Recce RallySport “Wabi~Sabi” Group B Tribute

Published on: Aug 25, 2016 @ 15:49
(C) Rally Group B Shrine
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Based on a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, this very special project was 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 or improvement – 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.

RRS’ “Wabi~Sabi” Project (phase 2.5)

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 experiment in transforming 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.

RRS’ “Wabi~Sabi” Project (phase 4A)

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.

Inspired by 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.

RRS’ “Wabi~Sabi” Project (phase 4B)
RRS’ “Wabi~Sabi” Project (phase 4B)
RRS “Wabi~Sabi” Project / Size Difference vs Stock STi

Preliminary winter testing of the project wielded positive results as the car was about 2 seconds per kilometre faster than a much better motorised 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.

RRS’ “Wabi~Sabi” Project (phase 5 – concept)


Group/Class Experiment / Tribute Build
Project Years
  • Phase 1 (2003~2007)
  • Phase 2 (2008~2012)
  • Phase 3 (2013~2014)
  • Phase 4 (2015)
  • Phase 5 (2016~)
Type EJ257, H-4, DOHC 16v, gas front longitudinal
Displacement 2457 cc
Compression ratio 8.2:1
Output Power – Torque
  • – HP @ – rpm
  • – lb-ft @ – rpm
Materials block: aluminium cylinder head: aluminium
Aspiration & Injection
  • Turbocharger (low front mounted)
  • Air/Air Intercooler
  • EFI
boost: –
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
Gearbox ratios
  • 1st: 3.636
  • 2nd: 2.375
  • 3rd: 1.761
  • 4th: 1.346
  • 5th: 0.971
  • 6th: 0.756
  • R:3.545
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)
Brakes Front:

  • Brembo 4 piston calipers with 326 mm slotted & vented rotors (tarmac)
  • Subaru 4 piston calipers with 294 mm slotted & vented rotors (gravel/snow)


  • Brembo 2 piston calipers with 316 mm slotted & vented rotors (tarmac)
  • Subaru 2 piston calipers with 290 mm STi gravel vented rotors (gravel/snow)
Optional vacuum assistance, adjustable F/R ratio, hydraulic vertical handbrake
  • body length: 153.0 inches / 3885 mm
  • full length (with aero package): 162.5 inches / 4125 mm
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:

  • DDR3 wheels
  • 18×9″ / F: ET+28 R: ET+15


  • WRC Subaru spec gravel wheels
  • 15×7″ / ET+5

  • 255/35ZR18 UHP BFG


  • 195/65R15 snow tires
  • TBA gravel tires
Dry/Unladen Weight 1215 kg / 2,680 lb Bias: F52.9 / R47.1 %
Weight/power – kg/HP (- lb/HP)
Fuel tank 60 litres
Drag coefficient