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Subaru debuts X Games rally car

2010-07-30 06:53

If you are a Colin McRae fan this should make you smile. A contemporary four-door WRX STI monikered rally car. Trust the Americans (who?) to do it right.

Don’t you miss competition Subarus?

Well, although the company has little desire to return to top-flight rally competition this has not stopped those entrepreneurial Americans.

Extreme athletes Travis Pastrana and Sverre Isachsen have sorted themselves some pretty trick WRX STI cars to race at this weekend's X Games 16.

The X Games is debuting a SuperRally feature this year, pitting four cars against each other simultaneously on a diminutive rally course.

The Pastrana and Isachsen cars are dealer delivered WRX STI models. Vermont SportsCar’s technicians were tasked with preparing these STIs for SuperRally competition.

In true rally fashion the American tuner binned most of the cabin trim and trinkets, swopped out the standard fuel tank for a fuel cell, added a fire-suppression system and seam-welded the chassis for strength.

The obligatory roll-cage is triangulated within the cabin architecture too.

Beyond the required safety items, Vermont SportCar’s have improved the WRX STI's dynamics too.

Shoring up agility is a set of EXE-TC adjustable coil-over dampers at all four wheel corners, a key component to ensure the cars can tackle the challenging X Games RallyStar course. A more advanced Si-Drive controller (the differentials remain stock) provides greater traction variability between the front and rear drive wheels.

Powering for the X Games STIs comes from Subaru’s venerable turbocharged flat-four engine displacing 2l.

With a (heavily) liberalised boost regime and relaxed engine control parameters (serviced by a free-flow exhaust system) the engine is much keener than the road-going WRX STI.

Tallying the outputs peak power is up by 151 units to 373kW, supported by a stupefying 760Nm of rotational force. Suffice to say, these Vermont SportsCar STIs should prove to be plenty quick – despite running with 45mm intake  restrictor plates.

Transferring the awesome power to all-four wheels is a dog-leg five-speed EXedy transmission, featuring launch control.

Some mud flaps, a roof-mounted composite air scoop (to cool the cabin) and a more outlandish rear wing are the only exterior styling changes added by the team at Vermont SportsCar’s.

Come this Saturday, the 16th rendition of the X Games will be invigorated by the sound of burbling Scooby flat-four power – something sorely missing from WRC competition…

Inside Wheels24

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