When I finished shooting the BRZ STI Concept a couple of weeks ago at the STI HQ in Mitaka, I headed upstairs to the STI Gallery to see if there were any cool cars on display. It seemed I had picked the perfect day to have a wander…
…as there was a cool triplet of WRC cars on display. Next to McRae's 1998 "P14 WRC" Prodrive rally car was Petter Solberg's 2006 WR car…
…that was used in the 2007 Rallie Monte-Carlo.
The STI staff let me have a nice look around the car and even take a peek under the hood where the EJ20 that powers this beast sits. It may have been restricted to 300 HP, but there were no limits set on torque obviously, so that is what it has been tuned for. While those 300 horses are cranked out at a peak of 5,500 rpm, a wallop of 434 lb/ft is developed at 4,000 rpm. Impressive numbers and just what you need when tackling tight mountain stages. With a lot of importance given to throttle response piping has been kept to a minimum with the intercooler mounted horizontally in front of the engine. Part of the carbon intake chamber was missing from this car but basically it is mounted directly on the turbo…
…and fed by a complex carbon air guide. The most curious part of all was the expansion chamber on the intake side of the intercooler-piping, definitely something to help develop that massive low-rpm torque. An anti-lag system keeps the turbine spinning even when throttle is released, for that instant punch of thrust whenever the driver requires it.
It's all business inside! The AP Racing pedal box helps shift the driving position so that the driver is sitting pretty much inline with the B-pillar, both to help shift weight towards the center of the car and of course as a safety aspect if you happen to hit a tree while sideways! The roll cage is nothing short of a work of art and pretty damn beefy, as it has to take some serious impacts if the worst was to happen.
The top part of the dash is flocked to avoid nasty reflections on the windscreen that could potentially distract the driver, while most of the various switches and controls are neatly laid out on the carbon fiber transmission tunnel. Check out the handbrake lever, that's also carbon. Gears are selected via the paddle behind the steering wheel, pull back for an upshift, push it for a downshift.
You can't beat the looks of a slammed tarmac-spec rally car!!
On top of state of the art dampers Solberg's Impreza is fitted with the mother of all AP Racing monobloc calipers at all four corners. The lightweight BBS wheels are shod in BF Goodrich g-Force cut slicks, 225/40R18s all round.
Big thanks to the STI Staff for allowing me to shoot this impressive car in detail.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare