Jonny and his Forester XT

Any petrol heads dream daily driver needs to include two things: practicality and performance. A car that can carry four people with a boot full of shopping on one day and be keeping up with sports cars the next. This is something that our Re:Fuelers Rides contributor for today Jonny has managed to achieve through his own vision and determination. Jonny has created the perfect all-rounder with his Subaru Forester taking it from an everyday works vehicle to a complete show stopper!


I drive a heavily modified 2005 Subaru Forester XT. Which has a lot of sentimental value to me, I have many fond memories of my father and I watching McCrae on TV and the sounds of that EJ boxer rumble became fuel for my soul. Also, shortly before passing on my mother helped me purchase this Forester to use as a works vehicle and since their passing I have slowly modified my FXT to become my version of the perfect vehicle for life, in honour of their memory and because I truly feel there isn’t another vehicle like it.

Image Credit: Wookshot Imagery

At this point it’s nearing ‘completion’ but there will always be more things to do. It’s had the complete 6-speed driveline from a 03 JDM STi swapped in which was then mated to a CAE Ultra Shifter (the first one to be fitted into a Forester), Big brake kits fitted on the front and the rear, Adjustable Coilover suspension, heated bucket seats with adjustable lumbar support and a lot of chassis bracing to turn this previously wallowing lump into a precise beast ready to surprise anyone who sits inside. That might seem excessive but it was all installed to support the 2.5 semi-closed deck fully built and balanced engine constructed and tuned by the lads at Enginetuner in Plymouth. To hold everything in check it’s also running a Link G4+ ECU which also enables launch control, flat foot shifting and anti lag if you are in the mood for some carnage!

Image Credit: Wookshot Imagery

If any of you are thinking this sounds like a dream build I would persuade you to start off with a Forester STi to save a lot of time and messing around. That being said, you do miss some of the luxuries that make this the perfect daily driver for me. 

Image Credit: Wookshot Imagery

Given the current situation, there’s nothing quite like hitting the road in a vehicle designed and built personally for you and I regularly go on my favourite local drive (Ashburton to Pricetown to Moretonhampstead and back to Ashburton) to clear my head and feel ‘at one’ with everything. I also recently took part in the Banzai Rally which was 1000 miles of fantastic roads covering the Lake District and Pennines which my FXT completed without a hiccup.

Image Credit: Wookshot Imagery

It’s taken a lot of time and effort to get to this point and I would like to thank my late Mother and Father who will never be forgotten and are sorely missed every day.

I would also like to thank the great bunch of engineers down at Enginetuner for their drive and attention to detail. Another big thanks must go out to Dave at Custom Classics in Ilsington for his relentless work in getting this pride and joy on the road.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and appreciate the journey that this vehicle has been on. Please feel free to stop for a chat if you see me around and follow @rumble_box on Instagram if that’s your cup of tea.

Image Credit: Wookshot Imagery

Car Facts:

Make: Subaru

Model: Forester XT

Year: 2005

Engine: EJ 2.5 semi-closed deck 

BHP: 455

Top Speed: Not tested

0-60: Not recorded

Weight: 1500kg

Additional Mods: Too many to list, come and have a look 🙂

All photo credit goes to Wookshot Imagery

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