If you don’t remember D.C. Shoes cofounder Ken Block’s tire smoking gymkhana antics, then we suggest you take a moment to refresh yourself with his catalog of adrenaline inducing videos with his power sliding sideways Subaru as the star of the show. In a recent interview with Edmund’s Inside Line, Block admits that his first generation gymkhana car was nothing more than an extremely modified streetcar that had gone through a series of complete revisions. The STI started out as a way for Ken and friends to enjoy cross country rallies before dabbling in the world of the Japanese art of autocross know as gymkhana. Gymkhana is like any other time trial that takes place in an oversized parking lot, except there is a lot more rally style sliding in order to get your car around the orange cone even quicker.
So when Block wanted to get serious about gymkhana, he contact the folks at Crawford Performance and teamed up to produce a race ready 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI . The first thing that the racers did was shed every unnecessary ounce from the STI and then stiffen the chassis with an extensive roll cage. Weighing in at 2,775 pounds, the Crawford car is almost 600 pounds lighter than a stock STI. The weight reduction helps the 565 HP high performance flat four make the Subaru absolutely fly. Almost every part of the stroked 2.65 Liter boxer engine has been replaced in favor of lightweight reinforced pieces. Sitting atop the neon green powder coated charge pipes is a Garret GT35R turbocharger that compresses a maximum of 30 psi of boost to make a total of 590 E85 burning lb-ft of torque.
One thing that you don’t get an appreciation for with those slow motion pans and rubber burning power slides is exactly how quick Ken Block’s car is in a straight line. First of all launching an all wheel drive turbocharged car can be difficult, you have to get the revs up around 7,000 to keep the turbo spinning and then absolutely dump the clutch so that all four drive wheels can get power without bogging out the engine. But after all the Crawford STI is a racecar and even without the aid of fifth gear it can go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.0 seconds and run the standing quarter mile in only 10.8 seconds at 123.7 seconds on a set of 275/35R18 BFGoodrich g-Force Drag Radials, now that is 0.7 seconds faster than a Corvette ZR-1 super car, so you know that this tuned STI is fast.