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Chris Roux's 2003 Subaru WRX - Simply Obsessed

Chris Roux uses his artisan spirit to create a one-off Subaru

Joey Lee
Jan 13, 2017
Photographer: Joshua Sweeney

Thirteen years is a long time to own a car. In that time, many enthusiasts will have already built three or four cars. To spend that much time with one vehicle either means you really love it, or you're maybe just a little too obsessed, like Chris Roux and his '03 Subaru WRX. He's done everything you could possibly do to a car and more. He's found ways to modify his WRX that most wouldn't even imagine to try.

2003 subaru wrx kaminari hood Photo 2/13   |   2003 Subaru Wrx Kaminari Hood

Roux's journey, like many others, started off simple. He picked up the car when it was brand new off the lot, acquired a body kit and HKS exhaust, and cruised around for a while. Chris had plans to pay off the car and then turn it into a weekend race car but over the years, things just snowballed. "It always went from wanting to swap out one part to somehow tearing half the car apart," Roux says.

What started as a simple street cruiser has now transformed into something entirely unique. The engine bay is a marvel to look at with its floating Boxer engine, but the real attention to detail resides in the interior. The entire cockpit has been gutted and reworked to the point where it has been streamlined probably more so than the bay. A custom mild-steel rollcage was implemented and everything around it shaved smooth, from the A-, B-, and C-pillar areas, to the custom rear partition where the rear seats once resided. Not only did Chris learn to do all this metal fabrication himself, but he also taught himself how to create both a one-off engine and chassis harness! Once all the fab-work was completed, he put his occupational skills to work by re-spraying the entire chassis, including all the nooks and crannies in his own custom mix of yellow.

2003 subaru wrx ej205 swap Photo 6/13   |   2003 Subaru Wrx Ej205 Swap

The build itself has crossed over the decade mark, but Chris considers this the third "official" iteration of his WRX. What you see now is the Subaru at its peak, both in aesthetics and performance. In the middle of that smoothed-out engine bay is a highly potent Subaru flat-four fusing an STI 2.5L block and CNC'd 2.0L heads. All components deemed unnecessary under the hood were eliminated for looks while the guts of the hybrid motor were upgraded to maximize the potential of the Precision 6466 turbocharger. To give it that extra bit of kick, Roux even installed methanol injection.

Just based on appearance, you wouldn't think Chris Roux's WRX was actually driven considering how much work he put into the body and all the shiny bits of chrome-but you'd be wrong. He prides himself on the functionality of everything that he's done to his WRX over the years and goes as far as to say that he doesn't even have to ever worry about something as trivial as angling his car over a speed bump. We would never doubt him because he literally knows every inch of his Subaru. It was the first car he ever really worked on since he was 15 with his learner's permit. Since then, he's used this WRX to teach himself how to put together an engine, how to fabricate a 'cage (among other things), how to paint, and most importantly, how to build a solid, functional, well-rounded car. Roux's level of detail may seem a little obsessive, but you can't help but admire his dedication.

