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Sofie’s Subaru

Where do I begin the WRX STI Spec C? I guess to put it simply it’s a rally car for the road, because that’s exactly what it is; a homologation model for Group N racing. Unlike the regular STI version which has a higher grade interior and more comfort, the Spec C is more performance focused. It came with Arai tuned dampers, rear pillowball bushings, strut towers, improved engine mounts, and a torque split of 41/59.

And then there’s the Spec C type RA, which stands for “Rally Applicant”. If the regular Spec C wasn’t “hardcore” enough for you then you could choose this one which was stripped of all luxuries (sound system, air conditioning, power windows, trunk trim, airbags, underbody coating, and other things) all for the sake of weight reduction. The hood and roof metal is thinner, and so is the car’s glass. You could lock the center differential from the cockpit, and it has a roof vent that opens manually like those on a rally car. The steering ratio is also quicker and sharper for destroying corners.


The Type RA also received additional parts from the STI catalogue: 4-way STI adjustable inverted struts, STI Japan-spec pink springs, STI rear lateral links, STI rear trailing links, STI 21 mm rear sway bar, STI rear pillowball suspension, STI 110 mm opening rear axleback exhaust, STI 17″ x 8″ Enkei wheels and an STI V-lip front spoiler. Only 350 units were produced, making it one of the rarer model Imprezas.

It takes certain type of person to use a car like the Type RA. A person who is incredibly passionate and dedicated to the need for speed. A person who is solely devoted to performance tuning of the highest level. A person who is willing to sacrifice air conditioning in our Malaysian weather! And that person is its owner; Mr. Sofie.

Sofie can be found frequently at track events with his type RA, and over time he’s found ways to improve an already hardcore machine. The 2.0-liter boxer engine has been stroked further to 2.2-liters with CP pistons, Carrillo Pro-SA conrods, and JUN 264/264 cams. All this is necessary to feed the new turbocharger that sits inside; a Garrett GTX3076R. This dual ball bearing turbine is capable of a 360 to 640 horsepower range. The turbocharger connects to an AMS Performance intercooler and a Tial blow-off valve via custom piping.


To ensure a steady supply of fuel the Type RA runs on 2 Walbro 245lph fuel pumps, one internal and one external, which is then regulated by a Sard fuel regulator. The exhaust system has been upgraded to a Trust PE Ti-R exhaust with a custom downpipe and up pipe setup. A reflashed ECU allows for additional power upgrade without scraping the factory ECU unit or breaking your wallet.
The stock 6-speed gearbox is specially engineered by STI and is geared nicely for the Spec C, so an ATP clutch is fitted in to ensure that it doesn’t break from the additional horsepower. The stock STI suspension with Arai tuned dampers provides an adequate setup for Sofie and has been retained, with the only addition being a rear Cusco strut bar. Also retained are the stock Brembo brakes, which are now accompanied by Carbotech brake pads.

As this Impreza is still a road car the interior still remains unchanged but Sofie did add on a Defi boost and oil temp meter to monitor the essentials. The exterior receives additional weight reduction with a Varis carbon fiber bonnet and trunk. Tyres are of no compromise and that’s why Sofie’s choice of tyres is none other than Yokohama Advan Neova AD08Rs, which goes with 18x8jj SSR Type F wheels.

Sofie would like to give thanks to the following people: “the support of my parents, wife Farah Nadziah, son Sayf Irfan, big bro Akram, Rafi Apd, Chuan and Cheng from Mega S to be best mechanics around, Panjang JRZ Piping, Justin, Kumaran and Sean from Hypertune to put this car in the mag!”

Car: 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C Type RA

Engine: EJ20 2.0-liter boxer 4-cylinder turbocharged, 2.2 liter stroker kit, CP pistons, Carrillo rods Pro Sa, JUN 264/264 cams, Garret GTX3076R, AMS Performance intercooler, custom intercooler piping, Tial blow-off valve, Setrab pro line oil cooler, internal walbro 245lph, external walbro 245lph, Sard fuel regulator, Trust PE Ti-R exhaust with custom downpipe and up pipe

Electronics: Reflashed ECU

Transmission: 6-speed manual gearbox, ATP clutch

Chassis & Handling: Stock STI suspension “tuned by Arai”, rear Cusco strut bar

Brakes: Stock Brembo brakes, Carbotech brake pads

Wheels & Tyres: SSR Type F 18x8jj, 235/40/18 Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R tyres

Interior: Stock interior, Defi boost & oil temp meter

Exterior: Factory Spec C bodykit, Varis carbon fiber bonnet & trunk

Garage: Dragstar Performance, Mega S, JRZ Custom Piping

Words: Sean Eu
Photos: Kenny Yeoh

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