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CENTER STAGE> Royal Flush Subaru STi Scraper

A few years ago, the term “royal flush” wouldn’t make you  immediately think of cars.   Rather then picturing a car’s wheel fitment and ride height, it was more associated with card games.  However, with wheels right at the fenders, tires tucking underneath them, and frame rails sitting only a few inches above the tarmac, this Subaru Impreza WRX STi owned by Austin Mardian from the Royal Flush Crew really embodies what it means to have your car sit flush.

When Austin rolls out to car meets and shows, he and his friends from Royal Flush crew definitely roll deep, with more than enough slammed cars to back up the name.  For those of you local to Southern California that have been to many of the larger car shows, you might have seen several of the Royal Flush “VIP” style cars.  Whether it’s a Lexus or Infiniti on air ride or Austin’s STi, they mob out in big numbers to all of the events they go to.  While some of the cars in the crew scream for attention, the clean subtle look to Austin’s STi was actually what caught my eye when I saw his car for the first time.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

Out of all the different styles and facelifts that the Subaru Impreza WRX STi has been given stateside, this GDB body style is my favorite of the group.  The chuki 2004-2005 front end had the best looking headlights (in my opinion) and a clean, simple looking grille, which set it apart from its predecessor and successor. Even though I know a lot of people who really like the kouki version Impreza, the three part split grille of the 2006-2007 face lift model wasn’t exactly one of Subaru’s greatest styling triumphs… at least, in my opinion.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

Instead of trying to describe what a “slammed,” “flush” or even “hellaflush” car is (to non-car people) using words, I’ve now begun to show my photos of Austin’s car on my iPhone 4S.  His car not only sits this low when it’s parked, but he drives the car everywhere as it sits, slammed to the ground.

When I asked him, “How the hell do you drive a car this low every day?” Austin simply replied,”Very carefully.”

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

I’m usually not a fan of rear window lips but this Kakumei rear window spoiler is a very nice addition to the subtle sporty, yet elegant look.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

The 6 speed transmission of the STi is one of the tricky ones to get into reverse if you’ve never driven one before.  I’ve once heard a story of the ring reverse on the STi’s shifter prevent a car theft from occurring, after the idiot thief couldn’t figure out how to get it into reverse gear.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

One big difference between a standard WRX and the STi model are the changes in the interior.   The steering wheel and gauge cluster look a bit more sporty, as they’re branded with the STi logo; you also get a nice set of factory installed Recaro Seats.  With the C-Pillar Bar in the back and 3 new gauges added to the dash, Austin made some nice complementing additions to the factory STi setup.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

The engine is still pretty unmodded for the time being. However, if you look under the hood and see that nice STi logoed intercooler, you’ll understand why the car has that huge hood scoop.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

Even though the engine isn’t heavily modified visually, it still has a few power producing mods.  With a K&N filter, a Titek/SP Engineering downpipe, Walbro fuel pump and a few other mods, this car puts down 330whp and 350lbs of wheel torque.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

These rear over fenders are actually the OEM ones that come with a stock STi.  After going through several sets, Austin decided to rivet the replacement ones on – they kept breaking off in the past, because of his wheel fitment and ride height.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

Sitting only a couple of inches off the ground, his car is riding on some BC Racing BR coilovers, which give it the aggressive stance.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

This rear trunk lip spoiler is the perfect compliment to the sleek styling and look… and I have to say, the 2004-2005 tail lights are by far my favorite ones of this generation.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

The wheels on Austin’s STi aren’t exactly JDM or even VIP wheels at all. The aggressive offset and and fitment was actually designed for a Ford Mustang!

These Saleen wheels, originally meant for American Muscle, give this STi some really incredible fitment to match it’s super low stance. One of the big highlights of the STi over the base model Impreza WRX have always been the massive Brembo brakes on all four corners. Being an upgrade that would normally cost a couple of grand, it is a much needed addition to the extra horsepower the car gets.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

Stretching some 215 width tires on these 17 inch wheels, they barely fit underneath the flared fenders.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

With a discontinued Injen Super SES exhaust and a Honda (yes, I said Honda) CR-X C-Pillar bar, this slammed STi does a nice job of mixing sporty styling with the clean look normally associated with VIP cars.  Taking off the large rally style wing was a very good move for pulling off a clean look.

Austin Royal Flush Subaru Impreza WRX STi hella slammed stance scraping shakotan

Most of the time, when people buy a STi to modify, the goal is speed and handling over style.  Subaru, with it’s rally background, is usually not associated with low stances and sleek looks.  I mean, seriously… look at that hood scoop!!!  However, I do have to say, Austin did a very good job of pulling off a great look with his STi… I wonder if this car might inspire other Subaru owners to change their own game?

::Mike Kim

Photos by Antonio Alvendia and Mike Kim

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21 Responses

  1. Joel

    Take a car this capable and dump it so low that it has to be driven “very carefully”. What a waste. Couldn’t this scene at least stick to cars that are meant to be slow?

