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2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS - Rally Inspired; Track Proven!

The EJ-powered lightweight RS has long been a favorite amongst Subaru purists and rally-inspired enthusiasts, but it also repres

Mike Maez
Nov 1, 2008

John Miller, the owner of this rather eclectic concoction of carbon fiber and Subaru, is the proud owner of one of the more unique feature cars we’ve had in Modified Mag in quite some time. Although the 2.5RS is not altogether common for us, it is certainly a platform that is hard to ignore for most of the hardcore tuners around the scene even today. The EJ-powered lightweight RS has long been a favorite amongst Subaru purists and rally-inspired enthusiasts, but it also represents an excellent chassis for those looking for performance both on and off the pavement.

Modp 0811 01 2001 subaru impreza 25rs front headlights Photo 2/17   |   2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS - Rally Inspired; Track Proven!

John found the original rolling shell for the car featured here in the pages of Modified for a mere 1800 dollars. A former drag chassis that saw multiple owners and multiple 10-second passes, the car was finally gutted, stripped, and passed around amongst various shops until John finally snatched it up more out of unfortunate necessity than anything else. His last Subie had been “run off the road,” as John put it, and without getting into the details, his wrecked car afforded the parts he would need to combine with the shell to put everything together as one.

If we rewind some eight years prior, John’s original inspiration came from a Subaru lineage that went back to the early 80’s amongst many of his family members. This inspiration combined with the Impreza rally cars of the 90’s found John yearning for something of his own, and he went to work on various Impreza projects over the years. At one point he was on the brink of 12 second quarter mile passes with his sedan street Subie, but to take it past that threshold meant going a little more hardcore than he would have wanted for the street. Combine this with the fact that a child was on the way meant John would have to find another suitable daily driver while he went all out on the Subie of his dreams.

After settling on an ‘07 G35 as the daily, it was go time for the hardcore Subie John had always wanted to build. He had the vision of building a rally car he could race at the track yet still drive home on the street, and would stick to keeping everything at least streetable enough to make that all important trailer-less journey. Through the blistering Arizona summer and using an outdoor lift, John went to work, starting with a VF-37 twin-scroll turbo setup along with a Zerosport ECU and UTEC EMS. The car was then tuned to nearly 300whp on low boost, which provided for a decent enough power band to make the car a blast to drive at a mere 2700 lbs. The suspension combo is really where the car shines, however, as the TEIN Flex coilovers and complimentary EDFC are combined with poly bushings throughout, along with nearly every suspension arm in the book, and aggressive sway bars, mounts, end links, and some critical chassis braces that really stiffen things up. Prodrive wheels and a Rotora/Brembo brake combination ensure that the car is both planted in the corners and has adequate stopping power in nearly any situation.

John also really went to work on extensively modifying the interior and exterior of the car to suit his needs. A splash of EVO MR grey paint meshes well with the extensive use of carbon fiber to form a classy yet hardcore exterior appearance, while blacked out/tinted headlights, corner lights, and tail lights keep with the theme quite well. Carbon fiber doors, along with a CF trunk, hood scoop, mirrors, front lip, and an adjustable S202 rear wing all combine with interior and engine bay deletions to a weight savings of over 150 lbs from stock. On the inside an 8-point custom rollcage surrounds a set of Recaro SPG seats, while a host of Defi gauges monitor vitals at all times. Numerous touches from the JDM STI are apparent both on the inside and outside of the car, and include the instrument cluster itself, along with the rear bumper, hood vents, taillights, and more.

Although John says that the car will never be fully finished, and even though he still has boxes stacked to the ceiling with more parts just wanted to be installed or exchanged, he is very close to finalizing the vision he previously held. At this point John is becoming more focused on enjoying the fruits of his labor and is hitting the track on a regular basis, and as an Arizona resident is often found at most of the NASA and Club Racing AZ events held around the state. He even mentions a recent incident out at Firebird Raceway, the recent site of Modified’s tuner shootout, where a small mistake sent a 50 foot plume of dirt across the entire grid, and won him the best wipeout trophy for the weekend. We’d say that is an awesome model for truly enjoying and driving something that so many hours have been poured into, and we can’t wait to see what John has in store next for the street and track proven Subie. Rumor has it he is looking for a full carbon fiber widebody along with a carbon fiber roof, along with a little more boost and a lot more power – so AZ residents take note – this 2.5RS is a force to be reckoned with!

