Bred for speed
Story | Phillip Pratt
Photos | Gerry Burke & Phillip Pratt
A large percentage of our genetic makeup comes from our grandparents. They say on average about twenty-five percent from each. Height, moles, complexion, eye and hair color can skip an entire generation and land smack-dab on an unsuspecting grandchild. Sometimes you get dealt a crown of raven-colored hair in a family of sandy-blondes. Maybe end up being a 6’5” giant with two 5-foot-something parents. Other times it’s not physical at all, and you get something completely different. Like a love of cars and racing. That is exactly what 19-year old, third-generation, automobile enthusiast, Mattia Conte, was gifted with. Something his 2005 Subaru STI exemplifies from the front bumper to the rear.
A resident of Miami Beach, Florida, Mattia, grew up surrounded by great role models. Other than having a mother that’s into cars herself, Mattia’s grandfather, Massimo, (a former Formula 1 driver, Rallycross vet and owner of a 2.5L STI swapped 98’ GC) kept the future Blob-eye driver steeped in the horsepower lifestyle. “I grew up watching him race…” Mattia remembers. “I rode in almost all of his cars, but the [Subaru] was my favorite, so eventually, I wanted to have one for myself.” After saving up, Mattia successfully sourced his dream-ride from a Craigslist ad. Over the next couple of years, he meticulously gathered a who’s who-list of trusted Subaru aftermarket part manufacturers. This resulted in a Blob-eye STI that was as far away from stock as it could be.
The first thing you’ll notice about the STI is the color. Wrapped in battleship-gray it manages to both stand out among a row of cars and blend into the gray-asphalt below it. The color can be kind of low-key, so to break up any possible monotony, Mattia, installed AeroFlow V2 canards, a V-Limited front lip, C-Speed side-skirts, an Invictus Aero rear diffuser, Perrin wing-stabilizers and topped it all off with a 2007 WRX STI roof spoiler. The sheer amount of added aerodynamics might turn some tuners off but fret not. This isn’t an ‘all-show’-type of an Impreza.
After suffering some unfortunate (but Subaru-typical) engine failure back in February, Matter decided to turn it up a few notches. With help from well-renowned tuners/builders, the WRXperts, he replaced his stock engine with an IAG Stage-3 closed-deck block, built out with Manley pistons and Toda rods. It was then matted to 2007 STI V25B heads. Assisting with the rise and fall of the Ferret valves, are springs and a set of Kelford Stage-2 272 camshafts.
If you can get past all that sweet-sweet music, you’ll pick up on the whistle of the legendarily-consistent Blouch 3.0XT-R Dominator turbo. Making all that charged air more palatable for combustion, while not sacrificing response time, is a Grimmspeed top-mount intercooler. None of these fine pieces’ matter if the engine management isn’t on point. Luckily, that’s not an issue. Highly recommended tuner, Mike Botti, of Fat Botti Tuning, massaged Mattia’s built EJ25 to safely belt out more than 400 notes of horsepower utilizing the tried and true Cobb Accessport.
Attaching all this fine all-wheel-drive power to the ground are a set of 17×8 Enkei RPF1 racing wheels, wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza RE070 225/45 rubber. Raceland Ultimo coilovers help the Subaru flow over the pavement, while the factory provided Brembo calipers are lovingly stuffed with Hawk pads and are paired with a set of DBA drilled rotors, all the way around. The real beneficiary of Mattia’s excellent lineage is obviously his impressive Blob-eye. The end results of his build are definitely not reflective of his age. Sadly, these days many kids these days in the same position would be satisfied with an atmospheric blow-off valve, spiked lug nuts, and an obnoxious wrap-job. While Mattia admits to drawing inspiration from social media- it’s refreshing to see a tuner of this new-generation go down the right path.
The Breaking Down| 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Engine| IAG STAGE-3 CLOSED DECK EJ25 BLOCKS, 07’ V25B STI HEADS, KELFORD STAGE-2 272 CAMSHAFTS, FERRET: VALVES, SPRINGS & RETAINERS, DEATSCHWERKS 850cc FUEL INJECTORS, BLOUCH 3.0XT-R DOMINATOR TURBO, GRIMMSPEED TMIC, MISHIMOTO RADIATOR, GFB BLOW VALVE, COBB AIR-INTAKE, INVIDIA: N1 RACING EXHAUST & CATLESS DOWNPIPE
Engine Management| COBB ACCESSPORT; TURNED BY MIKE BOTTI OF FAT BOTTI TUNING
Transmission& Drivetrain| ACT STAGE-3 HEAVY DUTY CLUTCH, KARTBOY SHORT SHIFTER
Suspension& Chassis Mods| RACELAND ULTIMO COILOVERS
Braking| HAWK HPS PADS, DBA DRILLED ROTORS
Wheels| ENKEI RPF1 17X8 w/ 45MM OFFSET, 15MM SPACERS
Tires| BRIDGESTONE POTENZA RE070 225/45
Body Mods| BATTLESHIP-GRAY WRAP, AEROFLOW V2 CANARDS, V-LIMITED FRONT LIP, C-SPEED SIDE-SKIRTS, INVICTUS V2 REAR DIFFUSER, PERRIN WING STABILIZERS, 07’ STI ROOF SPOILER