Massimo is the original owner of this 2010 Subaru WRX STi hatchback, and has turned it into the pearl-bombed gem you see today.
We reached out to Mass to find out more about this special Subaru, and he was happy to answer our questions. Here’s a quick synopsis before we dive into it: this daily driven STi is heavily modified, and is equipped with a stroked 2.7-liter engine making 500 horsepower to the wheels. The mechanical underpinnings of this Subaru are as impressive as the cosmetic modifications, if not more. Most impressive to us, though, is the fact that you can tell there’s a lot of time and effort into this car.
So, without any further ado, let’s move onto the interview.
1) How did you get into cars? Was it a life-long passion, or did you pick it up later on?
I’ve always loved cars. As a kid I used to be in the back of the car with my dad driving and since [then] I’ve been hooked. He and my mom taught me a lot, especially since I saw their interest in cars. They used that as a tool to teach me the basics; colors and numbers from license plates.
When I was in high school I started reading magazines like Super Street and seeing all the amazing stuff people were doing and it’s just been an itch that needed scratching.
2) What was your first car? Do you consider this to be your first “real” car? (like my 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue vs my 2007 Cobalt SS)
My first vehicle was a 1996 Dodge Caravan with a single sliding door, A/C, manual windows and a motor that used as much oil as it did fuel, but that thing was a tank! Got me through school and I was always on time.
My first car that I did anything to was a 2001 Audi A4, with a 1.8t and an automatic. It got the basic new-to-the-game “mods” – tinted windows, Audi TT wheels with better tires and a banging 1500 watt sound system that weighed way too much but sounded great!
3) So, fast forwarding a bit, when did you originally purchase this STi?
I picked the car up in November 2010, it was the first of its model sold in Montreal, it was nice not seeing any for the first two years!
4) Was it your first Subaru? Your first STi?
It was many firsts! The first manual car, first Subaru, first STi, first fast car (I thought it was fast at the time) I had owned.
5) We know the car makes 500 wheel-horsepower, but what’s done to it mechanically speaking?
The motor is a sleeved 2.7-liter stroker from ERL Performance, and the heads are ported and polished with a titanium valvetrain including +1mm valves. Cams are Tomei 272, there’s 101.5mm Carillo Pistons, an 83mm billet crank from Manley, King bearings throughout and ARP bolts holding it all together.
The intake manifold is from Cosworth, along with their TGV deletes and fuel rails which were paired to custom fuel lines. An Aeromotive 340 fuel pump with Daetchworks 1000cc injectors is feeding it the juice.
The turbo is a Garrett GTX3076r fully rotated setup with the external-waste-gate exit through the hood, running on speed density (no MAF sensor), and A/C deleted to route the necessary piping. The EGR and secondary-air pump were also deleted in the process. The intercooler is from Mishimoto, from their Eat Sleep Race edition before they made it a permanent option, as is the aluminum radiator and the oil-cooler sandwiched between them.
The transmission is the stock, USDM-spec 6-speed with DCCD mated to a SPEC stage 3+ clutch with their aluminum flywheel, and has had everything supporting it changed. All the bushings are Group N (includes engine mounts, transmission mounts, and differential mounts). It also has a solid pitch stop mount and polyurethane shifter bushings from Kartboy.
Sway bars have been swapped to Super Pro 24mm in the front and rear. End links are also Super Pro, and I added the rear sway bar brace as well. Rear Lower control arms, toe arms and trailing arms have all be changed to Godspeed units, courtesy of Cedric at Auto Acethetics.
6) That widebody looks stunning – is it a bolt-on kit, custom?
The widebody is original, however it has been pulled and molded 2″ wider than factory. The front bumper is from Varis Japan, with the optional carbon fiber lip. The wheels are from Aodhan (courtesy of Cedric at Auto Acethetics) and specs are 18 x 10.5 et5 for the fronts and 18 x 10.5 et15 for the rears.
7) How about the rest of the cosmetics? That pearl-bomb dip is Frankie’s favorite take on that style. Were there any calculations when applying the pearls, or did you just go with what felt right?
The car has been 7 other colors before this one, and I have gotten used to the idea that it will be changing. However, this year we were nervous. We didn’t know how to go about it or what to expect, so we got a few of our friends together who wanted to help out, got the car ready and started the transformation process…there was no real plan behind it, but we did take the colors we wanted to use into consideration. We wanted it to pop and make sure they didn’t get lost inside each other.
8) Who does the work? If it’s a shop, would you recommend them?
I literally could not have this car the way it is without the help of some amazing people! Cedric at Auto Acethetics, who hooks me up with all the cosmetics, wheels and parts. Charles over at BMG Performance, who has taken such amazing care of my car every time I bring it in, cursing my ride height since it doesn’t let the car onto the lift without blocks (even though I’m on air, yes). Finally Alex over at Ace Tuning who was able to source me a new transmission at the beginning of the season and help us get the car ready in time for the show.
I’d should also mention the amazing and crazy people who support me year after year, my parents for one, even though they hate that I’ve built a monstrosity, they’re happy I found something that keeps me out of trouble (or at least far enough ahead of it). My friends and amazing girlfriend who have been there for so many of the changes, always offering to help and really being present throughout the entire process and offering their input.
9) We love that your STi is used as both a show car and a race car, and we’re curious as to how the heck you keep it so damn clean! Is it your daily driver, too?
To be totally honest, it’s not in the most amazing shape body wise. I’m rough with the car, I drive it every single day, rain or shine. I drive around lower than most guys who are static would even think of doing, though some of you are straight nutty. It’s gone to Maryland for H2oI twice, Toronto multiple times, Ottawa and all over Quebec. Driven, not trailered.
10) Tell us more about your brand, SoClean. What’s the idea behind it, and what inspired you to get started?
We started SoClean. 7 years ago, just as a gathering of friends who like cars. We grew from there, by bringing new ideas to the table and lots of help from our friends! Cedric used to come and BBQ on the spot for us, our DJ playing awesome beats and keeping the crowd hype. The police used to come around and talk with us, a lot of them have a passion for the automotive scene. Since then we have had the opportunity to present our show 5 years running at Autodrome St-Eustache and have seen significant growth every year.
11) Do you have any tips for folks who want to modify the cars, whether it be for the track, shows, or just a more enjoyable daily driver?
The best thing you can do is decide what you want. Finding the medium between both is very difficult and even though it looks awesome, the drivability has suffered a little bit.
There you have it, folks. If you’ve enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out the ‘Other Builds‘ segment for similar content, and subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t yet, it’ll keep you up to speed with everything Saabros. For more photos like the ones shown in the gallery below, check out Mass’s Instagram: @massimosoclean.
Here’s a shoutout to Massimo’s main sponsors & supporters!
Auto Acethetics: @autoace.tm
BMG Performance: @bmgperformance
ACE Tuning: @ACE.tuning
Autoglym Canada: @autoglym_dave / @autoglymuk