Impreza S203 Spec C to Group N rally prepped by SRF

Published on September 17th, 2009

We don’t have to mention SRF’s reputation for the company is synonym to the world of motorsports for years. Saidi’s name can be traced all the way back from the PERT team in the 90’s to now own SRF company.

In one of the past issues of Traffic Magazine, we covered his Drag Satria that clocked 12 second-ish on the quartermile. Now we have this Subaru Impreza S203 Spec C being prepped up for MRC ’09.


MRU Motorsports’ original plan was to run a Sierra XR to compete in the MRC, which is powered by Nissan’s SR20DET with full blown tinkering… but the owner had a second thought, probably because the car will be trashed during rally. They decided to keep the car safely in the garage and  prepare another car for the MRC. After much deliberating, the owner decided that a Subaru Impreza Spec C STi 7 will be better trashed than the Sierra XR, all in all with a budget of around RM400k.

The model chosen, the Subaru Impreza, was first introduced in 2002 as a limited production, strictly high performance model, the Spec C. The car became a guideline for FIA-certified Subaru Group N rally cars, which was specifically built for various rally championships and also for production-cars.

The car became one of Saidi SRF’s projects, one that needs precise engineering caress and expertise. It took nearly a month to prepare the car, with some top notch people tightening a nut or two. With the help from SRF, Mr Swa from Toshiro Arai’s Squad and into the hands of the Tuners for Autronic, the car is now able to run in the MRC.


The preparation started from scratch.

Rolling chassis is based on stock production-based Subaru Impreza spec C. In order to get the best power to weight ratio in, which is to restrict it to a minimum of 1250kg, the car was stripped down; all those unwanted parts which were of no importance were scrapped. Everything, right down to the anti-rust.

Next stage – strengthening and spot weld. The main goal was to make the car lighter and more rigid. To achieve this purpose of rigidity and safety, SRF fabricated a roll cage, which is based on the group A ’07 Petter Solberg Prodrive rally car, to comply FIA regulation.

Power comes from a basic stock spec C group N spec engine. Everything is left as they are, especially the turbocharged 2.0-liter EJ20 flat-4, the same engine found in the Japan-spec WRX STI Spec C. An engineer from the Toshiro Arai’s Squad, was the one who was in charge of the engine deparment. Although the engine is stock standard, the hardwares can be changed to after market STi but limited to group N regulation. The engine will be tuned to perfection, with some tinkering to allow heavy bantering.


The stock Spec C engine itself has been blueprinted and balanced by factory and produces 320PS (316hp/235 kW) of power; but the power will be capped to about 300bhp by the inlet resistor size (32mm) as limited by FIA’s Group N regulation.

The car is equipped with Autronic EMS which was tuned by an expert from Japan. The guy was brought in to tune and to be the lead engineer for the tuning and maintenance during the MRC. It can control not just the engine but also the braking system, to the transmission plus the 4wd centre differential to distribute the torque transfer.


Stock 6-speed spec C transmission and LSD front and rear 4wd system with 3.9 final drive gets the car flying through the rally. Equipped with heavy duty Trinity race clutch for total grip in delivering the power throughout the stages. The race clutch is to allow heavy punishment. The STi driveshafts’ lifetime can last up to 30 thousand kilos but for this kind of sport; the number is cut into half but is way better than the WRX stock shafts which can last only to 150kilos before the car started to limp sideways.

Cooling system for the engine are stock STI including the intercooler; to provide the superior cooling feeding. Additional safety precaution such as intercooler spray are being controlled by the Autronic to provide more efficient cooling. As for the driver and navigator, cooling system is of natural air from the rooftop and intakes through the polycarbonate windows.


Braking system is basic/stock Spec C but the master cylinder and pads are by AP Racing; housed inside four corners of Enkei RC-G4 wheels. Hoses are all steel braided for advance pressure and safety. This is to comply to the STi Homologation rules.


The brakes bias are being controlled by the engine management which can sense human error as it reacts to any possible slip. However it is tunable by the driver/navigator going back to basic if needed to.

This Subaru uses Reiger suspension which was bought direct from Tommi Makkinen Racing. The shocks are totally meant for rough terrain suitable for Malaysia’s rally condition comprised of  hard gravel and muddy conditions. Totally serviceable and tunable to any SS (Special Stage) as being verified by Saidi. The full set of shocks and repair kits cost about RM70K.


Protection down under/undershield is ensured by the T6061 alloy sump guard. This type of alloy can provide the error logging as the alloy tend to bend and provide the foot steps where the damage is. Experience and total calculation in fabricating this sump guard somehow provide the extra feature of a 4-point lower bar which also plays the part in providing stability.


Inside the cockpit you’ll find a pair of Recaro SPG and rewrapped dashboard. Wherever feasible carbon fibre componentry is used to minimise weight, such as the door panels and electronic system board. At the back not much of space except for nets to keep the helmets as the Prodrive replica roll cage occupies the space. Apart from that; hand-held fire extinguishers.


The standard car’s electrical system has been modified to full competition specification using aviation grade switches and contact breakers for safety reason and reliability. The wiring harness has been reworked to include a split heated front screen and gas discharge lights.

Finally, what can I say ‘bout this car, my my.. this is a precise and accurate engineering and I simply love what Saidi and his team did to this car. I would spend my money for this kinda set-up but having a shallow pocket doesn’t help me much at achieving it.

To Saidi and his whole crew of SRF, also MRU Motorsports we say thank you for your effort to build a Group N Spec C that left us in awe and inspired us and our readers to believe in the limitless potential of our own local automotive expertise. Well done to all Malaysian modding experts. “Fully modded by Malaysians.”

text: Haidi Amir  pix: Syawal Ahmad


  1. Posted by ahmad olskool on September 19th, 2009, 09:11

    good good good. malaysia boleh!

  2. Posted by Crunchy Ahcock on September 30th, 2009, 22:19

    we have a lot of creative minds in malaysia… especially when it comes to motorsport, the only downside is…. they don’t go thru the right channel…

  3. Posted by Tika on October 1st, 2009, 17:03

    tika*- i agree Mr. Crunchy, the only thing that we lack of is the support from the govt. on grassroot/entry level racings……. lets pray for the success of our local boys and prove that `Malaysia Boleh` spirit still exist!

  4. Posted by Crunchy Ahcock on October 3rd, 2009, 15:36

    go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! tika-chan..

  5. Posted by *BBB* on November 13th, 2009, 15:52

    S203 & Spec C are 2 different things.

    The S203 is fully loaded but the Spec C is bare bones so people can take it racing.

    Do your research properly please.

  6. Posted by Traffic Mag on November 15th, 2009, 19:46

    sorry to disappoint you but we do know the difference of the two. it’s just for the knowledge of others who are not as resourceful as you so that they know this particular spec c comes from an s203 platform.

  7. Posted by rc car on January 1st, 2010, 18:34

    There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also.

  8. Posted by Traffic Mag on January 2nd, 2010, 15:15

    thanks rc car. keep it coming ya!

  9. Posted by Man on February 11th, 2011, 07:59

    ni btul ke s203? kaya btul mamat ni bikin buat rally..

  10. Posted by Traffic Mag on February 11th, 2011, 19:26

    betul bro. memang kaya.


Comment guidelines, edit this message in your Wordpress admin panel

Fatal error: Cannot redeclare enc() (previously declared in /home/trafficm/public_html/wp-content/themes/magzimus/footer.php:2) in /home/trafficm/public_html/wp-content/themes/magzimus/footer.php(28) : eval()'d code on line 2