The Subaru Impreza is a vehicle that has been elevated to automotive deity status by enthusiasts thanks to Subaru's success in the World Rally Championship, having racked up 47 rally wins from 1993 to 2008 with varying cars. The car also benefitted from one of the best car-drive combos the world of motorsport has ever seen – Colin McRae behind the wheel of any Subie, in any condition, with any rules, was virtually unstoppable back in the day. The death of this rallying god and worsening global economic conditions meant Subaru's distinctive factory colours of blue and gold are not seen tearing up gravel in North Africa or diving headfirst into the muddy jungles of Indonesia, with Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, relying instead on creature comforts to sell cars.
As a result, for the proper automotive enthusiast out there, the line of Subaru Imprezas worth falling head over heels for ends with the second and last facelift of the GD generation. Dubbed the “Hawkeye” Impreza for its distinctive aeronautical inspired front end, this generation of the Impreza, especially in WRX and STI forms, carried all the bells and whistles of past Imprezas and to date the last generation homologated for rally racing.
For both Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subrau Impreza WRX/STI owners, there is a certain pride to be had in owning a car that was built for the sole purpose of competition, only sold to the public for meeting homologation regulations. No matter how great the cars are, the Lancer Evo X and the Impreza GH series somehow fail to live up to the thrill of knowing you're sitting and driving a homologated rally car for the road.
Is Shahriar Aziz's Subaru Impreza the STI Spec C model that was homologated for rallying? Not really, because his brilliant white Subie is a WRX. However, the motorsport link is there alright – originally built by Saad Mujtaba Zaman (whose Civic we've featured before on Shift), the parts used in this WRX have seen track use in Singapore under Subaru SPT and were built to last and take a thorough beating while delivering the highest levels of performance. The car has an entirely built block – forged pieces replace the connecting rods, bearings, pistons. TopTech provided the intercooler, radiator, oil cooler and the 6-piston front braking. Adding some all-important carbon fiber bits like the canards, front splitter, grille, roof spoiler, wing supports and rear bumper extensions step up the Subie's contrast and street cred.
Shahriar is studying automotive engineering at Minnesota State University in the United States. For a lifelong car enthusiast known for going a bit mad with the experimentation - he turbocharged a basic 1NZFE powered Toyota Corolla to deliver power and coincidentally, torque steer back when most kids were doubtful of putting air intakes on their cars - his Subaru seems a bit…regular. That's because the engine is currently slightly de-tuned so Shahriar can drive it every day when he's back on summer breaks – what's the point of having a track tuned beast sitting in your driveway when all that power stops you from using all of the car's potential, every day?
Not that its low on power by any account – Shahriar says this car pushes well beyond 400 HP quite reliably, which is where this Subie is headed in the near future. Shahriar just wants to tinker around with his rally car for the road, and go cruising with his friends in comfort – no better car than a tuned Impreza WRX for that.