Super Street Feature: 2007 Subaru WRX STi – Baby Got Black
If you want to know what a badass car looks like, look no further. You won’t find any bright colors, flashy parts or stretched tires. This murdered-out Subie is all about performance with a built motor, tight chassis and a stance that’s designed to go, not show!
We tracked down this buff STI to the Bay Area. It’s taken the owner Matthew Tomczek six years to get his project where it is today. And from our interview with him, we realized he believes strongly in one rule: performance over looks.
Matt kicked off the six-year project by tackling the turbocharged flat-four. Keeping the motor and intercooler stock at first, he added a few bolt-ons and had the car tuned for E85. He told us by simply switching from 91-octane to the ethanol fuel blend, the car made 100hp and 100 lb-ft of torque more on the dyno! Impressive numbers but the increase in power and regular abuse ultimately pushed the limits of the motor too far. The piston ringlands eventually gave way and cracked. Matt did his research and learned it was a common problem for modified STIs so he wasn’t discouraged. Instead, it only made him more determined to build a stronger and faster Subaru.
Unfortunately, Matt discovered later the shop he trusted the engine build to didn’t have their shit together. So when his Subie got back on the road, it never ran smooth and catastrophe struck again when the cylinder walls cracked. For the second time, the motor had to be torn apart. Matt called the help of reputable shops Race Engine Development to resleave the block while Rob’s Auto Machine and RBMS Autocare ensured the rest of the engine would be properly assembled, balanced and blueprinted. GST Motorsports took care of the final tune and the 2.5-liter threw down a respectable 422whp and 457 lb-ft of torque—plenty of power for the streets if you ask us.
Matt also brought the drivetrain and chassis up to speed at the same time. The six-speed manual received a grippier RPS clutch and ACT lightweight flywheel. Stiffer engine and tranny mounts, plus new steering and rear diff bushings ensured a more positive driving feel.
As for the suspension, only the best parts were installed on all four corners—TEIN Flex coilovers. Plenty of bracing stiffened up the chassis including a Cobb rear sway bar, Cusco strut bars, plus a lower H- and rear V-braces.
Since Matt was an autocross fiend, the widest wheels and tires were high on his priority list to get the most traction. In time, everybody and their mother with a Subaru started picking up RPF1s so he switched to something a little different, yet still lightweight and evil-looking—18×10.5″ Advan RG-Ds.
He couldn’t stop there as he drew up plans to make the exterior pop. Keeping everything motorsport-inspired, he fitted a Chargespeed body kit, plus a Seibon front lip, rear wing, canards and a rear diffuser—most of which was made of carbon.
We’ll admit Matt’s WRX isn’t the anything innovative in today’s scene, nor is it going to win any awards or break any track records; but on the real, it’s got the whole package and shows us that an aggressive all-black and track-themed project car never gets old.
2007 Subaru WRX STI
Owner Matthew Tomczek
Power 422whp; 457 lb-ft of torque on E85 tune
Engine 2.5 liter flat-four with Element Tuning GT52 turbo; 2000cc Injector Dynamics injectors; CP 100mm pistons; ACL rod bearings; Manley I-beam rods; Darton Big Boy sleeves; LIC Motorsports adjustable idler pulleys; Killer B oil pickup, alternator cover and radiator shroud; ARP head studs; Perrin 2.4″ turbo inlet and 4-bar MAP sensor; Turbo XS front-mount intercooler; TiAL 50mm blow-off valve; EQ TGV deletes, baffled air/oil catch can, blow-through-MAF setup and air pump block-off plates; 3″ short-ram intake; Aeromotive fuel pump; Golan in-line fuel filter; Tomei EL headers and titanium exhaust; Invidia cat-less downpipe; Cosworth billet timing belt guide; Koyo radiator; JDM battery tie down; TEIN hood dampers.
Engine Management Cobb Tuning AP v2.0; Hallman manual boost controller.
Footwork & Chassis TEIN Flex coilovers and EDFC; Cobb Tuning rear sway bar; Karboy rear end-links; Cusco front and rear strut bars, lower H-brace and rear V-brace; Ingalls rear camber bolts.
Wheels & Tires 18×10.5″ +15 Advan RG-D wheels; 295/30 R18 Hankook Ventus Evo tires; 5mm spacers; ARP extended wheel studs.
Exterior Chargespeed Bottomline 2 carbon kit; Seibon carbon front lip; Carbing carbon-fiber rear plate housing; Perrin wing stiffies; Ravspec carbon rear window wing; Karlton fender flares; HKS/Kansai carbon rear diffuser; APR carbon GT mirrors and canards; headlight housings painted black; L’aunsport carbon B- and C-pillar garnish.