Monday, May 19, 2014
The Primitive Racing Subaru XV Crosstrek
Tigard, Oregon-based Primitive Racing is well known in the Subaru world for offering a host of products from light bars and skid plates, to rock sliders and mega-strong differential covers. From time to time they will do a full custom build, and that's the case with this XV Crosstrek. Owner Paul Eklund and the crew decided to make a more off-road capable Crosstrek that could go farther and do more than any other Crosstrek out there. I met up with Paul at our local Cars and Coffee to check out the up-armored Subaru.
A stock XV Crosstrek already sits three inches higher up than a standard Impreza. Primitive Racing threw on an additional two inches of lift courtesy of King springs and their spacer lift giving a total of 10.7 inches of ground clearance—0.6 inches more than a Jeep Wrangler Rubion. To help make the most of that ground clearance off road and to fill out those wheel wells, the car rides on larger 215/70/16 BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires, which are mounted to custom hydro-dipped Sparco Terra 16x7 alloy wheels. However, this Crosstrek is more than just a lift and some wheels and tires.
Starting up front, the car sports a ridiculously sturdy Primitive Racing light bar. Mounted on that bar are four WARN W650D driving lights, which are operated via remote control—no drilling through the firewall. Behind the bar lies a Superwinch winch with synthetic rope. A custom mounting plate was developed by Primitive to accommodate the 4,500 lb. capacity winch. The winch's controls are slickly integrated, too: There's a mini rocker switch under the hood, and the port for the wire remote control is in the front bumper.
Speaking of bumpers, both the front and rear have been hydrodipped in a digital camo pattern to match the wheels and the inside radio bezel, which has been dipped as well. The items were clear coated for additional protection.
Step to the vehicle's back side and there's another set of bars to help protect the bumper from obstacles. Along the sides are a set of Primitive's rock rails to protect the XV from any stumps or rocks along the way. The most crucial part, however, is the under armor. Skid plates and a super-stout rear differential cover will help protect the Subie when the trails get difficult off the pavement.
One the road, the lifted Crosstrek rides surprisingly well. Although it's up-armored, the King springs feature a stiffer rate to help compensate for the additional weight. The taller tires do rob the car of some power; acceleration from this CVT-equipped model is a bit tardy compared to a stock version. And yes, there's more road noise and a bit of a hum from the chunky all-terrain tires. However, hit a pothole, a set of railroad tracks, or a dirt berm and the car's suspension soaks up the bumps like a miniature baja racer. The suspension system does a really good job with bad pavement and craters; I'm sure off road it'd be quite good, and I'd love to find out how good some day.
Primitive's Desert Edition Crosstrek has that just-right look. In fact, I freaking love it. If I had an XV Crosstrek, I'd probably build it exactly this way (even in the Khaki color). I might not add the digital camo, but you get the idea.
Whether out exploring the forests, running through the desert, or simply up for a day hike, this Subaru Crosstrek XV is ready for nearly anything. Moab anyone?