Subaru WRX STI built for Gymkhana series revealed – paultan.org
In May, Hoonigan announced that American rally driver Travis Pastrana would star in the Gymkhana video series this year, taking over from founder Ken Block. Pastrana is a Subaru man, so after eight instalments with Ford, the series is returning to its roots by once again collaborating with the Japanese carmaker.
To celebrate, the company pulled out all the stops to create, in its words, the “wildest WRX STI ever.” Developed by Subaru Motorsports USA and its technical partner Vermont SportsCar, the new car is promised to be capable of doing “things no Gymkhana car had ever been asked to do.”
It looks to be based on last year’s Americas Rallycross (ARX) racer, as evidenced by the fake head- and tail lights and the intakes in the rear doors that feed air to the rear-mounted radiator. Shorn of the requirement of following a rulebook, Subaru threw on an outlandish carbon fibre aerodynamics package.
The addenda consist of large vented fender flares, several front and rear canards, a tall biplane rear wing with extensions and a positively massive rear diffuser. The company says that the additions have been tested in the wind tunnel, although we’re pretty sure the exterior has also been developed with theatre in mind. Adding to the sense of visual aggression is the flame-spitting bonnet-mounted exhaust exit.
No technical details have been released just yet. However, the 2.0 litre turbocharged flat-four engine in the “standard” rallycross car sends over 600 hp and 920 Nm to all four wheels through a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox, getting from zero to 100 km/h in just two seconds. Without any restrictions to comply with, the Gymkhana machine should make even more power.
“This STI is unbelievable!” Pastrana said. “We’ve never had the opportunity to do this before, to build a car with no restrictions. Engine, suspension, aero—everything is unlimited, clean sheet. It’s crazy fast, easy to control and get sideways and it was perfect out of the box in testing. Gymkhana is a new challenge for me, but I want to raise the bar, and this is the car to do it.”
Subaru of America motorsports manager William Stokes added, “When we brought Subaru back to Gymkhana, we knew we had to build something outrageous. Travis always wants to push the limits, so we knew from the outset we weren’t going to do this with a rally or rallycross car. This was an opportunity for us to redefine what an STI could be, and the results speak for themselves.”
So, what do you think – do you like the new Subaru Gymkhana car, or would you have preferred Block’s various purpose-built Fords? Sound off in the comments after the jump.
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