If the word “Marmite” was to ever be used to full effect when describing a modified car, then Chris’ Subaru is the car that would have a big picture next to the description. So feel free to make up your own mind whether you love it and more importantly get it, or plain and simply don’t, as we bring you Garage Awesome staff member; Chris’ Subaru Impreza.

Now, let’s start with the facts before the Subaru purists decide that he has ruined a cult classic or that it’s missing the Works “Rally” Graphic package and gold wheel combo so often associated with the Impreza, Chris has never been one to conform to the usual paths in the modified world, most of you no doubt will have started with an insurance friendly hatch and worked your way up the ranking as the insurance dropped, Chris however, despite being only 23, has already had a varied vehicle history including a Fiat Seicento and a Land Rover Defender… so his Impreza never was going to conform to the usual “rules”…

Ryan Champion

Next up, it’s a Sport, which in layman’s terms means that whilst it keeps Subaru’s award winning drive system, rally honed chassis and unmistakeable look, it is missing that wallet-busting, fuel-drinking turbocharger synonymous with the Impreza and also its unique, totally recognisable flat-four ‘burble’, which Chris has returned by adding an un-equal length manifold and ScoobyWorld Ninja II exhaust system. Not only that, it’s a ‘Bugeye’, which is probably the least popular on the modified circuit and numbers can often be counted on one hand at an event compared with the hundreds of classic shapes that have been hit with the modding stick.

With the “go” effectively… errr… gone, Chris went for the “show” option instead, taking styling keys from the States and Japan to create his Bugeye. The obvious place to start is how the car sits; with a set of BC coilovers wound almost as far down as the threads will allow dropping the car worryingly close to the tarmac. With such an aggressive drop, Chris’ wheel choice had to be right, and despite the complicated AWD or All Wheel Drive setup, a staggered fitment set of Invovit GTO was chosen with 8.5jx18 up front and 9.5jx18 at the back, wrapped in carefully calculated 215/40/18 and 225/40/18 rubber respectively, also thrown in for good measure are a set of 25mm and 35mm PCD adapters/spacers, lowering the ET to 13 and 3 front to rear respecitvely. Following the Scoob down the road is the only way to really appreciate just how well it sits and rolls, with just enough rear camber to confuse most of your average motorists teamed up with the occasional ball of melted rubber, flicked up as the arches continually chew through the tyres under load… or cornering… or a slightest bump…

Ryan Champion

With engine tuning limited to the exhaust system, you would think Chris’ obvious choice would be to throw money on aftermarket styling parts, but with simplicity being the key, it’s all down to the detail. The trademark high level Subaru boot spoiler has been scrapped in favour of the smooth look, which works well in addition to the fact the Sport bonnet is missing the often replicated scoop, the addition of the front splitter has given an already low car even less clearance and an aggressive look and, along with the OEM side skirts and rear bumper spats, has been wrapped in genuine carbon fibre by Chris himself.

Throw in a few stickers that Chris designed, a JDM inspired tow hook, some ridiculously lightweight gold wheel nuts and some mud flaps that actually drag on the floor, and you have a car that’s well in the making to lead the way in the UK scene as we try to catch up with our friends over in the US, mixing it with cars you see on the hallowed pages of the Canibeat or Hellaflush blogs.

Inside has begun to get a makeover now too, an imported coilover style anodised knob and painted dash insert have started the process and there are plans for some fresh seats and a re-trim to really turn it into the full package!

Ryan Champion

There is no doubt this particular Impreza rolls hard, daily, and with Chris turning his hand to rolling and flaring the arches (with varying levels of success) and an unfortunate coming together on a roundabout, there is a nice list brewing for him to complete before the start of the UK Show season at the end of this month and this almost certainly won’t be the last time it pops up on here!

Love it or hate it? Only you can decide, but one thing is almost certain; Chris won’t care. Quite often his Facebook and Twitter accounts will contain quotes from users of the Subaru forums he frequents both here in the UK and internationally… both good and bad and more often than not, hilarious! The best question I can pose to you reading this is the following; given a non-turbo Impreza, do you follow suit and make it look like a sheep in wolf’s clothing… or create a genuine, mould breaking head-turner?

Pic Credits – Ollie Novell


  1. Very nice looking car… Excellent pictures