Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer Shows its Off-Road Chops Winning 2019 Baja 500

Shopping for a Crosstrek? You can't have this one.

Subaru’s compact crossover is built for adventure but the the 2019 Crosstrek Desert Racer takes it to another level.

The Japanese automaker announced their renewed participation in the legendary Baja 500 off-road race late last month, teaming up with Crawford Performance and Grabowski Brothers Racing (GBR) to pilot this beastly new 2019 Crosstrek livery, looking to improve on 2018’s second-place finish in class.

Well, they made good on this goal earning their first-ever class win at the 2019 Baja 500 off-road race, pushing through difficult conditions to dominate Class 5. The father and son combo of Neal and Dusty Grabowski pushed through the gruelling desert terrain against some worthy competitors, securing Class 5 victories at two of the four major U.S./Mexico desert racing events in less than 12 months.

Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer crossing finish line at Baja 500
The Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer crosses the finish line after a grueling Baja 500 class win. Photo: Subaru

As the racers put it, “This was a tough one – the conditions were a major challenge, especially getting caught in the ravine so close to the finish and wondering if we’d be able to get across the line. We knew we were the fastest Class 5 out there – just needed to keep going! It’s an incredible feeling to get our first Baja class win, especially after finishing second last year and knowing we had a chance at the top spot.”

Related: 13 things you need to know about the all-new Subaru Crosstrek

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Powering the Subaru Crosstrek Desert Racer a 2.5L non-turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine built by Quirt Crawford of Crawford Performance. But unlike a Crosstrek for the commoners, this rocket puts down 300-hp to traverse and negotiate anything in its path.

What’s next for the Desert-going Crosstrek? GBR continue by defending their class title at August’s Vegas to Reno event before moving on to the Baja 1000 in November.

If you’re shopping for a Crosstrek to handle more daily tasks, check out our reviews here.

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