This twin-turbo V-8 Subaru STI was built ouf of necessity, but the results are insaneby Dim Angelov, on
It’s been a while since we have featured an ambitious build from South Africa, but YouTube channel Cars.co.za has once again provided interesting material. After the AMG V-8-powered Toyota Hilux and AMG V-8-powered Lotus Exige, we know take a look at a 2011 Subaru STI with a very unusual engine swap.
Nolan, the owner of the Subaru describes it as a Subaru “with a twist”. Subaru is known for its rumbling flat-four engines, but this one has dropped the stock EJ25 unit in favor of a 4.3-liter Lexus V-8, which has been twin-turbocharged. The car may look like any other STI, but it definitely doesn’t sound like one.
While a big V-8 would normally have bigger tuning potential than an EJ25, which is capped at 300 wheel-horsepower on stock internals, Nolan did the engine swap, mostly out of convenience. In South Africa, Subaru’s aftermarket support is not very strong. Everything has to be imported, which effectively doubles the price. This, however, is not the case with Toyota and Lexus products.
Nolan chose a 3UZ VVTi engine over a 1UZ in order to make the car more unique. Although it may sound like it has a hotter cam – most likely due to the exhaust coming out of the front bumper – Nolan explains that it is a stock engine and hasn’t been opened...yet. The 4.3-liter V-8 was simply put in place of the flat-four after which a pair of GT 3582 turbochargers with HKS blow-off valves were slapped onto it.
Nolan points out that he had to get rid of the all-wheel-drive system, due to the gearbox sitting too far forward. Some custom fabrication was also necessary, with Nolan having to come up with his own transmission and engine mountings, and having to alter the sub-frame. The V-8 is much longer than the stock flat-four, so the radiator was moved further to the front. Despite all the custom work, the car still retains the stock proportions, as Nolan was not willing to extend the STI’s front end.
The most amusing part, however, is the plethora of uncharacteristic sounds, the STI makes. Its V-8 rumble is complimented by the "exhale" of the HKS dump valves, and loud bangs that come out of the side exhaust.
Currently, the car is on a low-boost setting, running only 0.6 bar (8.7 Psi), which is enough for 363 horsepower (271 kilowatts) and 358 pound-feet (485 Nm), on pump gas. It has taken Nolan three years to get the car to where it is, but it is still a work in progress. Nevertheless, the owner is happy with the results so far and happy to answer in the comments section, in case someone is planning to do a similar build.