A few years back I was lucky enough to own a 2005 GDB chassis Impreza STi, the later model with the wide wheelbase and the DCCD controller. It was my first car with over 300 bhp and it was an absolute joy to own and modify. Alas it’s now pretty high on my list of cars I wish I’d never sold. So as a dedicated Impreza enthusiast I’m excited to be writing my first Impreza feature for Farm of Minds. Yet I’m pretty certain readers are going to be divided on the subject of Teiji’s mint Impreza S204. For the stance lovers and die-hard modifiers it’s a beautiful example of a modified ‘Hawkeye’ Impreza. For the Subaru purists it’ll no doubt be considered borderline heresy,choosing to modify one of Subaru Technica International’s great factory specials.
As anyone who has even a passing interest in fast Imprezas will know, there are a lot of different models and specifications to choose from. Some of the most highly coveted are the ‘S’ series models, a set of limited production factory tuned STi models that were only available in Japan. The S204 performance package comprised a revised twin-scroll turbo for better response and low end torque mated to a bespoke titanium muffler for a deeper, richer engine note. The suspension was revised to suit, and lightweight front seats and rims were added along with a low profile wing and carbon fibre undertray. Only 600 were made, and retailed for 5 million Yen (around $50,000) when launched in 2006.
So Teiji did rather well for himself when he bagged this example late in 2011. Knowing that he was sitting in a slice of Subaru history, he wanted to remain sympathetic to the intentions behind this factory special, but still had a few choice modifications in mind to take it to the next level. As a member of Japan’s Subarudo group, Teiji’s priority was to give his car the lowest stance he could manage. Having committed to keeping the stock factory look elsewhere, wheel choice was crucial to make his ride stand out in the crowd.
Despite the ubiquity of the Volk TE37 on JDM cars, it’s still a relatively rare choice on an Impreza, particularly the GD chassis models . However, as a long-time admirer of the ‘GT-R fitment’TE37, he had no hesitation inordering a set in 18/10.5” with 245 section Federal 595 tyres to give the car a decent footprint and a unique look. D2 racing coilovers were selected for the job of getting the perfect stance, mated to a set of awkwardly named 326Power Spring “Charabane” springs to get the car even lower. One of the downsides of the TE37 design is the large gaps between spokes, which can leave the standard brake discs looking a little bit weedy, even when you’ve got a beefy Brembo setup from the factory. To solve this, a set of Dixcel larger rotors and uprated pads have been fitted to not only adequately fill these gaps, but further enhance stopping power.
Elsewhere, Teiji has wisely chosen not to meddle with factory perfection. An HKS intercooler has been fitted to circumvent the well-known heat soak problems associated with the factory top mount, and an SSQV blow-off valve has been fitted for some aural excitement. An HKS Racing Suction intake has been fittedto add some induction roar, and there are plans for a full exhaust system in the future if he can bear to part with the beautiful STi titanium muffler. Everything else is largely cosmetic, ensuring that the usually sombre and uninspiring Impreza engine bay gets some much needed chrome and alloy highlights.
As Teiji himself has said, he wanted to retain the clean factory look in the base car whilst attracting attention from onlookers – even those who don’t like cars! He’s definitely succeeded in his aim, andwhile there are those who would argue against modifying a rare factory tuned car, they still couldn’t deny just how great his car looks rolling through the streets of Nagano.