Subaru unveils Hoonigan WRX STI

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Subaru of America has revealed its latest WRX STI built specifically for the Hoonigan Gymkhana video series with Subaru Motorsports USA driver Travis Pastrana at the wheel.

Though not strictly a ‘race car’, the bodywork has been subject to a wind tunnel development program, while the chassis, engine and safety systems have been developed as it were one, albeit without the constraints of series rules. The resulting build, says the company, demanded it draw on all of its motorsports experience, and the creativity of technical partner Vermont SportsCar to build a production-based sedan on the limit of what was possible.

Subaru and Hoonigan announced in May that Pastrana would take over the Gymkhana series for 2020, bringing the series back to its roots—the first two installments featured Ken Block driving Subaru WRX STI models—but promising a new take on the Gymkhana concept. Subaru was tasked with delivering a vehicle that could do things no Gymkhana car had ever been asked to do.

“When we brought Subaru back to Gymkhana, we knew we had to build something outrageous,” said William Stokes, motorsports manager, Subaru of America. “Travis always wants to push the limits, so we knew from the outset we weren’t going to do this with a rally or rallycross car. This was an opportunity for us to redefine what an STI could be, and the results speak for themselves.”

“This STI is unbelievable!” remarked Pastrana. “We’ve never had the opportunity to do this before, to build a car with no restrictions. Engine, suspension, aero—everything is unlimited, clean sheet. It’s crazy fast, easy to control and get sideways and it was perfect out of the box in testing. Gymkhana is a new challenge for me but I want to raise the bar, and this is the car to do it.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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