JDM Subaru Forester STI is tantalizingly affordable

I recently got to experience a handful of Japanese hero cars. The story on this is coming out soon, but the short version is that I drove an FC and FD Mazda RX-7, Rotary pickup, and a Eunos Cosmo. To say that I’ve got JDM on the brain would be an understatement. I’ve been browsing for that imaginary machine I’d like to add to my stable but in all honesty I have neither the room or the cash on hand for such a transaction. Still, there are some great deals out there… such as this Subaru Forester STI you see above.

Offered for sale on JDM-Expo, this is a version of the Forester which we never received stateside. Our most potent 2nd-generation Forester was the XT Sports Turbo, which saw 235 horsepower from its turbocharged flat-four engine.

In Japan, you could order up the STI version which took the Impreza WRX STI powertrain and made it its own. Now you have a Forester with 320 horsepower. This one also gets STI body trim bits, the appropriate gold wheels, and it also is full-on JDM inside so that means its RHD. I just wish it was a manual instead of an automatic.

Regardless, it’s for sale and the asking price is just $6,500. The odometer shows just under 67,000 kilometers, which means the car has traveled just over 41,000 miles. 

How much is shipping from Japan and who wants to buy an old pickup truck so I can buy a weird Forester?

BareMetalHW turns a clean car into a Mad Max buggy

BareMetalHW usually takes a crusty old Hot Wheels toy and turns it into fresh look scaled-down awesome. Today, however, we’re moving in the opposite direction. The host takes a Dune Chaser and makes it something that George Millar would be proud to see blasting across a hellish desert landscape.

The Dune Chaser is a metal-on-metal toy so it serves as a good platform to take on the faux weathered beating that it’s about to receive. Panels are beat up, fake rust is applied, and then a pair of guns are added because you need some post-apocalyptic firepower in this universe. The frame is extended and the builder even makes use of a 3D printer to complete his vision.

Click play and drift into an oddly soothing look at this Hot Wheels transformation.

Podcast: Episode 210 – The HoonTruck comes home

The HoonTruck comes home after a brief stint in the shop. It’s running better, has fresh front glass, and the exhaust outlets are now evenly lined up. Meanwhile, the Benz is about to go under the knife for some suspension fixes.

Right now, I’m driving the Chevy Colorado ZR2 so I’ve got a few things to say about that. Coming up later in the week is the Jaguar F-Type R convertible and then it’s off to the East Coast to drive the Audi RS3 and TT-RS at Lime Rock Park.

Finally, we dive into your questions.

Hooniverse – HoonTruck is back in action

Here’s how you rejoin a roof to the top of an old Porsche 911

Larry Kosilla has an excellent project car. It’s his Porsche 964-generation 911, and it sees both daily driver and track usage quite often. He’s put a lot of heart and soul into this car, and it serves as a great tool to show what’s possible for his own company. That company would be Ammo cleaning products, of course, which you’ll find Larry using in his incredibly detailed detailing videos on his YouTube channel.

Currently being shown on his channel, however, is a multi-part series that shows the steps Kosilla has undergone to transform his Porsche a bit further. In this second episode, the roof of his coupe has been lopped off. This is in an effort to find and replace all of the metal work that was original to the car, as this restoration process has unearthed a bit of rust in spots.

Since they’re chopping off the roof, Larry is putting a fresh one in its place that removes the sunroof. The process is very involved to adhere a fresh roof to the top of his coupe, and its one that you’ll likely find rather interesting. We’re talking spot welds, adhesives, and an old metal worker that probably knows more about bonding than Larry in his former life as a Wall Street finance guy.

First Drive: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

Somewhere between a wagon and a sport utility vehicle lies the crossover. Most of these lean more towards the car end of the equation, but the 2018 Subaru Crosstrek injects a hefty dose of off-road utility.

We sauntered over to the Badlands of South Dakota to see what the all-new Crosstrek is all about. With 95% new parts compared to the outgoing model, it has quite a bit of freshness going on. That’s because it rides on Subaru’s new Global Platform, which will serve as basis for all forthcoming Subaru vehicles.

Here with the Crosstrek, it’s packing a reworked FB20 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder engine. This mill now puts out 152 horsepower. That’s not a lot, and you can tell when you put your foot down. But you’ll also tell when you go to fill this not-so-thirsty mule up with fuel.

Pricing starts at around $21,000 and will rise up to $30,000 if you load up a Limited-trim example. Stick somewhere in the middle and you’ll find your happy place, however, because the base and Premium trims can skip the CVT for a six-speed manual gearbox. If you do want the CVT for daily-driving duty though, you’ll be happy to hear that it doesn’t drone on and even features a stepped seven-speed simulated mode if you go flat with your throttle foot.

The 2018 Subaru Crosstrek is more capable off road than you’d expect. It’s not fast on-road, but it’s good in every other area. From comfort to capability, it’s a serious competitor in the compact crossover space.

[Disclaimer: Subaru flew us to South Dakota and put us up in a fancy tent on some private land.]

Mr. Regular wants to find out Which Neon is Best Neon?

Any gathering of a singular make and model is typically to be filled with a percentage of people who go too far. Odd additions and parts find their way onto the bodies, under the hoods, and supporting the tires of pretty much all manner of car or truck on the planet. If there’s a car, there’s a club that support that car and members that make questionable decisions.

Mr. Regular knows this well. He trekked to a Dodge Neon gathering and examined the vehicles in attendance. His goal? To determine which Neon is the best Neon.

He found that the best Neon wasn’t even a Neon at all…

Podcast: Episode 209 – A Fusion of Sound

We’re in a new location for this episode; producer Chris Hayes has a new apartment and we’re going to explore the space. Topics today include the new Ford Fusion Sport, some updates to the HoonTruck and the Benz, and a little bit of chatter about an upcoming drive of the new Subaru Crosstrek taking place in South Dakota.

After that, it’s time for your questions

Hooniverse – A Fusion of Sound

Some quick tunnel blasts in the Jaguar F-Type R convertible

Shift Happens. When you’re at an event packed with plenty of cars and trucks, and it happens to be located near some of California’s great roads, which vehicle do you walk towards first?

For me, it was towards the keys of a Jaguar F-Type R convertible… because I know that a pair of tunnels sit just a few miles down the road.

Exhaust button pressed to open the baffles. DSC set to Track. Paddles engaged.

Unleash hellfire…

Shift Happens: Off-Roading the Chevy Colorado ZR2

Shift Happens… I ventured up to a Motor Press Guild event and ran into our old pal Jason Connor. While there, he and I hopped into the new Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and took it around the Calmigos Ranch Trails.

This is a Shift Happens because it’s not a standard video or a regular review. It’s almost more like a podcast that happens to be focused on a truck, taking place solely in the cab of that truck.

I’m getting my hands on the truck soon for a much deeper dive into all of its off-road goodies. Stay tuned for more on that.

Breaking down the opening scene of John Wick 2

If you haven’t seen the second installment in the John Wick franchise, you’re missing out. I don’t believe it’s quite as good as the first one but it’s still an excellent watch. The opening scene jumps directly into the action and sees Wick attempting to rescue his beloved Mustang. He gets it… but he also kills it along the way.

Darrin Prescott is the Stunt Coordinator and 2nd Unit Director for the film. Vanity Fair brought him in to talk about that opening scene, and he does a great job of breaking it all down while providing excellent insight as well.

The scene is great to watch, but it’s even more interesting to learn about what it takes for something like this to come together.