Super Street Network

 |   |   |  Subaru Impreza WRX - The Big Game

Subaru Impreza WRX - The Big Game

Isaac Mion
May 15, 2006 SHARE
0605_turp_5z+subaru_wrx+left_front_view Photo 1/1   |   Subaru Impreza WRX - The Big Game

We all remember Tron, if you didn't see the movie about the hacker who is literally pulled into a video game then you've probably played the arcade version where a bewildered Bruce Boxleitner (Tron) is forced to undergo a series of gladiatorial games in order to escape his pixilated prison. What does this have to do with the scintillating Subie before you? Well, the owner, Ferdie Ang has managed to drive himself right into a video game.

When Turbo attempted to reach Ferdie for a short Q&A he replied with, "Hold on, I gotta call you back. I'm being filmed for a video game." Ferdie was in the midst of piloting the Subie through a canyon at an undisclosed location somewhere south of Los Angeles.

"Yeah, NAMCO had me out driving all day for this video game," Ferdie said later.

"Oh yeah, what's the name of the driving game?" we asked. Wanting to know when and where we could drive Ferdie's car into a ditch or off a cliff if we so choose.

"Uh, Umm. I forget," he said.

Turns out it would be breach of contract for Ferdie to tell anyone the name of the game. In other words, if he told anyone, he'd have to kill them.

Since when did modifying your car gain you immortality in the virtual world or put you in danger of violating a contract? To find out, we have to go back to the beginning. Not to the beginning of time but to the beginning of the buildup.

"When I bought the car it was bone stock," says Ferdie. "It was supposed to be my beater to take snowboarding."

At first, Ferdie just wanted to negate the car's natural tendency to oversteer. A Prodrive aluminum front strut bar would be the first in a long line of modifications to the suspension and the rest of the car. As you can see from the photos this Impreza isn't your run-of-the-mill exhaust, chip, and filter upgrade. The car has been thoroughly reworked both inside and out.

During the span of about a year and a half, the car has been through literally dozens of changes in parts and sponsorships in the quest for perfection. Six exhausts, three sets of springs, eight sets of wheels, and three turbochargers later, Ferdie has only recently come to be satisfied with the look and feel of the car. Now that it's finished, he can sit back and rake in some well-deserved cash using the promotional power of the car. General fees for use of an automobile for something like the Namco game run about $500 a day. This may not sound like a lot but what is a car supposed to do, get a SAG card? The car has also appeared in commercials for T-Mobile and NOS Energy. On top of this, the car made the cut for "The Fast and the Furious," part three. In this case, the car had to stay at Paramount Studios for a month during filming. This is all starting to add up. Ferdie reckons he has about $45,000 of his own money into the Subaru and another $65,000 in the retail value of the parts. The grand total of promotional fees he has received for these events, including the LA Auto show, exceeds $10,000.

It's one thing to get freebies but to earn the wage of a waitress just because your car is so damn hot is taking the game to another level. Kind of like Tron shooting up the Technicolor tube after he shoots his way through to it.

This car is not a trailer bitch. Ferdie takes this car to the track on a regular basis. The suspension has been corner-balanced to ensure superb handling characteristics. Which brings us to the meat and potatoes of the car.

While Ferdie started out with just the aforementioned strut tower bar, the chassis has since eceived considerable attention. The spec list for the suspension reads like a private party at Cusco. A V-brace, rear strut bar, and sway bars front and back hail from this company. Others invited to this little suspension soiree include the very dear Do-Luck. They supplied an aluminum subframe and floor support bar. (Barely) soaking up the bumps is a set of A'PEXi N1 coil-overs. JDM STi trailing arms and lateral links ensure proper geometry at this significantly lowered ride height. Attached to the springs is a set of 18x10 DPE RO7 rims with 265/35-18 Yokohama Parada Spec-2 tires.

The tires put down a healthy dose of power, measured officially at 450hp. As mentioned, the road to this figure was long and varied with many changes along the way. At the end of the turbo trail, Ferdie ended up with a GT35R hybrid. The turbo is positioned tilted to the side so it requires a special manifold from 5Zigen to push air into the 2.2-liter block. The tilted position of the turbo allows for a more direct intake path while also avoiding the heat soak inherent in standard intakes with two or more bends.

This bigger block that replaced the stock 2.0 liter is even stronger thanks to rock-solid internals like JE forged pistons and Zero/Sports rods. Sebastien Draeger of South Coast Performance (where Ferdie just happens to be a product manager) did some of the motor work such as installing the Walbro fuel pump, the fuel rail, and the APS front-mount intercooler along with a full exhaust system from the same company. The car idled poorly after the 800cc injectors were installed but a redo of the fuel map using a Cobb Access ECU smoothed things out right quick. The spec list for the motor goes on for days and is only dwarfed by the fact that Ferdie is presently tuning a 2.8-liter twin-turbo motor approaching 900hp.

