In the fountainhead of custom cars and high-performance mods — California, that is — Ali Afshar is one guy who’s made a nationwide reputation for himself, not to mention founding a profitable business (Easy Street Motorsports), by getting Subaru cars to cover the real estate at a pace unheard of before. Let’s put it this way: His streetable Easy Street ESX (a 3,200 lb. WRX), which he breathed on heavily, now does 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds, and blows away the 1/4 mile in 9.44 seconds at 149.5 mph. That’s on radials, and the car still has a full exhaust system and interior, even power windows.
That kind of cheek-flattening acceleration obviously means serious horsepower is on tap. That the boxer’s bottom end can take it without breaking is testament to the soundness of the basic design (we’ve traced the flat opposed cylinder concept back to a WWI fighter plane engine).
Even more unbelievable, Ali has built a 2005 Subaru STi dragster that puts out 1,200 hp on alcohol. So far, it’s run the quarter in the low eights.
On a much more realistic, practical level, Easy Street Motorsports has put together a very potent and cool-looking WRX using Subaru of America SPT (Subaru Performance Tuning) parts exclusively. The best part? It retains the factory warranty and is CARB (California Air Resources Board) legal.
Ali Afshar’s bio is interesting. Raised on a ranch, he got interested in the idea of going fast early in his life. At five, he was racing horses, then motorcycles, and he started drag racing a ‘67 Camaro at Sears Point International Raceway while still in high school. Meanwhile, his parents hoped he’d become a doctor, and out of respect, he went to college and graduated as an environmental biology major. During that process, however, he discovered he had a knack for getting the most out of cars where performance was concerned. He started doing this on the side for fellow students (especially on Buick Grand National Turbos, which presages his passion for Subaru turbocharged engines) and soon he was making enough to actually start a real business. But there was another facet to his life: He was having moderate success pursuing an acting career. He was in the movie Godzilla, among others, and has had TV roles in shows such as The King of Queens and Jag.
Ali shifted the focus of Easy Street Motorsports to Subaru after he bought his first WRX in 2001. While this model had a worldwide reputation as a terrific rally car, he saw its potential as an incredible drag racer — intercooled turbo boosted horsepower getting down to the ground through AWD.
This vision has grown into an unmitigated success with seven major NHRA drag racing titles (called “Wallys” for founder Wally Parks), world records, more publicity than we’ve seen for anything to do with high performance for decades, a limited-edition line of Signature ESX/STi customs (again, street legal), and a booming business.
Its motto: “Home of the World’s Fastest New Generation Subaru WRX.”
Visit www.esxmotorsports.com, and, if you happen to be in California on Dec. 4th, you might want to make plans to attend the Easy Street Motorsports Subaru Nationals, billed as “The West Coast’s Ultimate Subaru Competition,” and featuring both drag racing and autocross.