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The world of motorsports is known for pushing the limits of what’s possible with cars. Sometimes, this means cramming an engine into something it wouldn’t normally be in. When one man combines the power of a Ferrari V8 engine with the agility of a Subaru WRX STI, he creates a rally car dream come true. In this article, we’ll explore this ambitious project’s unique challenges and triumphs.

Can you fit a Ferrari engine in a Subaru?

Ferrari V8 Subaru STI race car
Ferrari V8 Subaru STI | via Sam Albert

Rally driver and Dirtfish instructor Sam Albert has taken on the challenge of swapping his 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI’s flat-four engine for a far more exotic choice, the Ferrari California’s flat-plane-crank V8. Albert wanted to try something different.

After reading the American Rally Association’s Open 4WD class regulations, he found that naturally aspirated engines had a displacement limit of 4.5 liters. So, after researching, Albert pulled the flat-plane 4.3-liter from the California, making 483 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque.

How hard is it to swap a Ferrari engine?

Albert himself almost entirely did the swap. He went so far as to design a custom flywheel and adapter plate to mate it to the car’s six-speed sequential manual. Swapping a Ferrari engine into a Subaru WRX STI rally car is a complex and challenging undertaking requiring much skill, knowledge, and resources. The wiring, cooling, fuel system, and exhaust must also be adapted to work with the new engine.

Furthermore, the Ferrari engine is a high-performance unit that demands attention and maintenance, which can be difficult and expensive to manage in a rally environment. With improved weight distribution and suspension geometry tweaks, the Ferrari-powered STI is expected to make its competitive debut at Washington’s Olympus Rally in April.

What are the benefits of a Ferrari engine in a Subaru?

Ferrari engine Subaru STI Rally Car
Ferrari V8 Subaru STI | via Sam Albert

The Ferrari California engine provides several benefits over the stock Subaru WRX STI engine. Firstly, the F136 V8 engine used in the Ferrari California has a larger displacement. The engine makes 483 horsepower and 372 pound-feet of torque. The stock STI’s 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four engine produces around 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. As a result, the Ferrari engine offers significantly more power and better drivability than the stock engine.

Additionally, the Ferrari engine is naturally aspirated. Natural aspiration means it doesn’t require a turbocharger, making it less complicated and more reliable. Furthermore, the flat-plane crankshaft design of the Ferrari engine provides a unique exhaust note that is much more exciting. Overall, the Ferrari California engine significantly upgrades the Subaru STI.

Should you swap a Ferrari engine into your Subaru?

In conclusion, putting a Ferrari V8 engine in a Subaru WRX STI rally car may seem like a wild dream, but Sam Albert has successfully made it a reality. While the swap was complex and challenging, Albert adapted the engine to work with the car. The Ferrari engine demands a lot of attention and maintenance. However, its benefits make it a worthy upgrade for any rally car enthusiast.


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