Long-term patrons of this fine online hub of automotive goodness may remember that this isn’t the first time that Roger Clark Motorsport’s now legendary Gobstopper II Subaru Impreza GR has graced the front page.
I’m not referring to the shop visit that I bought you last week either. Cast your mind back to 2013 and you may recall that Mr. Musselwhite did a stellar job of featuring the build when it was first completed.
Go back even further and you may even recall that we ran a spotlight on the original GC8 Gobstopper in 2009.
The very fact that the Gobstoppers were so named in response to ‘stopping all the talking’ makes me smile, because they did exactly that. But I digress.
Back when Bryn first featured Gobstopper II we already had some inclination that RCM had built something special. What we didn’t realise at the time was that they’d created a monster.
A world-beater, if you will.
Everyone knows that real project cars are never truly finished, and Gobstopper II was no different. Since 2013, the Roger Clark team have continued to build and develop the car, scooping up all manner of titles, awards and accolades along the way.
In its debut season, the car took home the 2014 Time Attack Pro Extreme title. Matt and Olly Clark were then invited to bring Gobstopper II to the prestigious 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Olly did more than oblige, he piloted the Impreza up Lord March’s driveway in the fastest time during the festival, thrusting the car, and RCM, into the limelight. How had this 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Subaru beaten the fastest cars in the world to the top?
Come 2016’s Festival Of Speed the team returned to Chichester and put on a repeat performance. Check out the videos above to see Olly’s class-winning runs.
Since Bryn’s initial feature, the Gobstopper II has undergone some pretty important development and changes. On a build of this scale the adjustments may not sound like much, but when you’re dealing with every hundredth of a second being vital, they all add up.
Firstly, Matt found a way to eke even more power from the EJ20 motor, taking it from a more-than-modest 780bhp, right up to the 910+bhp that it boasts today.
As well as add a larger Precision Turbo 6466 unit, RCM also developed a twin timing belt conversion for the EJ20, which greatly reduced the problem of the longer, single timing belt bouncing at high RPMs.
With greater power comes greater speed and the need for increased roadholding. In the quest search for optimal handling, the car was treated to a wider track thanks to 18×11-inch Team Dynamics wheels all around and a full set of wide carbon front and rear fenders, designed in-house by RCM and produced by KS Composites.
The front aerodynamics were completely redesigned too, and the large, square full-width front wing that originally graced the car was replaced with a far more subtle and rounded carbon fibre lip and canards setup.
I say subtle, but it’s still pretty imposing!
This isn’t all guesswork either; the car was fully scanned and tested not only in software, but also in the wind tunnel. RCM aren’t messing around.
Usually these changes wouldn’t be sufficient to make us showcase a car for the second time, but not only is it justified here because Gobstopper II is something truly special, but because Matt, Olly and the RCM team have a little something new up their sleeve.
You may have noticed the scribbles on a whiteboard during my shop visit alluding to a third instalment in the Gobstopper story. I only had to ask the question and Matt excitedly grabbed his laptop and loaded up what he had to show me.
I’m right to be excited, because just as Gobstopper II was an extreme evolution of the original, RCM are looking to push the boundaries even further with Gobstopper III.
How does a full tubular space-frame chassis, custom in-board suspension and 50:50 weight distribution grab you? Matt’s initial 3D renderings show that the car is being designed completely around the driver, with the engine pushed right back through the position of the original bulkhead.
It’s hard to imagine anything challenging the pace of Gobstopper II but I have a funny feeling I won’t be saying that once the third instalment is fully in development.
That’s about all we can tell you for now, except that it’ll be four-wheel drive, powered by a Subaru engine, naturally, and be ridiculously fast.
Of course, any other deductions that you might make are entirely up to your own interpretation…