When Joseph Bacigalupi got his 2005 Subaru WRX he had no intention of modifying it. While he convinced himself that the wagon would be good to get him and his wife through the snow and take his dog around town, he had no idea what was in store for this five-door hatch.
A member of the esteemed Team Hybrid car club, he couldn’t help but give into his tuner soul after his wife first bought a set of GramLight 57 rims for the car. He says they looked awful. Lucky for us this opened the modification floodgates – he started by lowering the car, then turned it into one hell of a finished product.
Off the bat, the most noticeable part of it is the unique body style - the entire car is wrapped in a Voltex Racing body kit. Everything from the front bumper and side skirts, to the rear diffuser and front splitter has been covered in the Japanese racing armor. The hood was actually a Christmas present to Bacigalupi from his wife after she vetoed his request to get a Seibon carbon fiber hood. Instead, she ordered a painted Voltex hood with a carbon fiber scoop-delete, giving it just the right amount to match the body.
Underneath the hood it’s easy to see this is no ordinary 2.0L Subaru EJ20T engine. Bacigalupi managed to squeeze out 290 whp after swapping the stock turbo with a Tomei ARMS M7760 turbocharger and Power Enterprise 800cc injectors. A “stealth” version of a Perrin intercooler has been installed, and a Trust full-titanium exhaust and exhaust tip amplifies the engine’s throaty howl.
Putting the added muscle to the ground are 18-inch Diamond Black painted Volk TE37sl rims, wrapped in Bridgestone RE0760 tires. Stopping power is accommodated by a set of Brembo STi calipers - four-piston in the front, and two-piston in the rear.
A Cusco swaybar, Whiteline endlinks, and Beatrush strut bars keep the suspension tight but comfortable, while Stance GR + Pro coilovers and camber adjustments give it a menacing and aggressive stance.
A tedious three-stage Matador Red Mica paint job complements the Subaru’s almost weapon-like look and feel, and the interior takes the WRX to the next level, matching the exterior color scheme with black suede and red highlights. A Sabelt four-point harness keeps the driver in place at all times, while the steering wheel is a special Vertex 20th anniversary model with mounted to a Works Bell Rapfix II quick release hub. The OEM seats have been replaced with Recaro Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX bucket seats with suede inserts.
Going to the back of the car, a custom amp rack and subwoofer enclosure features a Focal Solid1 sub amp and a Solid 4 high frequency amp, and a JL Audio 10-inch W6 sub. Focal speakers are used throughout the car and an Alpine INA W900 head unit acts as the master control.
They say great things happen when you least suspect, and when it comes to Bacigalupi’s WRX that’s exactly the case. What started off as nothing more than a daily driver, this Subaru has seen multiple podium finishes since he began showing it in 2010.
With that said, he still uses the car for one of its original intentions. While he’s never driven it in the snow, Bacigalupi still takes it out with his dog for the occasional drive. So while this WRX is one awesome tuner, it’s also probably the world’s most pimped out dog kennel!