That’s a fab second-gen Impreza WRX STi you’ve got Dexter. Where did you find this beauty?
Thanks, it actually belonged to my good friend who left for Australia and I am lucky to be its newest owner. I had just sold my 350Z when he put it up for sale, so it was the perfect opportunity to have a car that can be driven hard, handles great and keeps the groceries in the trunk at the same time!
The turbocharged boxer engine has some serious firepower doesn’t it...
According to the dyno sheet that I was given upon getting the car, the results showed 300awhp. But that was many years ago. I have added a few extra bits to bump the power and I will be trying to squeeze a few more horses out of it soon. It is so much fun to drive — especially when I rev-match/heel-toe upon downshifts.
It might look a little dated compared to newer cars out there but with the solid manual gearbox, turbo and AWD system, it makes this a very different and beautiful automobile to drive. If you like driving, then this is a great car.
You’ve clearly worked on it; tell us all the things you have done...
I had to restore it as it used to be a track car. After completing all the maintenance jobs, the car is holding strong. OEM parts are readily available from the local dealers and they are not expensive.
As for the performance parts, I source them online. Most people notice the Juggernaut Aero Design flares from the UK, which extend the wheels out by 45mm. It has Work Kiwami Ultimate 18x10.5 wheels with 265/35 tyres. It has headers, ECUTek tune, an air intake filter and I added bigger fluid coolers for better heat dissipation.
It’s all-wheel drive and has a six-speed manual — how does it ride and handle?
It came with performance bushings, coilovers and sway bars. I installed chassis bracings, and fully adjustable arms to get the desired wheel alignment for better grip. Coming from a naturally aspirated V6 RWD Nissan, it is a very different car to drive. The fun factor comes from having massive grip and the sudden torque build up as the turbo spools. I took it to Kalba once while it was raining, and coming downhill the car never lost grip and I enjoyed the drive even more. I have never had an incident where I lost traction like I would in my 350Z, which really builds my driving confidence even more.
It is not my daily runner — I just use it for mountain drives and light cruises. But I would really like to take it to Yas or the Autodrome to test its capability once I complete the build. I have to say I am very proud of this car — mainly because it is old and you rarely see ‘blobeye’ STis on the road. I am thankful that I managed to keep it in top condition, mechanically and aesthetically.
Your Scooby gets a lot of attention doesn’t it...
Yes, it sure does and it makes me smile when owners of performance cars, including supercars, come next to me and rev their engines. I rev mine back at them just for a laugh — but I never race anyone on the street. That is a big no-no; I only push my cars on the safety of a racetrack.
Good man. How did your passion for motoring begin?
While I was looking for a highway cruiser, my wife showed me the 350Z and insisted I take it for a test drive. I did — and bought the car the next week as I loved it so much! The week after that I took it to the Dubai Autodrome to push it really hard, and after this I started modifying it, and my passion for motoring has blossomed ever since.
My very first car was a Nissan Bluebird with a manual gearbox and I used to travel between Bur Dubai and Sharjah with it a lot. I’ll never forget that car as it taught me to drive a manual extensively! But the best thing I have ever driven has to be the Nissan GT-R.
Nissans have played a big part in your life — is that your favourite brand?
I like Nissan a lot — but my dream car is the Porsche GT3 RS.
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