This little sucker howls.
Yes, this Subaru WRX STI packs a Ferrari V8. Some people aren't satisfied with the power of Subaru's boxer engines, but rarely do you see WRX STI models engine swapped, let alone with a Ferrari V8. That's exactly what Dirtfish rally school instructor Sam Albert did, though.
Despite what critics say, the 2.5-liter turbo EJ25 flat-four engine is a great engine, but a Ferrari V8 has a few things to offer, including four extra cylinders and a couple of hundred extra horsepower. However, a little more thought went into the engine swap project than "Hey! Wouldn't it be cool to drop a Ferrari V8 into a Subaru rally car!"
Albert turned his 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI into a rally car to campaign in 2010 but later wanted to try something different under the hood. When perusing the American Rally Association's Open 4WD class rules and regulations, he spotted that the limit on naturally aspirated for displacement was 4.5 liters. The F136 V8 engine is a 4.5-liter lump and one of the most powerful out there.
We can only imagine the grin on Albert's face when he realized what he might be able to get away with there. Unfortunately, the F136 engine is an expensive unit to lay hands on, but the F136 engine has some variations, including the 4.3-liter version from the Ferrari California.
The Ferrari California's engine makes 483 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque and makes its excess of power at a broader peak, meaning it should be easier to get the most out of the engine.
Albert performed the engine swap himself, including the design of a custom flywheel and adaptor. The project hasn't been without its setbacks, though, including a driveshaft failure due to what Albert describes as "ambitious tolerances." However, on the dyno, he reports it made close to the stock performance figures.
The car Ferrari V8-powered WRX STI will get its competitive debut at the Olympus Rally in Washington this April. We'll be cheering it on and hoping it doesn't cause rules to be revised.
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