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 |   |  2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Homebrewed Champion
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2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Homebrewed Champion

Joey Leh
Nov 1, 2008
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper

For all you loyal Subaru fans out there, Pete Martini just might be your one shining hope. Despite being one of the most explosively popular cars in the aftermarket today and nearly re-writing the Civic Nation phenomenon, the Subaru Impreza has never taken the crown at the Ultimate Street Car Challenge. Crawford's mighty silver 450whp STI came close, very close, in 2006 but still didn't come out on top.

Martini's '07 Impreza WRX STI could possibly rewrite history as the first Subaru to win the USCC. It currently makes 496 whp on a Dynapack hub-mounted dyno using 91-octane water-grade California fuel. OK, vitamin water-grade. Sorry, Governator. Martini's aim is to break the 550whp mark on K&N's Dynojet dyno come USCC competition time.

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The key to this Subaru's power is the Cosworth machined and assembled engine, which uses the ex-F1 engine supplier's forged connecting rods, pistons, and rings. Martini also added in Cosworth CNC-ported cylinder heads (with +1mm Inconel exhaust valves) and bigger camshafts. On top of that, Martini then added an assortment of Full Race exhaust plumbing and a large Garrett GT35R turbocharger. An even larger 40R turbocharger has already been purchased and is awaiting installation before the USCC. Martini has stories of playing with Lamborghinis and Carrera GTs with this STI, and at every turn, his car comes out on top.

Underpinning this Subaru is a simple set of Ohlins coilovers and a M1 front subframe brace. Simple is relative though. Bought through Prodrive, these Ohlins coilovers feature remote reservoirs, custom valving (specified by Prodrive U.K.), and two-way independently adjustable damping.

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But peek behind the massive Volks and you'll spy the heart- stopping appearance of Brembo's GTR forged monoblock brake kit. Fit with ventilated titanium pistons, this brake kit retails for more than a good condition EK Civic and displays Martini's dedication to his car. Combined with monstrous 275 width Nitto NT01 rubber, this is one Subaru that is sure to do well on the road course and the skidpad.

But don't think that Martini is just a champagne-sipping armchair builder who cuts checks left and right. He's the guy who spends late nights working on his car, has installed every part himself, obsesses about how much rubber will fit under his fenders, and worries about which turbo and which A/R ratio will help him make the most power. He even tweaks his Motec ECU himself.

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That sort of thorough mechanical familiarity is going to come in handy for Martini. It could even be his ace card during the USCC. Making the right adjustments and keeping your car from breaking are two of the most obvious aspects of the USCC to pay attention to. Throw in a 550whp, full weight, road course prepped, air-conditioning equipped STI and Martini could just about walk away with the win. Should be good for an Internet story or two, at least.

2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Engine Code:EJ257
Type: 2,457cc, flat-four, aluminum block and heads, AVCS variable valve timing, turbocharged and intercooled
Internal Modifications: Cosworth pistons, piston rings, forged connecting rods, oiling system, camshafts (280 intake/282 exhaust), valves, CNC-machined cylinder heads, Setrab oil cooler
External Modifications: Full Race exhaust manifold, front mount intercooler, intercooler piping, downpipe, TiAL external wastegate, Garrett GT40R turbo, custom air intake, exhaust
Engine Management Modifications: 1,600cc/min fuel injectors, Bosch fuel pump, Motec ECU fuel surge tank

Layout: Longitudinal front engine, all-wheel drive
Drivetrain Modifications: Driveshaft Shop axles, Tilton triple-plate clutch

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Front: Ohlins coilovers, M1 subframe brace, alignment and setup by M-Workz
Rear: Ohlins coilovers

Front: Brembo GTR monoblock eight-piston brake calipers, 14-inch two-piece rotors, pads, Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines, Motul RBF600
Rear: Brembo GTR monoblock four-piston brake calipers, 12.9-inch two-piece rotors, pads, Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines, Motul RBF600

Wheels: 18x10.5, Volk Racing TE37
Tires: 275/35/18, Nitto NT01
Body: APR widebody kit (fenders, quarter panels and bumpers), rear carbon-fiber wing
Interior: Racetech seats, custom suede interior, Sabelt harnesses, Defi gauges

By Joey Leh
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