Apr 30, 2019

Desert Sage Brighton Coupe


hen you think of turbocharged engines and all wheel drive, Subaru should come to mind. Alright, maybe Mitsubishi as well but for us, Subaru is definitely the first thing to come to mind. It’s no secret that Subaru’s horizontally opposed turbocharged engine is nothing to laugh it. Gabriel Ang’s 1996 Subaru Impreza Brighton Coupe is no exception.

Gabriel calls Millbrae, CA home. He is the proud owner of this 1996 Brighton Coupe edition Impreza. Equipped with a JDM V7 STI EJ207 from Japan, equipped with AVCS. A JDM STI intake manifold feeds air into the cylinders along with pin injectors. JDM UEL headers spool the turbo while a Mishimoto 3in turbo inlet feeds the engine the boost it needs. An AEM fuel pump ensures the 2.0L turbocharged boxer engine has all the fuel it needs. A Turbo XS 3in exhaust helps this engine flow efficiently along with the CNT Bellmouth Catless downpipe. The engine bay is clean which makes detecting leaks early a lot easier, which is important for track cars. You can quickly identify the JDM exterior pieces which give this Brighton Coupe a sleek and clean look. It's difficult to beat the look of clean factory lines. Prior to this Brighton Coupe running the EJ207 Gabriel had installed an EJ205. Just four days into the swap a valve and piston gave each other a high five, blowing the engine. Gabriel had the beast up and running again in no time thanks to @P_garage. The car was then tuned by Travis Barnes at Snail Performance.

This 96 Brighton Coupe has seen the track at Thunderhill West and Sonoma. Gabriel will also be pushing this beast to its limits at Buttonwillow this month. He learned to drive in a 1997 EK Hatchback, which had a big influence on his beginning addiction to motorsports along with Best Motoring. Gabriel picked up an Ebay exhaust for his hatch, which quickly turned into a full K20a2 swap. When we asked Gabriel about his passion for modifying cars he replied

"My passion modifying cars is the fact we make every build our own. I’ve driven out of the box fast cars, but nothing beats that feeling of driving your car, your build. You know every bolt that has been touched, every fluid that has been changed. When you do laps or even just a road trip in that car, you are proud."

Check out more of Gabriel and his 96 Brighton Coupe on Instagram @desertsage_96brighton. Also check out @dailydrivengarage, @P_garage, @snailperformance.


Mod List:

JDM V7 EJ207 Single AVCS

WRX 5 speed transmission and STI short throw shifter

Tuned at Snail Performance on carBerry Rom

301 whp & 274 wtq (Mustang Dyno)

CNT 3in downpipe

3in Turbo XS cat back exhaust

K&N Typhoon intake

Mishimoto 3in turbo inlet

Koyo R1819 Race spec aluminum radiator


Stock vf30 turbo

Killer B oil pick up

Killer B oil pan

Tomei oil baffle


Adjustable KYB AGX struts

Ground Control coilover sleeves/Eibach springs 250lb/in front 225 lb/in rear

Entire GD subframe suspension components with +10mm wider track

Whiteline pitch stop

Group N engine mounts

Kein fender braces

Nameless rear strut bar

Carbing Motorsports front strut bar

JDM lightweight bumper beam front and rear


RPF1 17x8 +45 5x100

Federal 595 rs-rr 235/40/17


JDM v3 sti front bumper

JDM OEM 3 piece v3 STI type r front lip

JDM rear bumper

JDM rear spats

JDM front and rear aero guards

JDM 4 piece side skirts

JDM v5/6 Aluminum hood

RS coupe wing with custom gurney


JDM v3/4 STI steering wheel

JDM v3 STI carbon fiber OEM option gauge cluster

JDM v3/4 STI front and rear seats

AEM AFR gauge

AEM Oil pressure

AEM oil temp

Limited Edition Peter Solberg Shift knob

DIY red suede inserts