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Subaru's bringing the blue and gold to Baja with its Crosstrek Desert Racer

The Class 5 desert racing buggy is powered by a handbuilt 2.5-liter NA Subaru flat-four.

This blue and gold beauty is packing a naturally-aspirated 300 horsepower Subaru four and is ready to blast through 500 miles of Mexican desert.


When you think of someone taking a vehicle and bombing it through the desert for hundreds of miles like in Dust to Glory, you probably don't picture that vehicle as being a Subaru Crosstrek. Why, then, Subaru would pick that as the name of its new Class 5 desert racing buggy is beyond us, but that's precisely what it did.

Subaru announced its new racer -- built in cooperation with noted Subaru tuner Crawford Performance as well as Grabowski Brothers Racing -- on Wednesday. It's powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Subaru boxer four that produces a fairly staggering 300 horsepower.

"Subaru is best known for its success in rally, but Subaru engines have been used in off-road buggies for years," Quirt Crawford, head of Crawford Performance, said in a statement. "My goal with the Crosstrek Desert Racer program was to show what was possible with a nonturbocharged boxer engine in an unlimited class, and the results so far have been very strong. I'm looking forward to bringing the car back to Baja this year and showing what it can do!"

The Crosstrek Desert Racer will compete in the upcoming Baja 500, where last year it managed to finish second in class, and it will do it wearing the iconic Subaru racing blue and gold. This livery was initially made famous during the company's wildly successful World Rally campaigns in the 1990s and 2000s.

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