Special edition of Subaru’s ‘Launch Control’ details building of Travis Pastrana’s 2020 STI

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

The specialized car delivers over 800 horsepower.

A new two-part miniseries details the building process of the wildest Subaru ever constructed. The multi-episode arc is the capstone of Season 8 of the award-winning “Launch Control” documentary series and is entitled “Road to Gymkhana”.

In May 2020, Subaru made the announcement that it was returning to Ken Block’s popular “Gymkhana” video series with Travis Pastrana behind the wheel of a specially configured Subaru. It wouldn’t be Pastrana’s first trip around the “Ghymkana” block. The five-time U.S. rally champion, freestyle motocross pioneer, action sports icon and stunt expert has made cameo appearances in the fifth and tenth installments of the series.

According to a release, the episodes break down as follows:

“The miniseries’ first episode picks up on a challenging Day 1 of the Annapolis shoot and tells the story of the early build in a series of flashbacks—from initial planning and design in the shadow of early COVID-19 lockdowns, to the challenge of transforming a production Subaru shell into a high-flying Gymkhana machine, including the development of a custom 862-horsepower Subaru Boxer engine for the project.

“Episode 2 covers the remaining three days of the shoot as Pastrana and the Subaru Motorsports USA team deliver more of the video’s signature stunts—including the high-speed country road jump, the dock-edge slide, and tandem donuts with a cameo from teammate Scott Speed—while delving deeper into advanced aerodynamics and the high level of detail needed to complete the build.”

For Pastrana’s WRX STI, Subaru paired with Vermont SportsCar to push a production-based sedan to the limit of what was possible. The exterior of the car features a cabin body with a “wildly aggressive” wind tunnel-proven aero package. Its custom-made Subaru boxer engine sits under the hood. It also has a flame-spitting hood exit exhaust, long travel suspension, and a race-ready interior built to Pastrana’s specs. It rides on Method wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan tires.

“Gymkhana 2020 was my chance to take the series in a direction no one had seen before, and Road to Gymkhana is beyond anything fans have seen from Launch Control,” said Pastrana. “The level of engineering that went into building this crazy STI, and the effort from the Subaru team to make it happen, especially with everything 2020 threw at us, it was just massive.”

The award-winning “Launch Control” documentary series returned December 2 for its eighth season. The show airs on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. Season 8 picks up where Season 7 left off with the Subaru team having just won the rally and rallycross championships but the future of the team is uncertain with drivers changing and COVID-19 taking hold.

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