When Subaru first brought the WRX to American shores in
2002, no one could have imagined the impact it would have on the automotive world.
Ten years later, the rally-bred Impreza has become almost clichéd - it seems
like everyone has a friend with a 500-hp STi. What you don’t see very often is
an Impreza that stands out from the crowd, particularly in Colorado. On
September 22, 2001, Scott Lindsay took ownership of one of the first "bugeyes”
in the States. Not only was he kind enough to drive down from Denver for this
photo shoot, he agreed to let Tommy Boileau put the car through its paces on
the banks of Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Scott is the kind of guy who pays attention to details, and
this fact is illustrated by the quality of the parts found throughout his WRX –
nothing generic here. Rather than shoot for astronomical horsepower numbers,
Scott decided to settle on a reliable level of performance the stock engine
could easily handle.
Motivation is provided by an internally-gated TD05-18G turbocharger
from TEC. A Blitz SUS filter keeps debris and small animals from being ingested
by the compressor wheel, and a DEI-wrapped Invidia stainless steel manifold
directs exhaust gasses onto the turbine, which are then routed to the rear of
the car via a full 3” Invidia system.
A bumper-filling Perrin bar-and-plate intercooler was
selected to increase charge air density, forcing Scott to remove the fog lights
to make room for the polished 3” piping. Samco hoses and T-bolt hose clamps
throughout ensure all 21 psi of boost pressure makes it to the throttle body. While it may sound wicked, compressor surge is the death cry of a turbocharger. A Perrin bypass valve was enlisted to keep the compressor wheel healthy, as well as decrease lag between shifts. Don't worry, it sounds killer.
Perrin fuel rails, 800cc injectors and a Walbro 255-lph pump
ensure an adequate supply of 91-octane is delivered to the combustion chambers.
The air/fuel ratio is managed via an Ecutek system tuned by Harvey Epstein of
The Boost Creep Ltd, out of Longmont, Colorado.
A stout MRT radiator and STi cap keep water temps in check,
and a matching blue Samco hose kit replaces every factory coolant hose with a
more durable silicone piece. A Perrin silicone radiator overflow tank rounds
out the cooling system.
The guts of the stock 5-speed tranny have been upgraded with
the beefier STi Type-RA gearset, which Scott had cryo-treated for additional
strength. An Exedy clutch and flywheel combo guarantee the engine’s power makes
it to the wheels, while the STi-sourced short shifter allows for the quickest possible
The suspension is where this car really shines – virtually
every piece except the lateral links have been upgraded. Tein Flex coilovers,
complete with the EDFC control system, provide the stance and precise handling
Scott was looking for. STi engine and transmission mounts reduce drivetrain
slop, while forged aluminum control arms strengthen and lighten the entire suspension.
Next, a whole slew of Cusco parts were ordered up, including a titanium front
strut bar, front and rear sway bars and a beefy triangular brace that ties the
rear strut towers to the floor of the trunk. A Do-Luck 8-point chassis brace
and dual subframe bars stiffen the ‘Rex even more, while a bolt-in Cusco roll
cage adds a touch of motorsport to the interior.
A Wilwood big brake kit is more than up to the task of
bringing the car to a dead halt in a very short distance. Up front, 6-piston
calipers clamp massive cross-drilled and slotted 12.88” rotors. In the rear,
the 4-piston binders grab 12.19” drilled and vented discs. For the best pedal
feel and most consistent stops, a set of stainless steel brake lines was installed.
Speaking of the interior, Scott decided to graft the front
and rear seats, door panels, floor mats and pedals from a Japanese-spec STi
into his car. A JDM (metric) gauge cluster with a center-mounted tach and shift
light is a particularly nice touch, as is the carbon fiber interior trim kit.
Mounted centrally on the dash is a Blitz gauge pod housing three 60mm Blitz
gauges – oil pressure, exhaust gas temp and boost pressure. To avoid any pesky
speeding tickets, a Passport 8500 radar detector/laser jammer was hardwired
into the dash. A GReddy turbo timer gives the 18G’s center section a chance to
cool down, while a Blitz boost controller handles pressure management duties. A
Prodrive shift knob and Sparco steering wheel with removal hub adapter finish
off the interior.
For the exterior, Scott used a carefully-chosen blend of
factory and aftermarket parts. At the front, STi headlights, grille, side
markers and fender markers (all JDM, of course) provide an updated look, while
a lightweight Kaminari carbon fiber hood secured with Sparco hood pins adds
style and performance. The front and rear lip spoilers are Chargespeed pieces,
while the stunning carbon fiber trunk was sourced from Monster Sport. Instead
of aftermarket side skirts, Scott chose to simply spray the rocker panels with
Subaru’s World Rally Blue to match the rest of the car. To protect the paint,
3M clear bra was applied to the front bumper, headlights, rocker panels,
fenders, doors and side mirrors. Our favorite aspect of the car’s exterior is
the set of 18x8.5 Advan RCII wheels, which fit the car perfectly, in both size
and spoke design. Falken RT-615 rubber provides the contact patch.
In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, this is an extremely
well-done Subaru – we tip our hats to Scott for his use of tasteful discretion
throughout the car. Only the best parts were selected and used sparingly. We’d
also like to thank Pikes Peak International Raceway for letting us use their
facilities to photograph and test the car. Scott was all smiles as he rode
shotgun while Tommy pushed the car to its limits around the track. The distinct
whimper of the blow-off valve, combined with the trademark rumble of the EJ20,
sounded fantastic. Once the car was good and hot, it started shooting 2-foot-long
flames out the back, which was a nice touch. At one point, Tommy braked so hard
coming into the hairpin that the rear section of the exhaust popped off the
rubber hangers, leaving the muffler swinging around freely. If only every WRX
we saw was this good.