system breaking.
All the power won’t mean squat if the car isn’t balanced with spot-on handling. All-wheel drive system aside, the suspension was beefed up with tunable shocks, and with more bars than you can think to strengthen the chassis. The Whiteline anti-lift kit, with modified caster angles, helps in generating a softer feel for braking and acceleration. The kit has to be complemented with the stronger anti-roll bars, as it reduces roll resistance as well.
The “WahKum” rear camber arm is from a fellow club member who aided his mod journey from the start. The undercarriage is finally finished off with Perrin steering rack bushings. For the enthusiast, nothing beats the feel of a taught car. Good vibrations, we say!
Scoring a great deal on Enkei PF07 in nine-inch width, he keeps two sets of tyres Bridgestone RE003 for daily use and the Yokohama AD08R for track deployment. The white certainly makes it pop against the gray body, to the point that we initially thought that they were 18-inches.
With a car that slices through the turns, the occupants need to be restrained properly, with the help of Recaro seats and four-point harnesses. The personal choice of a small steering wheel is for the meaty feel on the track, and the gear knob provides a proportionately heavy thunk through the gates. The wheel even received nice little touches in the form of titanium steering bolts!
While some say 330mm feels like an arcade machine, you can’t doubt that the cockpit is decked out with enough gauges to make a X-Wing pilot feel right at home. Does one have time to read everything from the Defi, AEM and Blitz gauges while dogfighting? Not really, but they do make zooming past everyone around Sepang feel a lot more exciting!
2018 is around the corner and he’s affirmative that nothing will ever replace the fun, memories and brutal poke that his car currently gives him. Screaming with glee in a GEE.. Sorry, we can’t resist!
Subaru Impreza WRX
Full SPT Rebuild
272 Brian Crower Stage 2 Cams
Sard Fuel Regulator
Injector Dynamics 1000cc Injectors
FMS Front Mount Intercooler Wrapped in DEI Heat Reflective Tape
Mocal 19 Row Oil Cooler with Aeroquip Fittings
Killer B Oil Pickup , Oil Sump and Oil Baffle
3 Inch Perrin Turbo Inlet Hose
Go Fast Bits Mach2 Full Recirculating Valve
TopTech Aluminium Radiator
Invidia Q300 Titanium Tip CatBack
Bilstein B16 PSS10
Perrin 22mm Front Sway Bar w/ EndLink
Whiteline 24mm Rear Sway bar w/ EndLink
WhiteLine Roll Center Adjuster
SuperRigid Front & Rear Rigid Collar
J-Speed Sjugane Front Fender Brace
Cusco Power Brace Floor Center
STI Front Strut Bar
Cusco Rear Strut Bar
WahKum Rear Camber Arm
Perrin Steering Rack Bushing
White Line Anti Lift Kit
Enkei PF07 17’x9
Volk Racing Dura-Nut
Bridgestone Re003 235-45- 17 ( Daily )
Advan AD08R 245-40—17 ( Track )
TopTech 330mm 6 Piston Front Brake Kit
TopTech 330mm 4 Piston Rear Brake Kit
Recaro SPG Driver Side
Recaro SR4 Passenger Side
Sparco 4 Point Harness Driver Side
Nardi Personal Grinta 330mm Steering
MazterPiece Automotive Titanium Steering Bolts
AutoStyledd Alcantara w/ Red Stitching Shift Boot
Grimmspeed 650g Shift Knob
Defi ZD Club Sport
AEM Air Fuel Ratio Gauge
Defi 60mm Boost Gauge
Blitz i-Color Boost controller
Sparco High Grip Metal Pedals
Varis Front Bonnet
Varis Front Bumper
Varis GT Wing
Varis Window Pillar Carbon Garnish
Custom ECS Garage Front Sti Fender
Ganador Side Mirror w/o Indicator