While both of these motors are impressive, they don't hold a candle aesthetically to the body. The widebody kit is from Chargespeed. This Japanese kit is very hard to acquire, right now there are only three in the world. One's in Florida, one's in L.A., and the third is in Japan. While this rare kit adds a very aggressive element to the car, it isn't a gross overstatement nor does it muddy up the Scooby's clean lines. A Do-Luck carbon-fiber wing provides downforce at high speeds while the carbon-fiber hood and trunk from Seibon add both fashion and function by reducing weight and providing a lovely woven texture to admire as the venomous combination of speed and prowess storms by in the afternoon sunlight.

While the motor and body kit are more than impressive, Ferdie's favorite modification resides in the cabin. While the rollcage from M1 Development along with numerous gauges adds to the race feel, the Stack steering is the real deal. The wheel comes with a sensor that can be placed on the track to measure 0-60 times or lap times. Not only is the wheel expensive at $4,000, it is very hard to obtain. One has to know the right person in the right place. Looks like our man Ferdie is pretty well connected.

By now you're salivating and dreaming about wrapping your grubby paws around what could be the coolest steering wheel in the world and driving this all-wheel terror. Well you can ... just pick up the video game.

Engine
2.2L block
JE forged pistons
Zero/Sports rods
APS front-mount intercooler
GT35R hybrid turbo
APS fuel rail
APS blow-off valve
C&R radiator
CF alternator cover
Zero/Sports oil cap
Prova radiator cap
Zero/Sports radiator shroud
Prova clutch cap
Prova brake cap
Prova carbon-fiber hood damper
GReddy catch can
Samco turbo inlet hose
Samco radiator hose
CyberSpeed voltage kit
5Zigen exhaust manifold
TurboXS dual boost controller
PE 800cc injectors

Exhaust
APS turbo-back system
APS high-flow turbo outlet
APS up pipe
Kartboy teflon hangers

ECU
Cobb Access ECU

Drivetrain
Zero/Sports gearset
ACT clutch
ACT flywheel

Suspension
A'PEXi N1 coil-overs
Gruppe-N engine mounts
Gruppe-N tranny mount
Cusco front and rear sway bars
Prodrive aluminum front strut bar
Cusco rear strut bars
Cusco V-brace
JDM STi lateral links
JDM STi trailing arms
Do-Luck floor support bar
Do-Luck aluminum subframe

Brakes
Rotora 6-piston front brake kit
Rotora 4-piston rear brake kit

Exterior
Chargespeed widebody kit
Do-Luck carbon-fiber wing
Seibon carbon-fiber hood
Seibon carbon-fiber trunk
Ganador CF mirrors (JDM)
JDM Subaru side visor

Interior
Zero/Sports gauge cluster
CF center gauge pod
A'PEXi gauges
Recaro 5 speed seats
Willans 5-point harness
M1 Development rollcage
JVC camera
JDM STi floor mats
JDM STi door sills
STi shifter trim
PSI 3 ECU monitor
Stack steering wheel
Splash quick-release hub with lock
Momo F1 shift knob
Momo e-brake handle
CF trim bezel

Audio
Kenwood 910 DVD unit
Kenwood DVD/MP3 changer
Polk 10" Momo subwoofer (2)
Polk/Momo MMC6500 components
Polk/Momo C500.1 amplifier
Polk/Momo C400.4 amplifier

Wheels and Tires
DPE R07 18x10
Yokohama Parada Spec-2 265/35-18

Sponsors
Zero/Sports, Seibon, Yokohama, MOB Works, M1 Development, Do-Luck, Recaro, South Coast Performance, Sun Auto USA, Nitrous Express, Torco, Meguiar's, DPE.

SHARE ARTICLE
By Isaac Mion
38 Articles

RELATED ARTICLES

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

The stakes are high as the top 32 chase their dreams and attempt to make the transition from gaming to racing.
Jonathan HwangOct 24, 2014
New show pits MLS players against one another in Lamborghinis
Ryan JurneckaOct 22, 2014
Stripped-out interior with carbon fiber seats.
Kelly PleskotOct 22, 2014
Brabus offers performance upgrades for the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class lineup.
Megan StewartOct 22, 2014
Another modified 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan is being teased ahead of the 2014 SEMA show.
Jason UdyOct 22, 2014

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
TO TOP