Naturally, while he is out there enjoying the latest partnership with Audi, Block’s Hoonigan endeavor is still diligently taking care of tradition – and that surely includes more Gymkhana videos. Remember, they first started with a Subaru Impreza but then swiftly moved on to all sorts of monster Ford builds. But as Ken Block passed the Gymkhana baton – or, rather, the steering wheel – to his friend and equally audacious rally companion Travis Pastrana, the circle came complete, and Subaru of America was back into slow-motion, air-time action.
Just to make sure that everyone understands the generational change, Pastrana has gotten another set of new wheels for 2022. Well, sort of, since we are dealing with a 1983 Subaru GL five-door station wagon dubbed - depending on who you ask, as “The (Family) Huckster.” The actual moniker is less important than what it can do, of course. This retro rally machine is yet another bonkers project by Hoonigan Industries and Subaru of America, a vintage Subie that could easily rip the V8 head off a few contemporary supercars.
The secret is simple – under the stickered, widebody aero-enhanced GL wagon allure resides an 862-horsepower monster. By the way, remember the 2020 Pastrana Subaru Airslayer STI? That one was not only used for Gymkhana but also proved its worth in ritzy competition because it shattered the Mt. Washington Hillclimb record and snatched second place at Goodwood’s Hillclimb Shootout. Now, the same 862-hp boxer-four engine mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive is tucked underneath the vintage yet bonkers styling.
Now, following its high-profile Goodwood Festival of Speed debut, all that remains is to patiently wait for Travis Pastrana, Subaru, and Hoonigan to do their usual magic and deliver some Gymkhana wizardry that will keep us on our toes, yet again. Before that happens, though, it helps to know a little bit about what makes this Subie GL wagon tick.
So, aside from the “casual” 862-horsepower boxer engine, sequential box, and tricked-out AWD system, there is also way more bonkers stuff going on with this build. For example, the retro chassis was thoroughly upgraded to survive the ordeals, modern WRC technology is unseen but very present, and the body is all made from carbon fiber and installed on an advanced tubular spaceframe, plus one of the biggest highlights of the entire project is the active aerodynamics.
Those include the carbon-fiber roof rack that was purposedly developed to direct air toward the engine’s cooling needs (via a NACA roof duct!). But that is not all. Instead, the dashboard is recreated in blue carbon fiber to resemble the GL’s original unit, and the 12-inch digital instrument panel is also jam-packed with retro vibes, plus the Subie rides on bespoke KMC wheels made in the same style as the company’s offerings from the 1980s.