It’s a shame us Americans never got the first-generation WRX, since they look like capable, little bruisers. The current WRX is a hefty car, which doesn’t help it appeal to those looking to build a track tool on a budget. Those types gravitate towards cars that are already light and small so their money will go the furthest.
Australian Phil Bunter’s WRX epitomizes the successful barn-build. Good tires matched with a modest amount of power and minimal modification are all this head-turner uses. To house wider tires, Dapto Smash Repairs helped graft the V8 Commodore wheel flares onto the stock body, which uses no lightweight carbon or Lexan to trim the Subie’s heft. Regardless, the car looks remarkably agile – lapping the tight course on-par with a Formula Ford 1600.
Being heavier than an open-wheeler, that performance comes thanks to a 2.5-liter motor and a mid-sized snail that push 480 horsepower. Internal mods are limited to cams and a factory crank from a later-gen motor, and even the stock five-speed was used, albeit with stronger dog gears from PPG. The engine looks tractable, and mated to a chassis with predictable handling, there’s plenty to like about this little beast.
It seems then that getting enough tire and a solid footprint on the ground count for quite a lot. That front lip, rear diffuser, and GT wing push the car into the ground, but it’s really all quite simple. It doesn’t even have a custom dash! This neon blue WRX isn’t a money-no-object build; just a few notches away from a street car with a few bolt-ons. Incredible performance for the money, as evidenced by Bunter’s reaction to his lap time at 3:28.