Sam Albert owns a 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI with a Ferrari V8 under the hood. It makes an incredible noise and is quite a rally car. It recently competed in the Oregon Trail Rally, and this exciting video recorded the run on the superspecial stage at Portland International Raceway.
Albert built the car to exploit a loophole in the rules. The open four-wheel-drive class allowed naturally aspirated engines as large as 4.5 liters of displacement and had no other restrictions. He sourced a Ferrari F136 V8 powerplant out of a California from an exotic vehicle salvage yard.
In the Ferrari, this 4.3-liter engine makes 454 horsepower and 358 pound-feet of torque. The setup allows for more linear power delivery than a turbocharged mill. In comparison, a stock 2004 WRX STI would have a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 300 hp and 300 lb-ft.
Albert makes the installation sound fairly straightforward. There was lots of room for the engine to fit between the frame rails, and he was able to use the stock subframe with just some minor trimming. He mounted the radiator in the rear to maintain a good weight balance.
This specific stage offers a variety of surfaces to speed across. It starts on asphalt and eventually transitions to dirt and grass. He slides into some corners and kicks up enormous clouds of dust.
The camera angle is above and behind the car. It maintains a consistent distance behind the vehicle. The result is a perspective that's reminiscent of a racing video game. The Ferrari V8 sounds better than any simulation, though.
Albert did not finish the Oregon Trail Rally. He completed 14 of the 19 stages. The winning car was a 2021 Subaru WRX STI.
Albert competes in the American Rally Association championship. He has taken part in two events this year but hasn't yet scored any points.
Ken Block's daughter, Lia, also races in this series. At the time of this story's publication, she is in sixth place in the standings with 24 points. Brandon Semenuk is the current leader with 107 points.