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SPECIFICATIONS AND DETAILS
2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

ENGINE
JDM STI ver. 8 EJ207, 2.0L

ENGINE MODIFICATIONS
Walbro 255 LPH fuel pump, custom Bellmouth 3" ceramic coated downpipe, JIC 3" full Titanium cat-back exhaust (non-resonated, 18 lbs), JUN uprated wastegate actuator, Prodrive 3-port boost solenoid, Kazama voltage stabilizer/ grounding kit, STI Radiator, aluminum radiator shroud, STI red intercooler-TB hose, Samco radiator hoses, Samco ancillary hoses, Zerosports intercooler splitter, intercooler sprayer system, JDM VF-37 twin-scroll turbo setup

ENGINE MANAGEMENT
Zerosport JDM spec-c ECU , UTEC engine management w/map switch; launch control

DRIVETRAIN MODIFICATIONS
JDM STI ver. 8 6-speed transmission, R180 rear-end conversion, STI Stainless steel braided clutch line, Kartboy short shifter, Kartboy front and rear poly shifter bushings

SUSPENSION
TEIN Flex coilovers, TEIN EDFC system, JDM STI ver. 6 CF front strut tower brace, aluminum front fender braces
Front Perrin anti-lift kit (PSRS), poly steering rack bushings, STI front sway bar, Kartboy front swaybar endlinks, JDM GC8 turbo front sub-frame, JDM GC8 STI aluminum A-arms, JDM STI ver. 8 rear subframe, Custom chromemoly rear strut tower brace, JDM GC8 STI full pillowball lateral links and trailing arms, Whiteline 22mm rear sway bar, Perrin heavy duty rear sway bar mounts

WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
Prodrive GC-05f British Black 18X8" +46 offset wheels, 225-35-18 Continental tires, black 'STI' locking lugnuts, Rotora red 6-piston front brakes, 14" 2-pc slotted rotors, rear JDM STI ver. 8 gold Brembo Brakes, Goodridge SS braided lines

NUMBERS
286whp / 296wtq @ low boost @ 2690 lbs

EXTERIOR
Evo MR grey paint, CF panels re-sprayed with UV Clearcoat, STI sport front bumper, CF Burn-Up style front lip, color matched side skirts, Seibon CF trunk, Seibon CF Doors, CF S201 hood scoop, CF WRC-style mirrors, Do-Luck style flared front fenders, JDM STI ver. 6 rear bumper, JDM STI Rear plate holder, '06 STI rear underbody diffuser, blacked out & tinted headlights and corners, 6000K hi/lo HID headlight conversion, JDM GC8 STI aluminum hood, JDM STI 22b hood vents, JDM ver. 6 STI taillights, smoked JDM ver. III amber bumper turn signals, S202 adjustable CF spoiler

INTERIOR
WRX aluminum pedals w/matching deadpedal, JDM GC8 stainless steel 'STI' door sill plates, 8-point custom rollcage, Recaro SPG front seats, JDM STI Ver. 6 instrument cluster, Defi triple gauge pod; colormatched to dash, Defi BF Gauges (Turbo, EGT, & Oil press.), triple gauge (52mm) radio delete plate, Defi Link control unit v. II, NRG quick release, JDM Subaru/Nardi 3-spoke steering wheel, STI titanium ignition Key, Splash (JDM) steering boss, STI 6-speed Titanium shiftknob, blue '04 STI interior carpet, black '06 STI floor mats, Sparco 3" 6-point quick-release harnesses, manual window conversion, power door lock delete, lightweight interior rearview mirror w/ custom bracket, Fire extinguisher

By Mike Maez
50 Articles

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