When it comes to all-terrain vehicles, very few manufacturers can compete with Subaru. Most of that is due to Subaru’s dominating performance in the world of rally racing. But this Subaru Crosstrek takes the off-road aspect of Subaru to a whole new level. This one of a kind machine competes in the highly competitive off-road racing Class 5 and it appears to be taking it by storm.
If you look up the definition of a Class 5 racer, it’ll list it as an “open wheel unlimited Baja Bug.” The requirements are simple, it must have a four-cylinder engine, must retain a wheelbase no more than 105 inches, and no center driving position can be used. Other than that, it’s fair game. The class is usually dominated by either Volkswagen or Porsche engines, so for a Subaru to come into play is incredibly uncommon.
Subaru partnered with Grabowski Brothers Racing and Crawford Performance to build this unique off-road racer, and interestingly, it’s the motor that sets it apart from all other vehicles in the class. Crawford Performance is a highly respected aftermarket tuner of Subaru’s boxer engine and apparently, they did a spectacular job with the one in used in this off-road beast. The Grabowski Brothers are seasoned veterans of this particular class and they have been blown away with the low-end torque available when needed. Normally, Class 5 vehicles are essentially worthless on the low and only provide the power needed at the top end. They even used an extreme example saying that at times they thought the Crosstrek would “wheelie over backwards” when they put their foot to the floor.
The Crosstrek made its official debut at the Baja 500 and while it put on a spectacular performance there, the team ended up posting a DNF due to some unforeseen issues. However, they later entered it into the McKenzie’s 250 race in Lucerne, California and had a much better showing. They ended up finishing first place in their class and did so quite handily, by over an hour. Needless to say, it proved itself a worthy off-road competitor. The Grabowski’s will have another chance to prove both themselves, and the Crosstrek this coming weekend at the longest off-road race in the United States, the Vegas to Reno and it should be a good one.