DC AND KEN BLOCK INTRODUCE THE TRAX STI VIDEO TEASER
The World’s Fastest Cat Track Operation Automobile!
November 2, 2009 – Vista, CA – On the heels of Ken Block’s insane Gymkhana videos and the groundbreaking snowboarding/rally part to close out DC’s MTN.LAB 1.5 video, the DC Co-Founder and Rally Team Driver has joined with Subaru to make the world’s fastest cat track operation automobile for backcountry access for snowboarding. Dubbed the TRAX STI, a new teaser video from the test session for the highly-modified, snow-ready (to say the least) car is up on YouTube, and check out “0-60 Magazine’s” Web site for an interview with Block and photo gallery featuring the best photos from the session.
The TRAX STI is an experimental automobile that starts with Block’s competition-ready Subaru WRX STI before ditching the tires, adding snow cat tracks, and upgrading to some next-level suspension to create the ultimate backcountry shred car. Prepared by Vermont SportsCar, performance modifications include 400-hp and features Group N competition rally dampers made by EXE-TC and a KAPS 5-speed close-ratio dog-engagement gearbox. Under the hood sits a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled STI engine tuned with a MOTEC M800 ECU.
Completing the TRAX STI is a sleigh to be pulled behind the car, designed to hold four snowboarders, their snowboards, and all their gear. The sleigh’s body is 100 percent custom designed and constructed of hand-laid fiberglass-though the sleigh is not seen in this teaser video, look for it in future videos next year. Altogether, this is one car ready for backcountry access and snowboarding.
“The TRAX STI is a very fun project for me,” said Block. “It combines a two of my favorite things in life: driving a rally car in the snow and snowboarding in the powder in the backcountry. Having a house in Utah (the DC MTN.LAB), I get to enjoy lots of sliding around on the snow, but this project takes that to a whole new level as I can now hit up the backcountry in the fastest snow cat ever. It’s incredibly fun having the ability to push the high-power Subaru on the slopes and to backcountry spots that normal cars could never go!”
Though the project was top-secret, the TRAX STI got blown up online way before it was supposed to-it was first caught and posted on YouTube in April 2009 by a random fan with a low-quality video recorder. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0akfZWNp2E
But that was just the beginning. The new video posted this morning shows what went down in just one day of testing and driving the car. It shows the car in all it’s high definition glory, as Block puts it through its paces up snow-covered mountains, down them, and even around un-expecting snowmobilers filmed at the DC MTN.LAB and Guardsman Pass, both in Utah. Stay tuned for more video to emerge as the car gets used more and more.
“0-60 Magazine’s” interview has all the behind the scenes on the TRAX STI, including the exclusive photos of the car. It’s the place to learn more about the car, how it performs, and why Block had the darn thing built in the first place. View it here: http://www.0-60mag.com/online/?p=20459. The next issue of the magazine will have a two page spread featuring the car.
Coordinating with the launch of this new video, DC is releasing new items from Block’s TeamWorks Collection. Added to the already wide assortment of product inspired by Block and his rally racing endeavors, new items include a puffy jacket and a leather jacket. View the fresh goods now in the DC Online Store at store.dcshoes.com. http://store.dcshoes.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=3631313.
Subaru Showcases the Ultimate Snow-Ready Performance Car at 2009 SEMA Show
Just in Time for the Holidays, a 400-Horse (-powered) Sleigh
CHERRY HILL, N.J., Nov. 2 — The Subaru WRX STI, when equipped with proper tires, is capable of impressive all-weather performance. But when even snow tires are not enough, Subaru offers a solution – a 400-hp WRX STI equipped with a snow tracks system, as showcased at the 2009 Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nov. 3-6.
Starting with a rally-prepared 2009 WRX STI, Subaru Rally Team USA’s technical partner, Vermont SportsCar, built the one-off 400-hp TRAX STI envisioned by, and built for, DC Shoes co-founder and SRT USA driver Ken Block. The WRX STI TRAX is ready for the half-pipe, with a Yakima FatCat 4 Snowboard Rack up top, a Yakima Landing Pad rack base and DC Shoes XFB-C Snowboards. Naturally, there is a custom matching sleigh to go with it.
With the exception of the Mattracks rubber track system, the car is rally-prepared and similar in specification Block’s #43 SRT USA competition STI. Starting with a stock 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Vermont SportsCar stripped the car’s interior bare, lightened the shell and then fully seam-welded it for added strength, also installing a multipoint roll cage manufactured from T45 steel. Major differences from the stock STI include the addition of lightweight carbon/Kevlar RECARO SPA ProRacer competition seats with the Head and Neck Restraint System (HANS), carbon fiber door panels and an onboard fire suppression system.
Under the hood, the ultimate Subaru snow machine sports a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled STI engine tuned with a MOTEC M800 ECU. The engine, which kicks out approximately 400 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, is teamed with a KAPS 5-speed close-ratio dog-engagement gearbox and the Subaru programmable DCCD (Driver Controlled Center Differential) all-wheel drive system. Employing custom machined hubs, the drivetrain – which has been dropped three inches – is mated to Mattracks 105M1-A1 rubber track conversion. The car also features Group N competition rally dampers made by EXE-TC.
And Now for Something Completely Different
The WRX STI TRAX can bring four more friends along for the fun with its one-of-a-kind custom sleigh. Constructed with hand-laid fiberglass using sandwich-core construction, the sleigh runs on custom built steel skis with torsion bar suspension. Yakima FatCat 4 snowboard racks carry Qty 2 DC XFB Snowboards.
Protected beneath the padded roll bars are four heated and embroidered leather RECARO Speed seats with Sabelt 4-point harnesses. For music on the slopes, a marine grade water resistant Alpine digital media receiver is coupled with marine grade Kicker speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer. The rear of the sleigh features a large cooler and a grab-bar for towing snowboarders. Cup holders and LED lighting finish off the interior.
The sleigh also features a carbon fiber dashboard, center tunnel cover and rear-cooler cover. Tucked into a glovebox within the carbon fiber covered dashboard are two Viosport POV.1 camera systems. One camera lens is flush-mounted within the dashboard to film passengers, and the other is mounted high on the roll bar to record action around the sleigh.