Personal rides of performance workshop owners usually generate a lot of interest as these cars become showcases and testimonials to customers. For Singaporean Henry Lim, the founder and owner of tuning company Cosmic Performance in Melbourne, his masterpiece is his 2006-converted-from-2002 Subaru Impreza WRX STI.
The main purpose is to use the car as a testimonial for his business but ultimately Henry is using it for product development and also putting effort to build the car for racing as there are many local events in Australia that he can participate in. So far, the car has won some trophies at the Australian Targa Championship and at local WRX club races, as well as for autostyling at Auto Salon.
A hugely passionate Scooby fan, Henry has been driving and racing WRX’ since 2004 and has personally owned over 10 Subarus now. Henry has been working on cars since he went over to Australia 12 years ago to further his studies and then decided to settle down there.
Subaru has a strong following in Australia and is greatly respected by the motoring community. Subaru built up a great rallying and racing heritage with living legends such as Barrie Crocker and his son Cody Crocker.
Upon graduation from university, Henry held a full-time job as a project manager in manufacturing, while providing tuning and consulting services to workshops after work. He later started his own automotive business in 2009, providing tuning services, engine building, importing and distributing of parts, as well as developing his own line of in-house products.
Buying this STI in 2008, Henry has spent close to AUD 50,000 on it so far, upgrading it into a 2006 STI version. Doing away with the bug eyes and swapping out the supplied VF22, the car now houses a 2.2-stroked EJ20 at the heart with 385bhp at the wheel, but Henry has plans to replace it with a 2.8 Cosmic Stroker that he has on hand ready for testing to push out 650bhp on the track.
Slapping on a Kamak STS Billet GTX turbocharger, Henry had to make sure the car has enough stopping power. The STI’s braking capabilities come from his in-house product – the Cosmic Performance 8-pot brake system 356mm in the front and the Cosmic Performance 6-pot brake system 332mm in the rear.
Sitting on 5Zigen wheels and sporting a lowered ride height, the STI adopts an aggressive look with its C-west Aluminimum GT wing, STI V lip, STI Spec C side skirts and rear lip. Quite the eye candy, I observed many spectators at the World Time Attack Challenge stop in their tracks to get a shot of this car when they walked past the Cosmic Performance booth.
The motivation for increasing the power comes from the desire to be competitive on track as well as to promote his business. Henry derives the most satisfaction from building a track car that is comfortable for daily street use. When I was there in Melbourne, I was a passenger of this household Cosmic Performance STI and it was indeed comfortable as a daily drive.
I make quite a bad passenger and would feel giddy or nauseous easily if the ride gets too bumpy. However, Henry has done a great job in maintaining its drivability, reliability and road manners, achieving a nice street balance from his suspension system, which also holds his in-house product – the Cosmic Performance Type SR Coilovers.
There is still a lot more that Henry intends to do with this car, which serves as a development platform in aim of the ultimate track and tarmac rally setup. By the time you read this, he might have already implemented more modifications to the car. Nonetheless, it is always great to see such JDM blood run deep down under.
Car: Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Engine Mods: EJ20 with 2.2-liter stroker kit, Cosworth forged pistons, ACL race bearings, STI Group N metal head gasket, ported heads, stainless steel valves, blueprinted block, pinned semi closed deck, Manley forged rods, EJ25 STI crank, ARP head studs, Kelford twin valve springs, modified STI cams, STI Kevlar timing belt, Cosworth race oil baffle, Cosworth oil pump, Kamak Dynamics 304 headers, Kamak STS Billet GTX turbocharger, HKS Racing blow-off valve, 2.4-inch turbo inlet system, Process West front mount intercooler, Process West oil cooler, Process West anti surge fuel tank, 800cc fuel injectors, Sard fuel pressure regulator, HKS Silent Hi Power Exhaust System, Kamak Tuned Extractors, Beatrush engine mounts
Electronics: G4 Link ECU, Defi gauges, Defi VSD X System, DCCD Pro External Controller, G4 Knock Link, AEM Wideband Controller, HKS EVC 6 boost controller
Transmission: STI Spec C gearbox, ATS Twin Carbon clutch, 1.5-way Kaaz LSD, Beatrush transmission mounts
Chassis & Handling: Cosmic Performance Type SR coilovers, Whiteline anti-lift kit, Whiteline front and rear sway bars, Whiteline RCA kit, Whiteline rear lateral arm kit, Whiteline links kit
Brakes: Cosmic Performance eight-piston brake system 356mm (front), Cosmic Performance six-piston brake system 332mm (rear)
Wheels & Tyres: 5Zigen ZR wheels, McGard wheel nuts
Interior: Cobra race seats, Cusco six-point roll cage, Sabelt six-point racing harness, Sparco steering wheel, HKB steering hub, , Carbon Print Spec C JDM interior
Exterior: C-West aluminium GT Wing, STI V Lip, STI Spec C side skirts and rear lip, STI Spec C boot, Beatrush lower diffuser tray, ARC dry carbon reverse scoop, Ultra Racing mid-lower brace, Ultra Racing cross over power brace
Garage: Cosmic Performance
Text & Photo by Cheryl Tay