Rogue Shadow: Tyler Williams’ Ground Breaking Subaru STi
2011 has been a dynamic year for our scene. I’d like to think that if 2009 and 2010 were the years that the Stance scene exploded, this past year was its period of maturation. The builds are more complex, the projects are more varied, and each region (whether in the states or around the world) has developed its own unique style. Whether its the over-the-top VIP builds of Japan, the OEM+ Euro builds of the American Northeast, or the unbelievable Hondas of California, each of the major players have reached levels of style that haven’t really been explored in the import scene before. Additionally, as the scene has matured, many have been wise to explore the roots of lowliness in hot rods and rat rods, and even ventured outside our normal comfort zone into domestic pro-touring cars and West Coast low riders. All that to say, 2011 has been a year about promoting inclusion. Stance, it seems, has graduated from the bastard child of the forums, to an accepted (tolerated?) subset of modern automotive culture. It seems that even a seasoned track nut can finally look at a fitted car and admit that it at least looks cool.
But then again, it seems that most enthusiasts still like to compartmentalize different cars. That is, a vehicle must, at least in some identifiable way, stay true to its designed purpose. That is, most people are fine with a bagged Lexus GS, because after all, it is a car made for comfortable cruising; low and slow and all that jazz. But what if, someone were to apply that same approach to a 2011 Subaru STi? Well let’s just say that I’m going to have some explaining to do to my Autocross friends at this Friday’s meet for having anything to do with such a rolling blasphemy as that. But that is exactly what Tyler Williams has done. Tyler purchased one of the great performance cars of our generation, and bagged it. Although this ground breaking Subaru STi, may appear to be a rogue shadow of its original purpose, it is, frankly, exactly what this scene needs.
Car enthusiasts must accept that purpose is subjective. Tyler contends:
It’s not a track car. I don’t care if I can shave tenths of a second off my commute to school or the gym. The bags actually handle fantastic, due to the bag over coil setup, and the car has become infinitely more functional for our terrible Montreal roads. I don’t think it makes me hard or bad-ass to beach my car on speedbumps or wreck my carbon lip on driveways. The car will never see the track, so why should it be necessary for me to build a track car?
Tyler has built the perfect car for his own intentions, and if the average enthusiast is honest with his or her self, one that would largely fit into one’s own needs and wishes for a daily driver. This is a car that looks amazing, performs admirably, and handles the duties that an active lifestyle demands.
Naysayers have undoubtedly already decided that these modifications have wasted this car. But why is a focus on aesthetics such a frivolous pursuit? Each year automakers roll out concept cars that are lower and wider than the production model could ever be, and enthusiasts bemoan the compromises that will inevitably be made to allow the vehicle to perform all of the demands of the maker’s intentions for the vehicle. But what if someone says, “No, I want to evoke that same visceral reaction from on-lookers as the original concept, and I’m willing to admit to the truth that I’m never going to drive this car at a level above 6/10ths.” In the same way that a true track car will have to make concessions to aesthetics for sake of performance, a street car like this STi can, and must, do the reverse.
Buried deep within the Star Wars canon, the Rogue Shadow was the ship of Darth Vader’s apprentice, Galen Marek. Although the story tells that Marek was a force of evil throughout his existence, it was his sacrificial death that ultimately inspired the Rebels to finish what he began: a full scale revolution against the Empire. Princess Leia proposed that the Rebels use the Marek family crest as a symbol of hope to rally behind.
Tyler’s STi certainly looks the part of something worthy of being drive by Darth Vader’s apprentice with the sinister matte black wrap and slammed stance. But ultimately, this car isn’t meant to be a sign of aggression towards traditional Subaru tuning. There is no silly “Form > Function” nonsense going on here. He asserts, “I appreciate every style, not just my own, yet it seems track/performance enthusiasts can’t do that. Either way, I haven’t lost a minute of sleep over it!” Tyler built this car for himself, and quite frankly, killed it. The challenge for 2012 then becomes, are we as enthusiasts able to appreciate a car modified outside of it’s original intentions? Can we respect a performance car modded for aesthetic appeal, even if that performance had to be compromised in the process? Tyler Williams’ Subaru STi does everything he asks it to do, and possesses a presence on the road that can be felt by simply looking at these pictures. Rogue shadow or not, this is a car that demands attention; and unabashedly embodies its design perfectly.
Tyler Williams’ 2011 Subaru STi
- Prova SI Drive knob
- JPM Coachworks Shift Boot
- JPM Coachworks Handbrake boot
- WC Lathewerks Titanium sphere shifter
- Carbon vinyl wrapped interior trim
- Tinted Windows
- Matte black Vinyl Wrap by Oliver @ Covered APR Front Lip, plastidipped Bayson R side skirts Bayson R rear spats
- ’08 Front bumper
- ’08 OEM foglights
- Japanese R205 side badges
- Plastidipped OEM front grill
- Debadged trunk
- 6000k HID kit
- LED License plate lights
- Blacked out headlight housings
- Custom blacked out subaru emblems
- Taillight Overlays
- AEM Cold Air Intake
- Cobb Accessport, Stage 2
- CNT Racing Cat back – burnt blue tips
- Invidia Catless DP
- Cobb Heatshield
Suspension and Wheels
- AirRex air suspension
- Viair 400cc compressor
- Easy Street Manifolds
- 1/4″ Air lines
- Accuair skinny air tank aluminium
- Whiteline Rear Camber Bushings
- Whiteline Steering rack bushings
- AVS 7 switch box
- Dakota Digital Air pressure guage
- Work Emotion XD9, matte titanium. 18×10+18
- Nankang NSII – 225/45/18
Editor: Andy Carter