• Feb 10th 2009 at 9:58AM
  • 23
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI Travis Pastrana Edition

Subaru may have halted its World Rally Championship campaign, but that isn't stopping the automaker from playing to the hopes and dreams of its enthusiast base and one of the sports' most visible characters. At the Chicago Auto Show, Subaru will take the wraps off the Impreza WRX STI Travis Pastana Edition, a one-make road-going rally machine almost entirely created by raiding the STI and SPT parts bin.

Subaru worked with Pastrana and Vermont Sports Car to create a mildly tuned variant of the STI, beginning with a custom down-pipe and a tweaked ECU. A front strut brace and a SPT lower chassis brace work in conjunction with satin black 18x9-inch Work Evolution wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich G-Force Super Sport A/S tires (sized 275/35 all around).

The rest of the mods are typical SEMA fare, including the yellow paint scheme, sticker job, carbon fiber hood and rear wing, along with a mesh grille, front chin spoiler, exhaust tips, mud flaps and PIAA 2100 HID driving lights. Inside, blue alcantara upholstery joins yellow piping, "199 Pastrana" embroidered logos, matching shift boot, steering wheel and parking brake handle and carbon fiber trim. Although the rally map light, short-throw shifter and passenger side metal foot rest may fool some rally fans some of the time, the Eclipse head unit, mass of Kicker speakers and Xbox 360 make it clear that this one-of-a-kind STI is little more than a show piece designed to draw attention to an otherwise spartan booth. Hit the jump for all the details.


Subaru Designs Custom Impreza WRX STI for Rally Champ Travis Pastrana
  • Pastrana Won His Third Consecutive Rally America National Championship for Subaru in 2008
  • Special WRX STI Fortified with SPT and STI Parts
  • Carbon Fiber Hood and Rear Wing
  • Custom Interior with High-Power Audio System and Xbox
CHICAGO, Feb. 9 -- Subaru of America, Inc. will show a one-of-a-kind Subaru Impreza WRX STI designed for its factory rally driver Travis Pastrana at the Chicago Auto Show, February 13-22 in McCormick Place. Subaru worked with Pastrana to create a brilliant yellow "199" liveried WRX STI to commemorate his third consecutive Rally America National Championship. Pastrana is scheduled to appear at the Chicago Auto Show to sign autographs in the Subaru booth February 14th and 15th.

Winner of nine X Games Gold Medals, two for X Games Rally competition, Pastrana's street ride had to be as formidable on the road as his racing WRX STI is on the rally circuit. The Travis Pastrana WRX STI is not only a visual stunner, but also amps up performance capability of the stock production Impreza WRX STI. Vermont SportsCar, technical partner for Subaru and builder of the team's rally cars, customized the WRX STI using an array of Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) and STI parts, along with unique custom pieces. The SPT and STI engine, exhaust, chassis and interior parts showcased on the Travis Pastrana WRX STI are available for any WRX STI through authorized Subaru dealers.

Travis Pastrana: Rally Star

Pastrana was already a motocross champion and X Games gold medal winner when he launched a rally career in 2003. He began driving for the Subaru-backed Vermont SportsCar rally team in 2004.

On August 5, 2006 Pastrana won the gold medal in the first rally car competition at the X Games and was signed to lead the new Subaru Rally Team USA in 2006. Pastrana secured his third consecutive Rally America National Championship driver's title with a win at the 2008 Rally Colorado round of the championship.

Pastrana WRX STI: Back-Road and Highway Star

Commissioned by Subaru, Vermont SportsCar started the Travis Pastrana WRX STI with a stock 305-horsepower 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Pastrana's new WRX STI delivers even sharper handling response than the stock model. An SPT front strut tower brace and SPT lower chassis brace help to further tighten handling response. The stock wheels and tires are replaced by BF Goodrich G-Force Super Sport A/S 275/35 ZR18 tires on Work Evolution XD-9 18 x 9-in. wheels in custom satin black. Red STI Brembo brake calipers with white "STI" decals are visible behind the spokes.

The rally-bred WRX STI exterior design lights up with custom yellow paint and graphics. The carbon fiber hood and carbon fiber rear wing are unique to the Pastrana's WRX STI. As on the stock production WRX STI, the functional hood scoop streams outside air to an intercooler. The Sport Mesh Grille is available for all WRX STI owners. Likewise, the STI front chin spoiler and the exhaust finishers are available through Subaru dealers. A set of PIAA 2100 HID driving lights and rally-spec mud flaps underscore the aggressive rally-bred design of the 5-door WRX STI.

Engine Compartment

Under its custom carbon fiber hood, this WRX STI is equipped with a number of modifications including a performance-tuned ECU and custom Down Pipe to unleash a bit more power from the DOHC 2.5-liter intercooled turbo Boxer engine. A turbo boost gauge facilitates tuning. The SPT billet aluminum battery hold-down and billet aluminum oil cap are rendered in the trademark SPT blue color.


The custom blue Alcantara interior upholstery, the trademark of the original U.S.-spec WRX STIs, is accented with Pastrana's traditional yellow piping and "199 Pastrana" embroidered logos in yellow thread to match vehicle exterior. Likewise, custom yellow stitching is used to accent the steering wheel, shifter boot and parking brake handle boot. An STI short-throw shifter provides an even more direct connection to the 6-speed manual gearbox. Carbon fiber patterned interior trim highlights the dash, doors and console. A rally map light and co-driver foot rest bring a bit of Pastrana's Subaru Rally Team USA car into his new street WRX STI.

