Every now and then, a true example of a multi-purpose vehicle comes along — a car that can go fast around a racetrack, drive to pick up groceries in a civilized fashion and help you get to the mountains on a weekend safely and in style. For many people, these cars present a fantastic balance of fun and practicality. After all, not everyone is able (or wants) to have separate cars for different duties. Billy Schweiger of Colorado knows this scenario intimately, and his Subaru STI is a perfect example of having your cake and eating it too.
“I purchased this car new back in 2008,” Billy says. “I had previously owned a ’02 WRX ‘Bugeye’ wagon (also black, I have a thing for black wagons) that I did my best to convert to STI spec, so I couldn’t resist trading up to the STI hatchback when it came along.” Of course, Billy soon began modifying the new car and it slowly morphed into the track car that it is today. As you can see, the car has a modest outward appearance, but under the hood is where it gets interesting. Good for more than 400 whp, Billy’s STI is a seriously quick car — he also daily drives it!
“Subarus are excellent cars for Colorado and my lifestyle,” Billy says. “I love how I can fit a week’s worth of backcountry camping gear into the trunk and carve canyons on the way to my favorite trailheads.” Working as a research ecologist for the National Park Service, Billy and his STI have seen some pretty exotic parking spots together. Don’t be surprised if you find a seemingly out-of-place Subaru in the backcountry in places like Rocky Mountain and Glacier National Parks. That’s not a claim many track cars can stake.
“I do get some odd looks driving this semi–race car around my parks,” Billy tells us. “It’s not the most subtle thing, neither in terms of noise or perhaps environmental footprint.” In case anyone asks, the arguably better green footprint of E85 helps his defense. With the upcoming track and autocross season approaching, Billy hopes to shake down the new motor setup, finalize the tune and see what the STI can really do.
We think Billy has done everything right with his Subaru in our book. The obvious lean toward performance and track use is very cool, and we like that he also drives the car on a daily basis. Because of the capable AWD layout that graces every current Subaru model, this STI must be one heck of a fun car to fly around a track, and then he can pack up for a weeklong cruise around the country’s beautiful backcountry.
We also like that Billy does his part for the environment. In this day and age of hybrids and zero-emission vehicles, it’s important to not simply go out and purchase a Prius and call yourself “green” — you must consider your carbon footprint in the grander scheme of things. By working to maintain and beautify our treasured public lands and by researching the ecology of these precious ecosystems to help inform ourselves and future generations, Billy more than makes up for the small amount of tailpipe emissions his STI puts out.
Specs & Details
'08 Subaru Impreza STI
Engine Subaru EJ20 boxer-4
Engine Modifications Balanced & blueprinted block; Cosworth 9.2:1 forged pistons, main & rod bearings; Brian Crower I-beam forged connecting rods; Cometic 100mm head gasket; ARP 11mm head stud kit & case bolts; Cosworth air pump block-off; ceramic-coated Blouch Dominator 3.0 XTR EWG; DEI turbo blanket; Blitz I-D Spec R boost controller, NGK Iridium spark; Bosch Ev-14 1,000cc Injectors; Warlbro 255-lph fuel pump; Killer B baffled oil pan & oil pickup; Redline oil & transmission fluid; Subaru block heater; Perrin FMIC, cold-air intake, turbo inlet, Sig Series red tubes, Silver core, catch can; Beatrush radiator shroud; Mishimoto race fans; Koyo radiator; Samco rad hose kit; Agency Power fuel rails; Aeromotive EFI fuel pressure regulator; TIAL MV-R 44mm wastegate; Grimmspeed 44mm up-pipe w/ dump tube; PNP intake manifold; Phenolic gaskets; TGV delete; custom Mocal oil cooler & AN fittings; Pyroshielded lines; Perrin header back (EL header, front & back DP, Quad Tip Shiny); Swaintech coated exhaust manifolds & downpipe; Grouppe N engine & transmission mounts; Kartboy shifter bushings & pitch stop
Engine Management COBB Tuning AccessPort V2; E85 & 93-octane Stage 3 Protune by Harvey at The Boost Creep Ltd.
Drivetrain ACT HD clutch, Streetline flywheel; Goodridge SS clutch line
Suspension RCE Regular Guy Springs; Whiteline adjustable sway bars (f/r), anti-lift kit, front underbrace, adjustable endlinks (f/r), steering rack bushings, subframe rear differential support lock; Perrin strut tower bar (f)
Interior OEM SAT NAV w/ Alpine PXE-H650 processor, Alpine PDX-5 amp, 6.5" Alpine SPR-17S speakers; 10" Rockford Fosgate P3SD410 shallow mount subwoofer; COBB Tuning shift knob; custom iPhone 4 mount; Prosport Premium Series oil temp & pressure gauges; Perrin steering column gauge mount
Exterior OEM sport grille; 17% window tint; Harman Motive smoked taillight tint; Pink I badge; Cosworth badge; Perrin Shorty 3" antenna; Hella Super Tones foglights & Lightwerkz harness; Crawford hood scoop block off plate
Wheels, Tires & Brakes OEM 18” BBS wheels (summer); McGard spline lug nuts; Dunlop Direzza Star Spec tires 245/40R18; Stock Brembo brakes; Racingbrake ET500 Pads, Subaru “Blue” racing brake fluid; Goodridge SS lines
Thanks To Many thanks go out to Peter & Ryan at SCR Performance for the recent build, Harvey at The Boost Creep for many years of tuning & Mike at 5280 Performance for previous mechanicals
Why We Picked It
Billy’s STI is a great example of what a purpose-built yet reliable car should be. Gobs of power, subtle factory experience and attention to what matters (while still being reliable enough to daily drive) are what set this STI apart. While other cars may exceed in certain areas, Billy’s well-rounded approach suits his needs perfectly.