If you’re a follower of mine on social media, you’ll know that late last year I purchased a 2000 Honda Accord Euro R (CL1). This Accord was it, the project to end all projects. That was until I felt a lust for boost pressure, gorilla-like grip, and something with opposing cylinders. To be fair, I was in the market for a Nissan Skyline GT-R R33, but they’ve reached astronomical prices lately and they’re getting pinched faster than I see them for sale. I didn’t want to purchase my dream car only to have it stolen months, weeks, or even days later — maybe it is best to never meet my childhood hero? Who knows. All I know is, the Subaru WRX STi (GRB) for 10–15-thousand dollars less a GT-R was fantastic value for money. Oh, and I can fit the doggo in the back — win-win!
So, what exactly did I purchase? The Subaru I now own is a 2008 Subaru WRX STI (GRB chassis). From the factory, the two-litre variant (JDM model) boasts 228kW and 422Nm of torque — that’s as much as a 2JZ-GTE! With equal-length factory headers, a twin-scroll VF43 turbocharger and more boost than the New Zealand new model, it’s a rocket ship waiting to take off, and it doesn’t sound as though it’s from the Subaru family.
This particular example will be a combination of my track day/touge monster and weekend cruiser that my wife can drive. It came with a few cheeky upgrades too, which was one of the main reasons I purchased it. It had been built properly down in Christchurch by James Marshall Motorsport. James Marshall is well known in racing circles all around the country, and this particular example was built for his wife to drive.
Handling wise, the WRX features Blitz coilovers which are platform height and damper adjustable. Engine wise, the EJ20 has been tickled with a reflash and now runs 1.5-bar of boost (around 20psi), has a turbo-back HKS exhaust system, which includes front pipe, mid-section, and rear mufflers. On the intake side, the factory intercooler remains, but the turbo now breathes much better thanks to the HKS Kansai carbon fibre air box and intake kit.
A few aesthetic enhancements have been made to it too; a set of 18x9.5-inch (+30) Work Emotion Kiwami wheels were fitted by the previous owner, and an electronic Defi boost gauge with a controller was fitted. Wanting to create my own look for the car, I have on order a set of 18x9.5-inch (+30) Work 11R wheels in gloss black on order from Work Wheels in Japan which are due to arrive in the next week or so. Currently, the WRX is rolling on 245/40R18 Neuton tyres which are absolute garbage as I found out on Taupo’s Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park at a Club Sub track day, as are the factory brake pads and fluid.
To remedy this, I have sitting on my desk at work a set of Project Mu B-spec high-temp pads for the factory Brembo calipers, braided Hel brake lines all round, and DBA T2 slotted rotors, which once fitted, should pull the WRX up time and time again out on the circuit. To combat the rubbish tyre issue, I have ordered a set of 235/40R18 Zestino 07R semi-slick tyres, which will be fitted once the Work 11Rs arrive.
It’s been all go since I purchased ‘Rex’, but it has been nice to have a car I am passionate about spending oodles of time and money on again. Once the Possum Bourne baffled sump goes in, the tyres are fitted, and the brakes installed, it’s ready for the circuit. I can’t wait!
Next time: I have the tyres fitted to the Work 11R wheels!