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Wide Body WRC!

A Subie STi combining Australia's first wide body kit, 10 second performance and show quality!

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

At a glance...

  • Wide body STi
  • 2.5 litre nitrous-fed engine
  • Top-line Dolby 5.1 audio system
  • A proven show car... that should run 10s!
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Daniel Ivancic likes to be the first and best in whatever he does. You only need to look at his ride - the first wide-body STi in Australia and the 3rd outright place getter in the 2004 AutoSalon Final Battle.

Despite the show nature of this beast, Daniel says it’s no excuse to keep the car under wraps - he drives it regularly on weekends with a car-load of mates. You only need to consider Daniel drove the car from interstate specifically for our photo shoot...

Daniel is relatively new to the car show and high-performance scene. He says his previous cars - Beemers and Hondas - were nothing extravagant: this MY02 STi is his first encounter with performance.

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"I could have bought a WRX but I’m glad I went for the STI," says Daniel.

"It turns out that it’s a great platform for mods. Sure, you can take out the engine and build a new engine for a WRX but you don’t get the 6 speed, Brembos or Suretrac diffs of the STi."

Unfortunately, the powerband of the STi leaves much to be desired and Daniel soon found himself entering the aftermarket bolt-on scene. His first move was the fitment of a cat-back exhaust, interceptor module and, later, a high-flow dump pipe.

This combo improved drivability and gave a lot more performance - but not for long. The original engine had traveled about 20,000 kilometers when it dropped its bundle.

Decision time.

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By now Daniel had hooked up with the guys at Tony Rigoli Performance (TRP) and the official word was that 2.5 was "tha sh&*". Daniel gave them the go-ahead for the project. The aim: top-level Subaru performance.

The Rigoli boys have built countless Subie engines and know what it takes to run numbers with reliability. The stock STi block was discarded for a TRP ‘Stage 2’ 2.5, which was built with aftermarket ceramic coated forged pistons, billet rods, copper head gaskets, custom cams and various other parts that’ve served the Rigolis well.

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To produce the high kilowatt numbers, Daniel relies on a GT61 roller-bearing turbocharger which is mounted side-by-side with a TurboSmart 38mm external wastegate. Boost pressure is controlled to around 30 psi by a TurboSmart e-Boost unit.

The turbo is mounted on a custom up-pipe which leads into a 3 inch mandrel bent system. The air intake comprises a K&N pod filter on a large diameter pipe and a Mood Motorsport custom intercooler which we’re told chills induction air to near ambient. A GFB blow off valve is installed to the pipework. An array of braided lines is also found in the engine bay.

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The fuel system comprises a rising rate regulator, Bosch Motorsport fuel pump and, at the time of photography, high-flowed STi injectors. A bigger set of 1000cc Rochester injectors have since gone in. Fuel and ignition are controlled by a MicroTech LT8 programmable management system.

By the time the mechanics had been sorted, Daniel had already given the body the all-out treatment.

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Take a long, close look at our photos. You may notice the extra width which is most easily recognised alongside the taillights - there’s about 2 inches of extra panel width on each side. Blending the wide body to the existing bodywork took numerous changes – for example, the outward curve for the wider rear guards now starts about half way along the back door. Notice that the rear door handles have also been removed and smoothed over - access to the back seat is now via remote control.

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At the forward end, the standard STi guards were sliced off along their top edge, spacer sections were welded on and the guards were reattached in a new outboard location. The newly created cavity between the front guards and doors is filled by mesh.

Other body add-ons include an aluminium GT-style job, skirts, custom front bar and bonnet. These body parts and wide-body conversion can be credited to J Racing. The look is completed using flame graphics down each side.

But forget some of that that because, not long after our shoot, the car was given a full House of Colour re-spray, flag graphics, new rear wing and...

This car is always evolving.

Rolling stock are 18 inch BBS alloys - the same as used in the Ferrari challenge. Daniel had the rims painted gold to achieve a STi-like appearance. And check out the steam-roller tyre size – 265/35 18... Daniel says nobody in Australia has managed to fit wider rubber to their STi - the wide body kit really opens the door to wild wheel and tyre packages.

The body rides closer to the bitumen thanks to Tein adjustable coil-overs teamed with a Whiteline swaybars, front strut brace, anti-lift kit and adjustable rear lower control arms. Brakes remain standard apart from DBA slotted discs and GreenStuff pads at the front.

Inside is a supremely crafted leather trim teamed with an audio system to knock your socks off.

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When Daniel decided to inject some class into the STi cabin he didn’t bother changing the seats - all that was needed was some high-quality leather, which continues to the door trims. AutoMeter boost and AFR meters are mounted on the A pillar while the e-Boost controller is integrated into the driver’s ventilation outlet.

Credit for the sound system can be directed at Pioneer Australia (who sponsored the install) and Autobahn in Airport West, Melbourne (who performed the installation). The nerve-centre of the system is a brilliant 7 inch flip-out Pioneer DVD/TV/CD/MP3 unit which provides Dolby 5.1 sound and is wired to three amplifiers. 700W and 480W amplifiers drive the assortment of in-cabin speakers while a 1000W amp drives the single 12 inch sub that lives in the boot. The entire boot is presented at show car standard.

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And what else is that stowed in the boot? Yep, an indecently large nitrous bottle!

When Daniel gets the opportunity to hit the quarter mile, he’ll rely on some good ol’ giggle gas for an extra bit of speed. With the 100hp shot of gas flowing, this machine has punched out 540hp (403kW) at all four wheels (as measured on TRP’s Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno).

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Driving through a Jim Berry custom heavy duty clutch and with a set of yet-to-be-fitted semi-slick tyres, Daniel is hopeful of running a 10 second pass.

"There’s another car in Sydney with the same engine set-up as mine but with a smaller turbo - that ran a 10.9, so I think a 10 second pass is realistic," says Daniel.

Tens or not, there’s one thing for certain.

This is far and away one of the wildest and most immaculately presented Subies in Australia.

Contact/ Thanks:

TRP (Tony Rigoli Performance)                        +61 2 9644 3100
                                                                                 www.rigoliracing.com.au

Daniel would also like to thank his wife Wafe, OZWRX.com, Imad (the slick) and Nick.

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