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2009 SEMA Show: Subaru on Display

This year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show once again afforded Subaru the opportunity to exhibit a range of vehicles – historic, contemporary, championship-winning, intriguing, and downright insane.


Photo: Courtesy of DC Shoes, Inc.

That the SEMA Show is held in Las Vegas is fitting. You never know what you're going to find there. The vehicles in the Subaru display added to the show's sense of wonder. Subaru intended its show booth to accomplish a number of things:

  • Promote the 2010 Subaru Legacy and demonstrate its fun-to-drive, sporty side
  • Celebrate Subaru Motorsports
  • Recall Subaru heritage 


Ken Block's Gymkhana 2 WRX STI – an Astounding Toy for an Astounding Driver


First, the insane: If you haven't seen Ken Block's Gymkhana videos, find them here. This WRX STI is not Block's rally car. Rather, it was prepared by Crawford Performance in Oceanside, California, to satisfy Block's need for speed as well as spinning, sliding, drifting, burning through tires, braking, and anything else he can think of to do on four wheels.


Photo: Courtesy of DC Shoes, Inc.


Photo: Courtesy of DC Shoes, Inc.

Ken Block's Crawford-built cars are works in progress, meaning that the Gymkhana car displayed at SEMA Show might not be exactly like the one in the video. That's due to Block asking for tweaks and modifications after his runs. All he wants is a car that will slide the way he wants at 100 miles per hour.


This started out as Ken Block's personal 2008 Impreza WRX STI street car. It's now a fully prepared race car – but racing for Block's enjoyment. The engine work, which is one of Crawford Performance's strengths, raises horsepower to 565 and torque to 590 lb-ft at the wheels. Crawford stroked the engine from 2.5 to 2.65 liters and gave it forged JE pistons, Pauter billet connecting rods, STI main and rod bearings, and STI cams and valve springs. Exhaust manifolds are by STI and built for the Japanese domestic market.


Photo: Courtesy of DC Shoes, Inc.

The turbocharger, intercooler, and their plumbing were modified, too. The Garrett GT35R turbo is a prototype, and the intercooler is mounted in front instead of over the engine.


Power passes through an EXEDY triple-carbon clutch and 6-speed dog-ring KAPS transmission.


Brakes are Brembo®1 GRAN TURISMO, with two-piece rotors at each wheel. There are six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear. In addition, the car has neither power assist for the brakes nor ABS.


The 265/40 R18 front and 245/40 R18 rear g-Force™ KDW tires are mounted to 18 x 8.5 front and rear painted alloy wheels.


The car has been stripped of nonessentials, reducing weight to 2,775 pounds. Among other modifications to reduce weight was the installation of a carbon-fiber dashboard.

In addition, these modifications were made:

  • STI adjustable brake bias controller
  • Extra-large hand brake
  • Carbon-fiber RECARO seats
  • Willans harnesses
  • Safety cage
  • Sparco steering wheel
  • MoTeC digital dash display
  • CARBONETIC® clutch-type differentials
  • Tein Super Racing coil-over suspension components
  • Cusco antiroll bars

1 Brembo is a registered trademark of Freni Brembo S.p.A.

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