Based on a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, this very special project was dreamed and built by a single person without prior experience, in his basic home garage, and on a limited budget. Expressing in a true way the mantra of “wabi~sabi” (which means that nothing needs be perfect to achieve one’s vision and that through flaws or change can also be seen beauty – for an explanatory video CLICK HERE).
In 2003, the car started life as a simple WRC tribute car (phase 1). Then, from 2008 to 2012, it underwent a complete transformation into a short wheelbased 2-door “what if the GD had a 22B?” tribute build (phase 2). 6.1 inches were removed from the middle section (similarly to the Audi Sport quattro) among various other body modifications.
From 2012 to 2014, after battling through some engine related issues, the car started to undergo various other modifications such as moving the radiator to the rear of the car, a new fully custom low mount turbo setup, and performing further weight reductions, slowly metamorphosing it into a dedicated race car (phase 3).
In late 2014, not quite satisfied with the direction that the project was taking, the owner decided to go back to his nostalgic rally roots and transform the car into a Group B tribute (phase 4). The owner took inspiration from multiple Group B cars and tried to implement as much features as he could into the quite different and more modern Subaru Impreza bodywork.
As such, the rear trunk section was shaved off 8.1 inches to help achieve a more diminutive size typical of the smaller purpose-built Group B cars such as the Peugeot 205 T16. The rear bumper was deleted and replaced with large mudflaps to evoke the down-to-business look of the Lancia Rallye 037 and Delta S4. The rear spoiler was subsequently raised in a similar fashion to the Citroën BX 4TC.
In 2015, in the spirit of the “evolution” of the latter Group B cars, the car underwent more modifications pertaining to adding maximum downforce. As such, the nose of the car was reduced by 4.1 inches similarly to the Mitsubishi Starion 4WD. This brought the overall length of the car 18.3 inches shorter than a regular Impreza body, which would officially put the car into the “supermini / sub-compact / B-segment” class.
Wanting to use one of the most iconic aero package of the Group B era, the owner decided to implement features similar to the Pikes Peak version of the Audi Sport quattro S1. That meant creating a front spoiler setup and enlarging the rear spoiler to match. The result is an astounding blend of old and modern styling which gives Group B a tribute in the most earnest way.
Preliminary winter testing of the project wielded positive results as the car was about 2 seconds per kilometer faster than a much better motorized Open 4WD-class Subaru STi of the same generation.
Still not content with the current state of his build, even though the owner admits he estimates his time spent on the car at around 1500 hours so far, he plans to push the envelope farther by replacing the monocoque chassis with a custom-built spaceframe. Hence, turning the car into a silhouette racer quite similarly to the purpose built Group B rally legends.
SPECIFICATIONS (phase 4)
|Group/Class||None / Tribute Build||Total Project Budget: 13,500 Canadian Dollars (includes all phases)|
|Type||EJ257, H-4, DOHC 16v, gas||front longitudinal|
|Output Power – Torque||
|Materials||block: aluminium||cylinder head: aluminium|
|Aspiration & Injection||
|Ignition||electronic||firing order 1 – 3 – 2 – 4|
|Lubrication system||wet sump with 1 oil cooler|
|Cooling system||water-cooled, rear mounted|
|Type||four wheel drive||6 speed manual gearbox|
||Longitudinal, Shortened Driveshaft|
|Differential ratios||3.90||Dual Limited Slip w/ Standalone Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD)|
|Clutch||Dry Single Plate / 600 lb-ft capacity|
|Type||GD Impreza chassis shortened 6.1″ middle, 8.1″ rear, 4.1″ front, (18.3″ total), with roll-cage, custom widebody aluminum and fiberglass panels, polycarbonate side windows, roof vane and cooling ducts, large WRC S9-type fiberglass rear spoiler (extended), louvered fiberglass hood/bonnet (shortened), front aluminum bumper and large spoiler, fully flat underside skidplate system.|
|Front suspension||Independent, Macpherson 16-way adjustable struts, Coil Springs, optional adjustable sway bar.|
|Rear suspension||Independent, Dual Lateral Links, Trailing Arms, Coil Springs, 16-way adjustable struts, optional adjustable sway bar.|
|Steering system||rack and pinion, hydraulic power assistance with cooler||12.0:1 (2 turns lock to lock)|
|Optional vacuum assistance, adjustable F/R ratio, hydraulic vertical handbrake|
||width: 73.0 inches / 1855 mm||height: 56.7 inches / 1440 mm|
|wheelbase: 93.9 inches / 2385 mm||front track: 62.0 inches / 1575 mm||rear track: 61.8 inches / 1570 mm|
|Rims – Tires||Tarmac:
|Dry/Unladen Weight||1215 kg / 2,680 lb||Bias: F52.9 / R47.1 %|
|Weight/power||– kg/HP (- lb/HP)|
|Fuel tank||60 litres|