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Fire & Fury: A 2JZ-Swapped Subaru Impreza RS – Speedhunters



Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1624

One rather significant drawback to Ford rear ends is the Ford 5×4.5-inch bolt pattern. Not in any hurry to buy two sets of Work Meister S1 wheels, Adam embarked on a rather complex journey of making both the front and the rear of the car share the same bolt circle. If you consider the hub the center line, the inside of the axle of the car consists of Ford parts and the outside consists of Subaru parts. Mating the two worlds together took a careful mix of parts from both OEM catalogues and The Driveshaft Shop. The considerable effort proved to be worth it as not only does the bolt pattern match, it’s proven to be extremely dependable throughout all of Adam’s sanctioned and ‘responsibly supervised’ road testing.

The factory RS brakes have been replaced with STI units, and for safety during all testing exercises a line lock has also been installed.

Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1685

Considering what is under the hood, the exterior of the Subaru remains rather simple. Adam does have a Varis kit for the car but he’s decided not to fit it for now. Taking the Impreza off the road for a body revision is decidedly less fun than driving it. The car is also reasonably clean throughout, so adding an elaborate kit is perhaps unnecessary.

Personally, I enjoy the restrained exterior. It suits the interior which is strictly business.

Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1315
Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1420

The 2JZ engine is nowhere near the size and shape of a boxer, and Adam says the process of fitting the motor and transmission into the car was “cut and go”. Most of the factory floor no longer exists; it’s been replaced with custom bead-rolled panels from firewall to rear footwell. This style of floor is more commonly seen in drag cars, so isn’t entirely out of place here.

Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1344

“Originally, the car was going to be more drag-oriented,” Adam described before admitting “it’s a bit of a weird mix of street and drag currently”. It’s still got a bit of a way to go before it’s ready for quarter-mile passes, but the bones are there should that become a goal again.

Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1425

‘Bones’ in this case start with custom front and rear subframes that were a necessity to make the swap work. The unibody was reinforced before a cage was then added to further increase rigidity. Finally, the core support has been replaced with an InkFab-built tube front end.

Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1678

Make no mistake, this car is not for the faint of heart. Yes, it lacks refinement in several areas, but when the boost kicks in you’d better hold on to something.

Adams 2JZ Subaru GC8 - 6 - 11 - 2020 - Keiron Berndt-1605

Since his introduction to backroads at an early age via Toyota MR2s, Adam (@Mistertwo40) has always prioritized a fun-to-drive car above all else. I don’t think there’s any way to describe an Impreza RS with a 600+ horsepower 2JZ under the hood as anything but a damn good time.

Dave Thomas 
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom

Photos by Keiron Berndt
Instagram: keiron_berndt

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