2007 Subaru Forester STi SG9
At a certain point in time, Subarus used to be built like Legos in a sense that you could, ideally, pick and build a Subaru to your liking using little modular pieces of Legos, a feature we car enthusiasts in Bangladesh took for granted before the rise in CKD prices globally, since most Imprezas in Dhaka went under the knife and came out as ST is.This interchangeability also meant, like us, Americans could finally have the forbidden fruits sanctioned by Japan (read: almost all of the hot STi models North America never got a taste of). That is exactly how my introduction to the Forester STi came, through Ben from Gears and Gasoline documenting his journey of converting his beater SG Forester to a purebred with the help of crucial bolt-on lego blocks such as the 2.5 Turbo flat four and the six-speed, and then taking it for a road trip from the east coast of the USA to Alaska and back, although I vaguely remember Fifth Gear pitting a silver hawkeye STi against a blue forester STi on track (spoiler alert: the Impreza won).
While earlier Foresters were closely based on the Impreza and had enthusiast-driven models ranging from lukewarm to boiling hot, 2008 was an unfavourable year not just because of the stock market crash. Car manufacturers started giving in, catering to the rising demand of crossovers amongst millennials. Smaller cars were on their way out and just like that, the quirky Forester was morphed into a full-size SUV devoid of any soul from 2008 onwards.
Hence, what we’re featuring on this issue of Turbine could arguably be considered as the swan song of the quirky, fast and unassuming cousin of the purebred rally car; 2007 Subaru Forester STi SG9 in the iconic World Rally Blue Mica with the quintessential gold STi wheels, meticulously restored, built and maintained by Zahed Rehan Iqbal, father of two and a family man through and through. Besides being an enjoyer of house music and cars, Zahed’s main hobbies are watching movies and hanging out with friends.
By day, he’s engaged in the energy efficient window systems business as he utilises the Forester and its massive boot space. By night, his trusty WR blue daily driver dons the face of Mr. Hyde as every night after 2 AM is a memory riddled with full boost and boxer rumble. What started off with dismantling toy cars and sketching cars from magazines quickly avalanches into his love for cars since childhood. Like many, he grew up watching Top Gear as his Primary love for cars lies with the spirit of driving while the general love for cars comes complementary.
While this Forester might look like a regular family station wagon with a fancy colour combo it’s very unsuspecting and definitely a sleeper at full chat. I can still recall one of my earlier encounters with one while on vacation in the UK as I was walking by an identical WR Blue late model Forester STi, complete with gold Brembos and pink badges as an elderly woman drove off into the countryside sunset.
However, this particular unit still remains to be the only STi unit and project done in Bangladesh so far, that too with no half measures and no stones unturned, since the powertrain has already been future proofed with regards to the maintenance and modifications associated with a healthy EJ255 turbo Boxer motor to keep it running trouble free with a fully forged and built motor to handle daily abuse in conjunction to Manley Turbo Tuff conrods and pistons.
GSC Power Division intake & exhaust valves, valve spring and titanium retainers preside by the pistons while a Killer B oil pick up and baffle pan ensures no issues of oil starvation. A mouthful of mods including and not limited to ACL and Kings race bearings, Gates kevlar timing kit, ACL high flow oil pump, ARP2000 head studs and bolt kit and a Cometic gasket kit are sure to keep the head gasket memes away. Moreover, the elusive 4th cylinder cooling mod has been done to it to increase reliability. While Snowperformance Stage 2 water-meth kit has been installed to keep the engine sufficiently cool while churning out power. An HKS thermostatic oil cooler kit keeps oil temperature in check while a DW300 fuel pump takes care of sending fuel to the injectors.
The elevated boxer rumble is partly owed due to a host of induction mods- K&N pod filter in addition to ZeroSports aluminium intake charge pipe, titanium exhaust manifold flowing through a decatted ZeroSports downpipe and muffler. An ‘08 STI top Mount intercooler presides over the red EJ255 block.The clutch is stiff as is expected from an OS Giken twin clutch kit with OEM clutch slave cylinder.
Being closely related to the Impreza, this Forester moreover owes its athletic prowess to a catalogue of Cusco handling mods including and not limited to Cusco coilovers, a Cusco front strut bar and a Cusco rear sway bar.
The beautiful STi wheels are wrapped around in semi slick 245/40R18 Advan Neova AD08 tyres. The OEM Forester STI Aero Kit ties in well together with the Impreza STI rear bumper diffuser and the quintessential STI rally mud flaps while the party piece in my opinion has to be the Hella Rallye 2000 yellow fog lamps camouflaged behind the grille which complements the blue paint job when turned on, giving OEM plus energy.
The interior got the Subaru Tecnica International treatment with the classic blue STi bucket seats. The dash houses ergonomically placed gauges such as the AEM afr gauge, Innovate Oil Temp/Pressure gauge, the SnowPerformance water-meth controller gauge and the STI Genome boost gauge.
Future plans and mods will see the Forester go under the knife again with a bigger Blouch Dominator 2.5 xtr turbo, uprated DW1000cc top feed conversion injectors and STI Spec C fuel surge tank.