Check out the latest experiment from Ken Block, Suburu, Monster and DC Shoes.
The WorldÃ¢Â€Â™s Fastest Cat Track Operation Automobile
November 2, 2009 Ã¢Â€Â“ Vista, CA Ã¢Â€Â“ On the heels of Ken BlockÃ¢Â€Â™s insane Gymkhana videos and the groundbreaking snowboarding/rally part to close out DCÃ¢Â€Â™s MTN.LAB 1.5 video, the DC Co-Founder and Rally Team Driver has joined with Subaru to make the worldÃ¢Â€Â™s fastest cat track operation automobile for backcountry access for snowboarding. Dubbed the TRAX STI, a new teaser video from the test session for the highly-modified, snow-ready (to say the least) car is up on YouTube, and check out Ã¢Â€Âœ0-60 MagazineÃ¢Â€Â™sÃ¢Â€Â Web site for an interview with Block and photo gallery featuring the best photos from the session.
The TRAX STI is an experimental automobile that starts with BlockÃ¢Â€Â™s competition-ready Subaru WRX STI before ditching the tires, adding snow cat tracks, and upgrading to some next-level suspension to create the ultimate backcountry shred car. Prepared by Vermont SportsCar, performance modifications include 400-hp and features Group N competition rally dampers made by EXE-TC and a KAPS 5-speed close-ratio dog-engagement gearbox. Under the hood sits a 2.5 liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled STI engine tuned with a MOTEC M800 ECU.
Completing the TRAX STI is a sleigh to be pulled behind the car, designed to hold four snowboarders, their snowboards, and all their gear. The sleighÃ¢Â€Â™s body is 100 percent custom designed and constructed of hand-laid fiberglassÃ¢Â€Â”though the sleigh is not seen in this teaser video, look for it in future videos next year. Altogether, this is one car ready for backcountry access and snowboarding.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThe TRAX STI is a very fun project for me,Ã¢Â€Â said Block. Ã¢Â€ÂœIt combines two of my favorite things in life: driving a rally car in the snow and snowboarding in the powder in the backcountry. Having a house in Utah (the DC MTN.LAB), I get to enjoy lots of sliding around on the snow, but this project takes that to a whole new level as I can now hit up the backcountry in the fastest snow cat ever. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s incredibly fun having the ability to push the high-power Subaru on the slopes and to backcountry spots that normal cars could never go!Ã¢Â€Â
Though the project was top-secret, the TRAX STI got blown up online way before it was supposed toÃ¢Â€Â”it was first caught and posted on YouTube in April 2009 by a random fan with a low-quality video recorder.
But that was just the beginning. The new video posted this morning shows what went down in just one day of testing and driving the car. It shows the car in all itÃ¢Â€Â™s high definition glory, as Block puts it through its paces up snow-covered mountains, down them, and even around un-expecting snowmobilers filmed at the DC MTN.LAB and Guardsman Pass, both in Utah. Stay tuned for more video to emerge as the car gets used more and more.
Ã¢Â€Âœ0-60 MagazineÃ¢Â€Â™sÃ¢Â€Â interview has all the behind the scenes on the TRAX STI, including the exclusive photos of the car. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s the place to learn more about the car, how it performs, and why Block had the darn thing built in the first place. View it here. The next issue of the magazine will have a two page spread featuring the car.
Coordinating with the launch of this new video, DC is releasing new items from BlockÃ¢Â€Â™s TeamWorks Collection. Added to the already wide assortment of product inspired by Block and his rally racing endeavors, new items include a puffy jacket and a leather jacket. View the fresh goods now in the DC Online Store at store.dcshoes.com.