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Widebody, Fire-Breathing WRX STI For Next Gymkhana Video Breaks Cover

No more Ken Block, no more Ford - Subaru returns to Hoonigan's Gymkhana series with this over-the-top STI.

Bob Hernandez
Oct 20, 2020
Photographer: Subaru

Updated Oct. 20: Once upon a time, DC Shoes co-founder and future Hoonigan architect Ken Block drove a hopped-up 2006 WRX STI prepped by Crawford Performance around what was then the decommissioned Marine Corp Air Station El Toro in Southern California, laying down massive power slides and crazy AWD donuts for YouTube in what was Block's first "Gymkhana" video. More than a decade and millions of views later (maybe billions by now), Block has 10 chapters in the video series, a massive brand built on vehicle mischief, and, since the third Gymkhana video, a Ford (Fiesta, Escort, Mustang ... eh, we're not even really sure), which made a bunch of Subaru fans mad for a long time. But now, their prayers appear to have been answered; Subaru of America has unveiled the next automotive star of Hoonigan's Gymkhana series, and surprise, surprise, it's a pretty gnarly looking WRX STI. Yeehaw.

It's probably not that much of a real revelation considering we've known since May Subaru and Hoonigan would be teaming up for this year's Gymkhana video, and that extreme sports icon and Subaru rally driver Travis Pastrana would be taking over driving duties from Block, but this is the first we've seen of the STI created for this match made in heaven, and it's kind of amazing. Vermont SportsCar—the shop that builds rally cars for Subaru Motorsports USA—headed up the one-off project that features a crazy-looking wind tunnel-tested carbon fiber aero package and built boxer engine with the biggest screamer pipe we've ever seen coming out of a WRX's engine bay. The STI is also given long-travel suspension and a fittingly racy interior, but for any more specs you're gonna need to hit up Hoonigan and watch their video on putting together the custom tire slayer.

UPDATE: We have a few more photos and specs on the build from Subaru Motorsports USA, which has revealed the STI employs a custom billet block for its 2.3L flat-4 boxer engine, a mill that reportedly spins to 8,000 rpm. The Subie also apparently has active aero engineered for jumps (!), tires supplied by Yokohama, and "all carbon everything." The funky modern-art livery was designed by Hoonigan, Subaru of America, Inc. and Pastrana.

While Ken Block's Gymkhana videos are still quite popular, we'd be lying if we didn't admit these days they don't have the same draw they did when the series first started. Will Subaru's involvement and this STI in particular bring back those refugeed Subie fans? We'll have to wait for the next video to see for sure, but we have to believe this goes a long way toward mending fences.

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By Bob Hernandez
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