Ivan’s WRX become our 6th feature vehicle on BFGoodrich Garage this year!
Ivan’s 2016 Subaru WRX
Editor’s note:A family car will never truly be a racecar, but Team Hybrid’s Rodolfo “Ivan” Manio has found a way to make those competing needs overlap in his WRX build. And while it looks fast, Manio hasn’t touched the powertrain yet — hence the name for his Subie: Slobaru.
Back in the Philippines, my uncle had a Mitsubishi Lancer “box-type” and he pretty much built it from ground up. With him, it was that car, and then another project build, one after the other. I was 10 years old, and that got me pretty much interested in cars.
When I bought my WRX, my wife and I had been looking for a car for a day. We decided to go straight to a Subaru dealership instead of driving around from dealership to dealership, and three hours later, we drove home with our first Subaru.
I chose the 2016 Subaru WRX because I’d always wanted an AWD race car. I’ve wanted a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX since it first came out, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. Now, finding a decent, unmolested Evo IX is a farfetched idea, so I chose its longtime rival: Subaru.
At the time, I had been out of the car scene for about six years. I’d sold my first build after losing interest, but I had met Team Hybrid’s Nevada Chapter DirectorÂÂÂÂÂ Archie ConconÂÂÂÂÂ and longtime member Charleston Penesa at a local car show, and at the end of 2016, I decided I was ready to step it back up, so I joined the team.
Up to now, my WRX’s exterior modifications have been pretty basic. I started with an AEM intake, H&R springs, gold machine-finished AodHan AH-01 wheels, a VIS V2 carbon fiber hood, and a custom Rays Factory wing which I got from my best friend Charleston Penesa. I color-matched the deck of the wing, the foglight bezel, and the all-around STI lip kit to give my WRX a unique and clean look. I’m also running BFGoodrich® g-Force COMP-2 A/S tires (255/35/ZR18) because I wanted something for daily driving that can handle and grip the road, dry or wet.
The interesting about this car is it may look fast, but the engine is bone stock. I get a kick out of when people wonder what I have under the hood. I’ll get to the engine mods in the future, but for now, I’ll enjoy putting miles on it first. With just the stock engine and suspension, I can already have fun in the corners with the handling and the torque.
My car isn’t quite where I want it to be, and I know I need to improve more things. However, it’s very humbling when I get compliments from strangers on the road, at the gas station, or even in a drive-through window. Having a short conversation with someone that admires your hard work is truly a heart-warming feeling.
The next steps for this car will be in the interior. I want to do something that no one has done in this model, but major modifications will take time. “Rome was not built in a day,” as they say.
Although this build is far from being completed, I’d like to thank a few people, first and foremost our founder and president James Lin, for always leading by example and consistently giving and showing me Hybrid Luv from the beginning. I also want to thank my chapter director Archie Concon for always being a great leader and a great friend. Thank you to Charleston Penesa for always being there for me and guiding me on my build. Thank you to Adrian Oba and Jhay Ar del Castillo for always being there for me as well.
To my Nevada Chapter family and Hybridz worldwide: let’s continue making import and Hybrid history. Thank you to my wife Kristine for supporting me on everything I do, and to my kids: I love you all. Lastly, plenty of Hybrid Luv to our team title sponsors: BFGoodrich, Meguiar’s, K&N Filters, AEM Inatakes, AMSOIL, Whiteline, Password:JDM, NRG Innovations, Mishimoto and Optima Batteries. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with a legendary team.
Check out the article on BFGoodrich Garage here.