May 31, 2022 By Francis G. Pallarco Photos by Mariony Dela Cruz

WIDE and GRAY: Here’s how to properly track-prep a Subaru WRX STi

Anyone who’s familiar with the annual World Time Attack championship (WTAC) race has surely heard about the Cyber Evo as driven by Eiji “Tarzan” Yamada. After winning back-to-back WTAC titles, it was ultimately retired giving way to a new Cyber GTR. Greatly contributing to its track prowess was its wild and radical looking aero kit made by Varis in Japan. It was a wide body kit with an aggressively styled front bumper that came complete with numerous vents coupled with canards and diffusers. Done right, these aero aids help a racecar achieve better acceleration and higher top speeds. Not only that but also provides downforce to produce more grip, for faster cornering speeds and improved braking performance. These vital factors allow for lower lap times that ultimately win races.

An important factor that inspired Ryan Santos to equip his Subaru WRX STi  with a complete time attack themed body kit from Varis. The kit consists of a carbon fiber hood, trunk, GT wing, rear diffuser, side splitter and wide front and rear fenders. Ryan also notes that the quality of the pieces from Varis as top notch, which is why they are regarded as one of the best. After the H3 Autoworks crew installed all the aero pieces, the entire car was refinished with a custom gray hue that’s been gaining a strong fan base among the tuning crowd. It also serves as a stark contrast for those red colored TE37RT forged aluminum wheels from Rays Engineering. Introduced first in ’96, the distinct 6-spoke TE37 wheel remains a strong favorite and has become a staple in the tuning scene up to the present.

Since this will ultimately serve as a track day car, the interior strongly reflects its purpose. With a pair of Bride Low max bucket seats, Defi gauges and a 7-point roll cage; this car means business. More importantly, Ryan focused on the basic foundation of any track car, which is the suspension and brakes. As such, the STi struts were replaced with fully adjustable BC coil overs. Aside from its 30 way adjustable damping, it also makes use of the bottom mount to adjust the height thus retaining full damper travel. It’s also hard not to miss the Project Mu big brake kit peering from those TE37RT spokes. With a 6-piston forged aluminum caliper and 2-piece rotors it offers the best quality and braking performance for better lap times.

While the engine’s internals and turbocharger remain stock, it comes with more than enough bolt-on mods that help squeeze out more ponies. Just like the Cobb intake and air box unit that’s a neatly designed short ram cold air intake. Then there’s the Invidia down pipe along with headers from TOMEI and a dual quad tip exhaust system from BLITZ. While the engine mods end there, this is because Ryan is planning to have a fully built engine with a twin scroll turbo, as he expects to use it for track duties.  But it wont hurt either if he ends up adding a Cobb Accessport in the meantime. This has the capability to reprogram the vehicle’s computer (ECU) by selecting one of the pre-installed performance “maps” that automatically optimize settings such as the air/fuel ratio, ignition timing, boost and more for performance results that you can instantly feel.  More importantly, this allows the ECU to take advantage of the various engine bolt-on mods.

Ryan’s idea of building something outside of his comfort zone is no easy task as it could have easily ended up as an overly decked out build. But by sticking to the basics and concentrating on the theme and what’s important, it certainly seems clear here that he has pulled it off quite nicely. Coming from previous all-Honda (CRX and Integra DC2) drag race oriented builds along with a drift-prepped Nissan Silvia S-13 that he’s currently toying around, Ryan has succeeded in his quest of upgrading his ride with a totally different one. An awesome one that’s far from being done as there’s always something worth upgrading.


2012 Subaru WRX STi Sedan

Ryan Santos

Engine:                             2.5-Liter, Horizontally-opposed turbocharged and Intercooled,

DOHC, 16-v, 4-cylinder with Variable Camshaft Timing.

Engine Mods:                 Cobb intake and Air box, Invidia down pipe, Tomei headers,

Blitz quad tip titanium tip catback exhaust system,

Zero sports intercooler splitter, Zero sports alternator cover,

Zero sports radiator cooling plate, STi radiator caps,

STi oil cap, STi battery tie down,

Horsepower:                   305 @ 6000 rpm (Factory rating)

Torque (lb-ft):                 290 @ 4000 rpm (Factory rating)

Transmission:                 6-speed manual

Suspension Mods:          BC coil over, Cusco (F&R) Upper strut bars,

Brake Mods:                    Project Mu Big Brake Kit,

Rollers:                              Volk Racing  “Burning Red” TE37RT Wheels (18X9.5)

Nitto NT-01 Tires (275/35/ZR18)

Project Kics wheel spacers,

Interior Mods:                 Defi oil temp, boost and oil pressure gauges, Damd carbon Steering wheel

ARC shift knob, Cusco 7-point roll cage,

Bride Low Max racing bucket seat, Bride railings,

Exterior Mods:                Varis wide body full kit D (F&R fenders and bumper)

Varis carbon hood, Varis carbon trunk, Varis GT rear wing,

Varis rear diffuser, Varis side splitter, Varis muffler heat shield

Body & Paint:                   H3 Autoworks

Kudos To:                         Bong Hilario of H3 Autoworks, Mike Castillo of LG2 Autostation,

Ato Lim of Auto Circuit in Banawe,



© C! 2003-2022. All Rights Reserved. Designed by