The Brolic Hot Hatch

“Where’s my protein?”

They say that the way you build your car is a reflection of yourself. It makes sense in this instance – this is one of the beefiest STIs I’ve ever seen, and Ginno is one of the beefiest guys I’ve ever met. Dude almost broke my hand when we shook hands for the first time. Nowadays, I just dap him up and touch his arms. Ginno is as serious about building his body as he is building his car.

The already-aggressive STI hatch’s curves and edges were all turned up to 11 with the help of some very tasteful mods. Attached to the front bumper are a set of carbon fiber canards, and a carbon fiber splitter. Custom blacked out headlights help the lights blend into the bodywork, and create a more subtle front end. Within the front air dam is a pair of LED lights – perhaps my favorite mod in the front. It’s a setup I haven’t seen often, and gives the car a lot of presence at night. While leading Ginno to the shoot spot, I kept seeing him in my rearview mirror, and thinking about how cool they looked.

Behind the yellow-accented grill rests a set of Hella Horns, which is extremely stereotypical of a Subaru owner. They do look great though.

Ginno’s front bumper is also secured by a set of neochrome quick releases. The yellow band is great attention to detail.

The fenders were roided up and extended via some fender flares from HT Autos. It’s a subtle change that adds aggressiveness without overcomplicating the GR STI’s smooth lines. Within the wheel arches are Ginno’s new wheels, a set of RAYS Volk Racing TE37v Mk 2. The wheels are specced 18×10 +0 all around, wrapped in Hankook TD 221s measuring 285/30R18. The big body is barely kept afloat by a set of BC Racing coilovers. I was extremely surprised to learn that in spite of the low ride height, aggressive fitment, and beefy tires, Ginno experiences zero rubbing issues.

I love how subtle the changes in the overall profile are. It’s easy to get away from yourself and go all out when modifying Subarus, but Ginno has showed a lot of restraint with this build, which isn’t easy. Although the mods are small, and might be missed if it were just one or two parts, it all comes together to create a build that is unmistakably Ginno’s.

I’m not a huge fan of this particular model of TE37, but they fit the hatch very well. The TE37v has always looked like a wheel more suited for an old-school car, but it looks right at home under the bolt-on overfenders. The upgraded brakes also look great behind the gunmetal spokes, surrounded by the polished lip. The original Brembo STI calipers were painted black (though it’s starting to fade). The rotors were upgraded to StopTech slotted ones, which make contact with StopTech sport brake pads behind the calipers. The OEM brake lines have also been replaced with StopTech stainless steel ones.

The rear has been accented with a giant Agency Power carbon fiber wing, which essentially acts as another roof for the rear hatch at this point.

Valenti Jewel LED tail lights replace to stocks, and I have to say, they look perfect. I was personally not a fan of the chrome-altezza looking OEM tail lights. They go beautifully with the fourth brake light, embedded in a custom made diffuser.

Ginno’s STI also has a wicked exhaust note, complete with the signature Subie rumble. The stock dual exhaust setup has been converted to single exit via a Tomei Expreme TI catback exhaust with titanium tip. Of course, this means the other exhaust opening is now vacant.

It’s now occupied by a neochrome NRG tow hook. Also note the carbon fiber exhaust garnish above the opening.

Changes to the interior were conservative, but effective. The OEM steering wheel was replaced with a GT-Spec D-shape sporting carbon fiber accents. Flanking the gauge cluster are Defi Red Racer gauges to monitor boost, and oil pressure.

Shift throws were reduced via a Kartboy short shifter, which is attached to a Raceseng weighted shift knob. Discerning GR enthusiasts will also note that the head unit is no longer stock, replaced by a Kenwood unit.

OEM front seats have been replaced by Recaro reclinable bucket seats from an Evo X – a great choice for those who want OEM comfort, but the look and bolstering of a more aggressive racing seat. The driver and passenger are strapped to these seats via Takata Drift 2 harnesses, which actually attach via the seatbelts in the rear seats. This eliminates the need for a harness bar, which keeps the rear seats useable.

Recaro and Takata always look great together.

This GR STI currently has no significant power mods, but it’s in the future plans for Ginno. Right now, the engine bay only has some Password JDM engine dress up bits, and an IAG air-oil separator, but Ginno would love to make it more track-oriented in the future. Plans include an IAG closed-deck block, full roll cage, and more serious suspension upgrades. The car already looks super mean, it just needs a bit more oomph to match its aggressive looks.

You can follow Ginno’s progress on his Instagram.

Don’t forget to check out the portfolio view with complete parts list here!

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