TORQUE GT ● BLOG
Subaru's Secret Weapon - Specification C
For over 25 years Subaru have stuck to a race proven recipe... lightweight, turbocharged and all wheel drive. Introduced way back in 1992 the Impreza was soon dominating World rally and becoming an overnight icon! The rest as they say is history...
However, whilst Subaru believed in... "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"... other companies were playing catch up and have in recent times produced some serious cars in the Impreza's class. Manufacturers creations were becoming more advanced and the Impreza was starting to look a bit outdated. The criteria for what a 'peoples performance car' should be, has changed somewhat since the nineties...
You can admire Subaru for not changing their winning formula but in order to stay competitive, a new generation Impreza, was introduced. And it came with a hatchback silhouette!
Gone was the saloon and coupe body we all loved. The original classic, bug-eye, blob-eye, hawk-eye... Bye bye! Subaru had taken a big gamble and at first the new generation Impreza received a rather cold welcome. Journalists and long term Impreza fans found the new look hard to love over previous generations.
Thankfully in true Japanese style, Subaru had a 'JDM only' special edition up their sleeve. Aside from the fact Japan-spec STI’s housed the more responsive and reliable 2-litre engine (EJ20) rather than the 2.5 unit found in the UK cars, Subaru decided to release an even more focused, limited run model of 1000 units.
Introducing the 'Subaru Impreza STI Spec C'. It included new body parts, engine and suspension improvements and a weight reduction of 30kg over the regular model. Contributing towards this weight saving programme was an aluminium hood, lighter window glass and battery.
The ball bearing on the turbine axle was modified to reduce friction whilst the ECU was retuned for better response. An intercooler water spray was fitted reducing intake temperatures from 70C to 40C, helping retain 25bhp and 30lb ft that would otherwise be lost under the pressures of hard driving.
This intercooler technology is pure rally inspired and showcases Subaru doing what they know best. The acceleration is intoxicating, as is the speed at which you can enter and exit even the tightest of corners. And if you need to stop in a hurry the Brembo four-piston brake set-up is just as impressive. Work the car hard and the Spec C's advantages really begin to shine. If you like your track days a Spec C makes for a formidable opponent!
Where an STI's engine starts to show signs of fatigue on track the Spec C keeps pulling strong all the way to the redline... The car’s intercooler light flashes on the dash, letting you know that water is being sprayed to cool things down and maintain maximum usable power, COOL STUFF!
A rear mechanical LSD replaces the Torsen item on the regular STI, springs and dampers are bespoke, plus a thicker rear anti-roll bar. The result? The Spec C chassis is a joy! It's able to translate the power down on the tarmac more effectively than a stock STI. The turn in is immediate, giving you as the driver so much confidence in the cars capabilities.
All this may be well and good but the aim of the hatch is to appeal to a broader market, so did Subaru create a one trick pony? Absolutely not! The ride is excellent considering the performance. You could happily use this car every day, with surprisingly high levels of comfort. But when the mood takes you the Spec C becomes a thoroughbred which will run circles around many of it's rivals and performance cars with a far heavier pricetag!
The hatch Impreza's looks struggled to win over the public when it made it's debut, a decade on and they're really coming into their own with orders for high quality fresh imports increasing every month.
These are without question one of our favourite cars to import at the minute and with reasonable availability in Japan now is the time to grab one of these sensational cars!
So check out the Personal Import Service and source your very own Spec C today!