Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer Looks Ready To Beat Baja
Your average Subaru Crosstrek, while moderately capable out of the box, isnt properly equipped for the rigors of a 487-mile (783-kilometer) desert race like the Baja 500. But with heightened engineering, courtesy of Subaru U.S., and the brands iconic racing livery (which we all know adds at least five horsepower), this one is ready for competition.
In reality, this desert racer shares nothing in common with the average Crosstrek outside of name. It gets your run-of-the-mill race buggy look – exposed tires, tall ride height, bull bars, etc. – and the updated iteration of Subarus iconic gold-and-blue race livery, which the company debuted in January.
Power comes from a non-turbocharged 2.5-liter Boxer engine, built by Quirt Crawford of Crawford Performance, that produces 300 horsepower (223 kilowatts). Again, that mill isnt anything youll find on the average Crosstrek – or any road-going Subaru, for that matter. The new unit powers a "lightweight and reliable package," promises Subaru.
"Subaru is best known for its success in rally, but Subaru engines have been used in off-road buggies for years," said Quirt Crawford. "My goal with the Crosstrek Desert Racer program was to show what was possible with a non-turbocharged boxer engine in an unlimited class, and the results so far have been very strong. Im looking forward to bringing the car back to Baja this year and showing what it can do!"
But this isnt the first time Subaru has taken on Baja. The Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer debuted in 2017 and took home a second-place finish in class at Baja just a year later. Again in 2018, the Crosstrek racer took home a Class 5 Unlimited win at the 550-mile Las Vegas to Reno race, Americas longest off-road event.
The 2019 Baja 500 kicks off on Saturday, June 1st. After that, Grabowski Brothers Racing will keep the Crosstrek racer active by entering it at this years Las Vegas to Reno in August, before taking on the Baja 1000 in November.
Subaru Crosstrek Driven: