Subaru WRX STI turned up to 11 with Gymkhana special

Travis Pastrana takes the Gymkhana reins for its eleventh installment, which also sees a return for Subaru

The Gymkhana video series is back for 2020, and for the first time in its 12-year history Ken Block won’t be the star of the show; instead, America racing driver Travis Pastrana is taking the helm. Not only has there been a driver change, but Ford’s run as supplier of the four-wheeled hero has also come to an end after eight videos, with a Subaru making an appearance for the first time since 2009’s Gymkhana Two.

Unlike some previous Gymkhana vehicles, this latest model is not an off-the-shelf rally car, but instead an entirely bespoke creation with a road-going WRX STI at its core. Developed in collaboration with US-based Vermont SportsCar, which has worked with Subaru on its Stateside motorsport exploits since 2005, the ‘Gymkhana STI’ is one of the most extreme-looking machines to appear in the series to date, and its performance is set to match. 

> 1000bhp Nissan Navara-R shown in new images - pick-up to pack GT-R power

Drawing on expertise gained from Subaru and Vermont SportsCar’s rally and rallycross activities, the Gymkhana STI features exposed carbonfibre bodywork both for aesthetics and weight reduction, with wild time-attack-esque aerodynamic components that have been tested in a wind tunnel to ensure ultimate performance. Long-travel rally-style suspension and a bare-bones, race-spec cabin can also be found.

Of course, under the bonnet is a Subaru four-cylinder boxer engine, and although specifics are yet to be announced, we can’t imagine it’ll be lacking power; the last Gymkhana video featured Ken Block’s 1400bhp Hoonicorn V2. Custom built and sporting a fire-breathing bonnet-exit exhaust, its STI successor certainly looks (and sounds) the part. 

Pastrana said: ‘We’ve never had the opportunity to do this before, to build a car with no restrictions. Engine, suspension, aero – everything is unlimited, clean sheet. It’s crazy fast, easy to control and get sideways, and it was perfect out of the box in testing. Gymkhana is a new challenge for me but I want to raise the bar, and this is the car to do it.’

Filming is set to commence imminently, but the Gymkhana STI has already burned some rubber during testing. Gymkhana 11 is scheduled for release before the end of the year, but for now, here’s a look at the model undergoing initial tests.

Recommended

The petrol-powered Subaru WRX STI is dead
Subaru WRX STI S209
Subaru WRX STi

The petrol-powered Subaru WRX STI is dead

Subaru has announced that it won’t produce an STI variant of its new WRX as the firm turns to electrification
14 Mar 2022
All-new 2022 Subaru WRX debuts – the legend returns, but not to the UK
All-new 2022 Subaru WRX – action
Subaru WRX STi

All-new 2022 Subaru WRX debuts – the legend returns, but not to the UK

Subaru’s all-new WRX is a ground-up refresh that’ll form the base of a new STI
13 Sep 2021

Most Popular

Eagle Jaguar E-type Lightweight 2022 review
Eagle Jaguar E-type Lightweight
Reviews

Eagle Jaguar E-type Lightweight 2022 review

Road-racer restomods come little more sublime than Eagle’s take on the Jaguar E-type Lightweight
5 Aug 2022
BMW 1M v Porsche Boxster Spyder v Renault Sport Clio V6
BMW 1M v Porsche Boxster Spyder v Renault Sport Clio V6
Features

BMW 1M v Porsche Boxster Spyder v Renault Sport Clio V6

These three evo icons are powered by three very different six‑cylinder engines and deliver three highly diverse driving experiences. We get reacquaint…
3 Aug 2022
Never before seen Porsche Cayenne Convertible revealed
Porsche Cayenne convertible – side
News

Never before seen Porsche Cayenne Convertible revealed

If the Cayenne shocked Porsche diehards in 2001, this convertible would have put them into a coma
5 Aug 2022