We’ve seen all sorts of engine swaps here at Motor1, but this build by Sam Albert is probably the craziest.
Albert is a stage rally racer in North America, campaigning mostly in a 2004 Subaru WRX STI. He has been looking for ways to increase his car’s power, and after researching the rulebook, he discovered that a naturally aspirated motor in 4.5 liters and below had no restrictions.
He looked into the F136 family of motors from Ferrari, which had the highest horsepower per liter in the said displacement range. Specifically, he chose the F136 IB from the Ferrari California, a 4.3-liter engine that still produces plenty of power. He found one in Michigan and had it shipped to Oregon, where he set up shop at Primitive Enterprises to work on the swap.
Albert documented the process on his YouTube channel. He began working on the engine swap seven months ago and then last month, he was able to get it to running. The video above shows the Ferrari-swapped Subaru WRX STI getting some action on the dirt.
The performance gains from the motor swap were obviously substantial, albeit, Albert didn’t disclose the final figures. In the California, the F136 IB made 454 horsepower and 358 pound-feet of torque. He said that power from the Ferrari motor was very linear, which made the car more drivable and fun to drive.
Of course, there were plenty of challenges for the build. The Ferrari engine was obviously larger than the EJ motor that he had, which prompted Albert to trim a little bit of the subframe to get it in the engine bay. The entire motor also sits in front of the strut towers, which has its drawbacks.
And, as the motor was quite large and stuck out, so Albert had to create a custom hood using a plain one from a Subaru Impreza. Exhaust routing wasn’t too bad, as well, while the radiator was rear-mounted and the coolant lines went through the firewall to avoid damage from gravel.
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