Let it be a forewarning that the photos on the coming pages are terribly misleading. It's not the photos themselves per se, because they're nothing short of excellent, but I'm referring to the subject matter itself. At first glance it may look like a Subaru STI equipped with Voltex aero. A more in-depth look, specifically towards the rear, reveals that it in fact isn't a STI sedan-an extra hump on the rear clearly indicates that it is of the wagon variety. If you were initially fooled, then you either weren't paying very close attention, or the WRX sedan front fenders played a trick on your eyes. What may have also thrown you off your initial hunch was the complete Voltex body armor. A WRX wagon cloaked in Voltex gear just isn't something anybody is used to seeing every day. The only person that's accustomed to such a rare combination is the owner himself, Joseph Bacigalupi, and his partner in crime, the family dog. We're sorry to tell you that this Voltex track-prepped 4-door STi is actually an aggressively-styled, WRX wagon that's main purpose of existence is to act as transportation for a canine.
"I originally bought this car in 2005 just as a means of transportation for the family dog and for something I could use in the snow," Joseph says. "I never intended to do any modifications but that's usually how it starts. After throwing a set of rims on, I thought the car looked terrible. I decided to lower it to see if it would help and the rest is history."
What foreshadowed the later, more extensive modifications may have been the initial set of 18x10" wheels that Joseph decided to install. A ten-wide wheel may almost be the standard nowadays for all the aggressive wheel fitment fanatics, but for a wagon that was designed to house 16x6.5" wheels, it definitely posed a problem. To combat this issue, he replaced his OEM front fenders with a set of sedan fenders that were rolled flat and pulled by Image Autobody. For the rear, he had the inner and outer fenders cut and pulled along with the addition of a sedan STI rear flare, which was re-welded to the OEM quarter panel. The final result yielded just enough room for his current wheels; a custom-coated flat-black set of 18x9.5" Work VS-XX rollers.
It didn't end with just the metal reconstruction of the fenders. The Voltex kit also required some reshaping to fit correctly. "To my knowledge, this is the only WRX wagon rocking a full Voltex body kit," Joseph claims. "The rear diffuser is custom fit. All the original hardware had to be modified to make the diffuser fit to the wagon rear bumper." Sunny Wong from Franklin Autobody re-sprayed the wagon in Crystal Grey Metallic after assuring all modification work on the kit was fitted correctly.
With all this work just to fit a couple items that would easily fit a Subaru STI sedan, the questions remains; why all the extra effort? "Wagons are so much cooler than sedans! There's just something sexy about a (modified) wagon. You just don't see them all that often and when you do, you got to love it," Joseph says excitedly (And I totally agree! - JW). Once he completed the makeover of the exterior, extensive work began under the hood. Even if this was merely a dog transport vehicle, that didn't mean that the wagon itself couldn't make some power. When it comes to taking a dog from one place to another, you can never be too fast. To do all that work to make everything fit, only for his peers to realize that the wagon made no power, would be an absolute embarrassment. He would have none of that and immediately got down on the EJ20T motor. The OEM turbine was swapped out in favor of a much larger Tomei ARMS unit. Perrin joins the party with their air intake, assorted turbo piping and front mount intercooler. Since the wagon was also being used regularly for various errands, Joseph went with the "stealth" variation of the Perrin intercooler, which is coated in flat black to make it less obvious to the naked eye. Even with the stealth treatment up front, a Trust full titanium exhaust amplifies the familiar tune of the boosted flat-four motor.
The appropriately named Stance GR+ Pro coilovers give this wagon a menacing "stance" as it sits flush on the Work wheels. A collaborative effort between Whiteline, Cusco, and Beatrush suspension components ensure that the family dog sits firmly in place as he ambushes the streets on way to the groomer. The interior has been overhauled with re-wrapped black suede/red-stitched panels and the OEM front seats have been replaced with Recaro front buckets originally from a Mitsubishi EVO 9. The limited edition Vertex 10th Anniversary steering wheel and shift knob act as finishing touches to Joseph's interior.
This "hybrid" of a wagon, no matter what he uses it for, is most certainly a unique, one-of-a-kind build. Though it has been assembled with mostly race-bred parts, nobody can tell Joseph that his wagon isn't functional. It functions as a transport vehicle and it looks really cool doing just that. "It's funny to see people's reaction when an 80-pound fur ball jumps out of the back of the wagon-it's priceless."
2005 Subaru WRX Wagon
Owner Joseph Bacigalupi
Hometown Pacifica, CA
Occupation Budweiser Truck Driver
Engine 2005 2.0L Subaru EJ20T; Perrin air intake, intercooler piping, stealth front mount intercooler, and Big MAF; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; Power Enterprises 800cc fuel injectors; GT Spec Version 1 exhaust manifold; Trust Ti-R PE full titanium exhaust; Tomei ARMS M7760 turbocharger; Helix high-flow downpipe and up-pipe; Baller Bolts titanium dress-up kit; Beatrush oil cap, alternator cover, and radiator shroud; STI radiator cap; TEIN hood dampers
Engine Management Cobb Accessport Version 1
Footwork & Chassis Stance GR+ Pro coilovers and camber plates; Whiteline 22mm front sway bar, roll center adjustment kit, and endlinks; Cusco 22mm adjustable rear sway bar; Beatrush front and rear strut bar; Ingalls front and rear camber bolts
Brakes Brembo '07 STI front and rear brake calipers; DBA 4000 slotted front STI brake rotors, rear conversion rotors and conversion brackets; Hawk Performance HP Plus front and rear brake pads; Rotora front and rear steel braided brake lines
Wheels & Tires 18x9.5" +25 Work VS-XX (Custom flat black faces and rivets); 255/35-18 BFGoodrich G-Force T/A KDW; Project KICS Neo Chrome lug nuts
Exterior Voltex front bumper, front undertray, sideskirts, and rear diffuser; JDM Subaru STI wagon mid-wing and roof rail deletes; Modified WRX sedan front fenders; Crystal Grey Metallic paint; JDM pink "I" badge and WRX rear badge; JDM Impreza rear badge
Interior Recaro (Mitsubishi) EVO 9 front seats; Wedge Engineering low-mount seat rails; Vertex 10th Anniversary 330mm deep corn steering wheel and shift knob; Works Bell Splash short hub and Rapfix II quick release; Interior rewrapped in black suede with red stitching; Autometer boost gauge; Alpine INA W900 touch screen, double-din head unit w/navigation; Focal 165 KR2 6.5" front component set, 100 KRS 4" rear component set, Solid 1, and Solid 4 amplifiers; JL Audio 10" W6 subwoofer; Monster cable set; Custom fiberglass subwoofer enclosure and amp rack in spare tire compartment
Props James Lin of Team Hybrid and the Hybrid Hunnyz; BFGoodrich Tires; Meguiars; NOS Energy Drinks; Mach III and all of its employees; Sunny from Franklin Auto Body; Dave and Manny from Bay Car Stereo
WWW teamhybrid.com; bfgoodrichtires.com; meguiars.com; drinknos.com; machiii.net; bche.net