TORQUE GT ● BLOG
A Modern Classic - Impreza STI Type R
You couldn't miss the Impreza WRX STI growing up in the 90s, being the car to beat on the world rally stage or between traffic lights, Subaru owes a lot to this brilliant car and legends such as McRae & Burns. The fact you could walk into a Subaru showroom and buy a version of the car you were watching dominate the world's toughest rally stages was a petrol head's dream!
How many models of Impreza are there? If you were to name every single version / limited edition you deserve a medal. The Impreza has gone through many facelifts, but the original shape Impreza, 'the classic' arguably holds the most Kudos thanks to the era it was born in.
Amidst the 'Classic' era Subaru created the Type R. Exclusive to the Japanese Domestic Market these were based on a two door coupe body and came in 4 generations, Version III, IV, V & VI. Non-Type R models were all based on the 4 door body (Bar the UK P1) and included models such as the 555, RA and desirable V-Limited models... but lets not make this too confusing, that's all for another day!
Today we are looking at the Impreza WRX Type R STI Version V. Produced over a period of only 11 months it cost ¥3,009,000 when new, (around £20,000 GBP at today's exchange rate). Housing the iconic EJ20 it pushed out 280bhp and 260 ft/lb torque. Even by todays standards this is a quick car especially when you consider its light weight. Just imagine how it would of felt blasting around the streets or twisty mountain roads of Japan in 1998!
On an A to B blast it's an absolute scream, constantly enticing you to push harder. The power delivery is delightfully old school, whilst there is some lag if you're caught in the wrong gear, the punch when the turbo comes in is addictive, happily revving out to that glorious 7,900 rpm redline.
If you were wondering where the Type R falls within the Impreza hierarchy, the closest would be the UK supplied P1. Its appearance is very 90's swagger; pink STI badging, big spoiler, 'get out of my way' bonnet scoop and vents, period gold wheels and fantastically brash WRX decals... Perfect!
Place yourself in the red, black & grey patterned STI seats and you'll be immersed in a time capsule of rally fan heaven.
An unrepeatable era of automotive flare, the classic shape Impreza is making a serious comeback. Maturing well and with values rising, numbers of clean examples are becoming a far rarer find.
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