During a rally, Pastrana listens to a continuous stream of navigation commands from his co-driver. In his new custom WRX STI, he can listen to anything he wants -- loudly. The audio system is based on an Eclipse AVN 6620 navigation/DVD/CD/MP3 stereo head unit and uses Kicker amplifiers and speakers, including:

Kicker ZX700.5 4x75 watt and 1x400 watt stereo amplifier
Kicker RS65.2 6.5-in. component speakers, front
Kicker RS56.2 5.25/6-in. component speakers, rear
Kicker Solo-Baric L5 10-in. subwoofer in a custom subwoofer/amplifier enclosure

An Xbox 360 is also mounted under the front passenger seat, rounding a package that is as entertaining as its owner. Pastrana and his co-driver can play the Colin McRae DIRT video game using custom yellow controllers.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      yeah vermont!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Proof that you can't polish a turd.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well then, you should considering giving up showering...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good god that thing is horrible -- and this is coming from a proud '08 STi owner.

      ....except for the wheels, those are nice.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For those wondering why they bothered installing a carbon fiber hood, the stock '08 STI hood is steel. In fact, all Imprezas now sport steel hoods. This change was made for the '08 model year. I assume that Subaru bean counters wanted to trim some production costs, so they decided to forego aluminum in favor of cheaper steel.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Lets see how they did on the SEMA checklist

      Lame theme: Check
      Bright paint job: Check
      Huge wheels: Check
      Slew of bolt-on parts with no custom fab: Check
      Completely inappropriate in-car media: Check

      It looks like they thought of everything.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The wheels aren't big. I don't see how the "theme" is lame. Nothing wrong with SPT parts. And why not throw a game system in there, just for fun?

        And I like the color, don't find it too bright. Subaru has been pretty weak with WRX/STI color selection. I'd welcome yellow. I really like the rust color Mitsu has been doing on the Evo. Soob needs to get more creative in that dept...

        The graphics are ugly, but whatev...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Can 18 inch wheels still be considered huge nowadays?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Typical Autoblog hater comment checklist

        No basis of Understanding of the Article: Check
        Biased views and/or comments: Check
        Ignorant: Check
        Bandwagon Hater: Check
        I don't like the car so I'm going to make typical stupid comment: Check & Check.

        I think that about covers it.

        Btw so Rally America Champion Pastrana yea that's a lame theme.
        Paint isn't bad at all, There are tons of yellow cars that come like that from factory. Huge wheels, really you kidding me? yea 18's might be big on that G35 sedan of yours, but STI's come with them stock now. Bolt on parts...Well Since Subaru is sponsoring this vehicle with their SPT parts it's engineered then fabricated better than any possible "Custom Fab" you might want. Inappropriate Car Media...it's a car show...what were you expecting? Even Mini-vans these days come with DVD players factory.
        • 6 Years Ago
        18s on an STi are huge wheels? That's stock size, now if they were 20s I'd agree, but I think 18s fit the car quite well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I suppose it's something to draw a crowd at the booth. An actual 'built' taxi would've been a killer idea.

      I wonder if the carbon hood weighs more than stock. The previous generation STI's stock aluminum hood was pretty light and the CF hoods weren't really a weight reduction.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The carbon fiber hood shaves about 22 lbs over the stock aluminum alloy hood, or at least the one from Seibon Carbon does.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Alum hood on my Evolution only weighs 18lbs. Swiching to a super thin DC carbon hood reduces only 7lbs. If the CF hood on the Subie reduces 22lbs. the stock alum alloy must be a freaking heavy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      When I first saw the picture, before I read the title, I thought Subaru was getting in to the taxi business.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh yeah, sure! Every taxi I flag down has tire tread gpx (replacing the checkers), custom painted hood & low profile sport tires. I also have lived in places where taxi cabs are green, or black,

        You just don't like yellow as a color for your cars. I'd lose or relocate the "199" but the gpx were very well done. Its obviously not going to appeal to everyone.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hey AZZ... a total sh!tstorm, this thread has become.

        To paraphrase:

        1) Jaguar said, "I see 'taxi' at quick glance."

        2) you said, "STFU, taxis have different colors where I live. You hate yellow."

        3) I said, "Jaguar, I also see 'taxi'. So.. AZZ... deal."

        4) Rev said, "Hey Geekengineer, I see taxi colors but think 'rally' so nyah nyah nyahhhhh."

        4) and you said, "Engineers don't have style. I'll bet you don't drive a yellow car!"

        Well, that last statement is both false and true. I am a mechanical engineer with a great eye for color and style. And my 2008 R32 is Deep Blue Pearl.

        So... yeah, that Subaru still screams "TAXI" when I glance at it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I saw the yellow/black with the accouterments and thought "rally car".
        Deal with it...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I totally agree, Jaguar - just glancing at the picture while scrolling made me instantly think "taxi."

        So... AZZ... deal with it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nice Geek... if engineers ran auto companies they would fire the color dept. Why employ that group when you can just have 3 COLORS.

        White Siver Black

        Which color is your car Geek? We know it ain't yellow! :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not bad, but still don't like the looks of the car, regardless of the paintjob.

      The exhaust/ECU mods are good base-line mods, and do show results.

      I used to be more enthused about car stereo stuff when I was much younger, but I don't even know why people think that video games and stuff like that belong in a car. To each their own, I guess.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That grille improves the improves the front end quite a bit imho. Getting rid of that chrome mustache is a good idea. The rest of the car on the other hand....
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was hoping that the WRX/STI would grow on me over time... but it still hasn't. I really dislike the color scheme and graphics on this particular example, too.
      • 6 Years Ago

      When is the embargo lifted on all the Chicago reveals??
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