Travis takes Rex off the leash

Riley Riley

Subaru has made a long-awaited return to the Gymkhana video franchise, with American rally and rallycross star Travis Pastrana at the wheel.

Set in Pastrana’s hometown of Annapolis, Maryland, Gymkhana 2020 takes the series in a high-flying new direction and stars a 643kW one-off WRX STI built by Subaru exclusively for the film.

Along with the big slides and shredded tyres are typical of the Gymkhana franchise, Pastrana’s signature style and action sports background mean this instalment features bigger jumps — and more raw speed — than ever before.

“Making my first Gymkhana video has been an incredible experience!” Pastrana said.

“I’m so thrilled to finally have the chance to do it, especially in my hometown, so I could bring these ideas I’ve had for years to life.

“Plus, Subaru built me the perfect STI for it. It’s unbelievable how much power and grip this thing has, and it took all the punishment I could throw at it.”

Pastrana’s STI was purpose-built by Subaru Motorsports USA and technical partner Vermont SportsCar, drawing on the brand’s experience in rally, rallycross, hillclimbs and long-distance jumps.

Starting from a production Subaru shell, the car was fully caged and lightened to just 1190kg, more than 360kg lighter than a stock STI.

The wild-looking carbon fibre body panels were validated in a wind tunnel, a first for a Gymkhana build, ensuring stability in the air and to generate maximum downforce.

A DRS-style active rear wing allowed Pastrana to adjust the car’s attitude in mid-air for the video’s groundbreaking stunts.

Power comes from a motorsport-spec, 2.3-litre boxer engine, with a custom billet block and heads derived from the team’s rallycross program.

The long-travel suspension, built with a huge range of adjustability to execute high-speed jump takeoffs and landings, as well as super-precise proximity drifts, draws on decades of Subaru success in rally.

The Gymkhana STI features in the latest Hoonigan Build Biology episode and the build will be the subject of a two-episode miniseries wrapping up Subaru Launch Control Season 8, with the Gymkhana episodes set to debut in February, 2021.

An extended cut of Gymkhana 2020 will also be released next year.


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