We first came across Kevin Petrask's Subie at the car show portion of an NHRA Sport Compact Event at Englishtown, N.J. The highly detailed engine bay drew us in but the car's body mods and bling-bling 20-inch rollers caused our eyebrows to perk up like Spock's on Star Trek right before he says "fascinating" about some scientific tidbit. Lexus GS430 taillights, 2004 STi bumpers and BMW mirrors on a '02 WRX may seem disjointed at first blush but in 3D realism the look straight-up works.
In all its glory with a full complement of C-West aero products and a captivating blue-over-silver two-tone paint scheme the car's impact is like a Flashbang grenade; a rush of blinding fireworks backed up by a jolt of real-world performance.
Under the hood the lead actor is played by TurboXS, which gets credit for a majority of the turbo system add-ons. Its Version 2 FMIC kit, blow-off valve, manual boost controller and cold air intake system. Other performance items include a Perrin turbo inlet tube and BPM exhaust system.
In what is a familiar twist with this WRX there is a bit of bling mixed in with the bang. The engine bay is also home to a trick Perrin radiator shroud, Samco Sport upper and lower radiator hoses, Hose Techniques hose upgrade and a DC Sports battery bracket.
The twisting continues when examining the car's underpinnings. The suspension mods start out traditionally enough with a Whiteline Racing front strut tower brace, a Cusco rear brace and Whiteline sway bars. Looking in the fenderwells and all that changes; this WRX rides on an airbag suspension.
The airbag setup is put to the challenge by a huge rolling stock selection. The Subie rolls hard on a set of 20x7 Konig Unknown wheels (Unknown is the name of the wheel; the name of the wheel is not unknown to the author). The exquisitely chisled aluminum is joined by aggressive BFGoodrich 225/30-20 rubber. Stopping power has been addressed with a Stoptech front brake upgrade consisting of big rotors, four-piston calipers, performance pads and stainless steel brake lines. Out back a Stoptech rotor upgrade was installed along with stainless lines.
Inside the friendly confines of this serious Subie the ironic twisting is in full effect. Indiglo and Autometer gauges team with a Blitz shifter and a Blitz turbo timer on the performance side of the ledger while the ICE side is dominated by no less than four monitors; three five inchers and a seven incher strategically placed in the cabin. Users can choose from either an Xbox or Sony PS2 game console along with never-ending DVD possibilities.
The high-power audio system features two Audiobahn amps, two 10-inch subs commanded by a Panasonic head unit rides shotgun inside the Rex. Custom seating, door panels, trick fiberglass trim pieces and marbleized dash treatment put the cabin on the far side of the wild scale. Of particular note is the custom center console that houses one of the aforementioned monitors, a removable cooler and features relocated window and airbag switches. The console extends to the back seat where it separates the rear bench seat in half.
If courses on car appreciation ever become be part of the mainstream curriculum one has to wonder how this eclectic GC8 would stack up. Do the twists in its inspiration cross some imaginary line in the sand? One thing's for sure, Petrask's Subaru begs the question; can bling and boost co-exist in the skin of a single car? School is out on this one.