2003 subaru wrx seibon carbon fiber taillight covers Photo 13/13   |   2003 Subaru Wrx Seibon Carbon Fiber Taillight Covers
By Joey Lee
241 Articles
Chris Roux's 2003 Subaru WRX - Simply Obsessed
Tuning Menu
Owner: Chris Roux
Hometown: Westminster, MA
Occupation: Commercial Painter
Power: 526 hp; 440 lb-ft of torque
Engine: '04 2.5L Subaru EJ205 swap; EJ205 cylinder head, EJ255 engine block; Raw1performance machined cylinder head; CNC enlarged combustion chambers; Brian Crower 280°/280° camshaft, cam gears; Supertech +1mm stainless valves, dual valvesprings, titanium retainers; ARP head studs; Gates Racing timing belt; TOMEI billet timing belt guide; Darton sleeves; Carrillo coated pistons; Pauter rods; '99-spec nitrided crankshaft; Unorthodox Racing crank and alternator pulleys; Tigwerks motor mounts; 4-inch aluminum intake pipe with Green Filters air filter; PKN 70mm throttle body; Forsa intake manifold; cut and re-welded intake manifold to reverse mounting position with welded bungs for fuel pressure regulator; Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump with speed controller, A1000 bypass regulator, -6AN top-feed fuel rail; RC Engineering 1,200cc fuel injectors; 14-gallon fuel cell with cell cage; reverse-mounted fuel sender -8AN feed and return lines; Summit Racing 100-micron fuel filter; Full Race twin-scroll turbo manifold; HKS Carbon-TI exhaust; NGK BR6 spark plugs; Precision 6466 Gen 2 billet turbocharger; TiAL 50mm blow-off valve, 38mm V-Band wastegates (x2); Perrin intercooler; custom intercooler piping; Halman manual boost controller; external front-mounted oil cooler; Koyo radiator; Samco Sports cooling hoses; SPAL puller fans (x2); chromed valve cover; Rallytech engine dress-up bolts; brake-line tuck with -AN fittings and copper lines; carbon-fiber radiator cooling plate; Tein hood dampers; Earl's stainless braided -AN fittings and lines; Aqua Mist HSF-6 methanol injection with aluminum trunk-mounted 1.5-gallon tank; Pro Meth 20-psi check valve, distribution block, lines, and nozzle holders; Devil's Own DO3 meth nozzles
Drivetrain: '03 OEM Subaru WRX transmission, R180 LSD rear end, WRX STI rear differential; ACPT carbon driveshaft; Driveshaft Shop Stage 5 front and rear axles; Comp Clutch twin-disc clutch, flywheel; B&M shifter; PPG 1-4 straight-cut dog box billet 5th gear hub, PPG shift interlocker
Engine Management: AEM V1 EMS; Defi BF oil pressure, oil temperature, boost, exhaust temperature, water temperature gauges; Aquamist HSF-6 flow gauge; Davtron intercooler temperature meter; FJO Racing injector driver; custom engine and chassis harness with braided loom, 21-pin firewall connectors, meth control injector driver; ECU relocated to the passenger air bag
Footwork & Chassis: BC Racing coilovers, front camber plates; Cusco 22mm front and rear sway bars, front strut bar, trailing arms, lateral bars; Agency Power end-links with spherical bearings; Whiteline ball joints, tie rod ends, subframe lock; Perrin PSRS caster arms; rollcage with 18-gauge dimple-die A and B-pillar gussets; steering rack modified for non-power-steering with Super Pro bushings; Oswald chrome-moly front subframe; Beatrush rear differential support
Brakes: Wilwood six-piston front four-piston rear calipers, pads, lines; ABS delete; Cusco master cylinder delete
Wheels & Tires: 18x9.5" +38 Enkei Racing "Touge Factory Limited-Edition" RPF1 wheels; 255/45R18 Toyo Proxes R888 tires; RAYS aluminum lug nuts
Exterior: Zero/Sports front bumper, side skirts; Jet Speed front bumper (race); OEM S202 front grille; Varis carbon exhaust shield; Kaminari hood; Seibon OEM-style carbon-fiber trunk, carbon-fiber taillight covers; custom PPG single-stage yellow paint; JDM WRX STI headlights; Chargespeed side mirrors, vortex generator, B-pillar
Interior: Status Racing Ring seats, seat rails; Takata harnesses; custom bead-rolled sheet metal rear seat, parcel lid, stainless dimple-die front floor plates, shaved sheet metal A-, B-, C-pillars; Sparco steering wheel, steering wheel hub, NRG steering quick release, Zero/Sports shift boot; OEM STI shifter surround; Perrin adjustable billet pedals; flocked dashboard, console
Thanks You: Granite State Dyno and Tune for getting my car tuned; Status Racing; Full Race; Chiktin Bays for the brake line tuck; a couple of my friends for helping me out here and there

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