  2. Universal Magnetic

    This thing looks bad ass!!! It’s hard to believe those are Mustang wheels. MUSTANG for crying out loud.

  3. Mike Kim

    @Joel that quote was more of a sarcastic joke, he’s able to mob the car anywhere, I mean he was able to take some rough terrain to get his car to where we wanted to shoot

  4. Chaser Heart

    Hm. I didn’t know Saleen made wheels with that much lip. Based on the lack of specs I’m just guessing here, but I think those would be knockoffs in 17×10 all around, 3″ of lip. Which is cool that he managed to fit those wheels all around. I was looking at the same set but staggered for my car because they look really close to the TOMS I have now but they are single piece and a full set costs a third of the price. Good for daily drivers.

  5. @Chaser Heart: Very perceptive of you! I think you’re right, they look like they might be 17×10 all the way around. Also, I just noticed that Mike Kim didn’t post the wheel size and offset. MIKE, WTF?!

    @Joel: I totally understand what you’re saying… and it DOES make sense. However, I just can’t argue when I’m staring at the car in person. It looks mean as hell super slammed like that!

  6. @Joel, I can tell you’re a sexy guy from where I’m sitting. But, Mike is correct; it was sarcasm, which is hard to perceive over the internet. Just after reading your comment, I think back to the night before when an EVO 8 and I were doing, oh, about a buck thirty in the fast lane. Just chillin’, ya know? I wasn’t rubbing, losing traction, etc. etc. He was stock-ish height.

    @Chaser – you are right, tough guy.

    @Antonio – Sorry about that, it was my choice to not post specs. I just really don’t want another Subaru running them, because than I’d have to buy new wheels and I’m broke hahaha. But yeah, 17×10 3 inch lip. But seriously man, thank you so much for the great shots and this opportunity. I owe you and Mike Armenian food.

  7. @Austin : Listen brro! We WILL go to GLENDALE brro and we can go get Arrmenian food brro! If someone buys these same wheels, don’t worry brro! You can sell Subaru and buy BM Dabble You and I give you BEST price brro!

  8. 907STi

    Congrats on the feature!! WFC FTW!!

    And about the incorrect write-up…they just included a lot of JDM interior stuff that doesnt come with the USDM STi. LOL!

  9. Joel

    Circling back because I was curious what others thought.

    @Austin, didn’t mean to single you out fella. I just have a general lament about the “hellaflush” scene in general. I can’t wait for this mod to go the way of neon lights. Where some folks see beauty I just get annoyed by the lack of functionality. Maybe I’m just getting old (I’m 32 so it’s possible) but looks OVER function is not a compromise I’d ever make; I want both. With the stretch and camber your rear contact patch is going to be about 5 inches wide. A bone stock STI on sticky rubber would school you at any autocross/track day. Yet I don’t doubt you have to drive carefully, as you’ll destroy your front end on a driveway ramp or speedbump if you don’t.

    Your car is really nice looking. I like the fact you’ve done some motor work too. You’ve just made other compromises that sacrifice some of the performance potential of the car. Is that inherently bad? I guess not, it’s your car. Is it worthy to “inspire others” as the author states? I argue no.

    I’m not sure what your point is about not rubbing while doing double the speed limit. 130 mph isn’t impressive unless we’re talking quarter mile trap speeds. Doing that speed on the freeway just means you don’t give a damn that you could wipe out the innocent folks next to you (and clearly that’s something to brag about…) <–was my internet sarcasm obvious enough? As to the not rubbing part, "not rubbing" means you can take a hard 90 degree corner at over a lateral G, hammer a bump in mid corner, and not upset the suspension on a road course.

    The good news is that it's not a hard fix. If/when you decide you get tired of the priority on looks all you have to do is raise it back up about an inch, swap on wheels that fit (with as much tire you can afford), and get a corner balance/alignment.

    FWIW I hope to see you out on track. The faster EVO's and STI's are my bread and butter competition out there.

  10. Pingback : Austin’s STi « craze191st

  11. @Joel

    You really don’t get it do you.

    The car was initially built for autocross. So don’t tell me what would and wouldn’t school me.

    Second, stop taking me so goddamn serious. I don’t drive like that in public.

    I spoke of a fictitious event, like you would read from a forum troll.

    Like I do to most individuals of your mindset; I reel them in. So, thanks for falling for my trap.

    I love a good internet rant from guys like you that are totally merit-less once it comes down to it. It’s just you and your assumptions.

    Thank you for playing and please leave your attitude for the forums. This is a car feature with comments enabled (you made your point initially and that was sufficient, your explanation is merely a drawn-out, nauseating version of your original post), not a discussion on the pros and cons of my vehicle or whatever “scene” you may be referring to.

    Motormavens chose my car, because of as you state; how it looks. They wouldn’t be Motormavens and have the reputation that they do if they tried to play my car off as chosen due to performance and track reasons.

    Yes, this post is hypocritical in reference to something I just said, but I needed to clear the air.

    Seriously, read what I posted again aloud and try to keep a straight face.

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