Subaru Impreza STI Spec C

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Introduction

The Subau Impreza Spec C has always been one of our favourite cars to come out of Japan in the past 20 years. Lightweight, focused and hugely enjoyable to drive there's few cars that offer as much bang for buck. The hatchback has often been overlooked with the earlier incarnations stealing most of the limelight. However, we've recently witnessed a big increase in attention towards the hatch and we can understand why. EVO magazine's Peter Lyon explains perfectly...

"Just one lap of the short, 0.8 mile-long south track at Honda’s Twin Ring Motegi complex, two hours north of Tokyo, was enough to highlight the Spec C’s phenomenal abilities. Compared with the stock STI, the Spec C was a full second faster: 57.87sec vs 58.88. Multiply that by the many miles covered in rallying, and you start to get the picture.

A weight-saving programme has shed 30kg through the use of various lightweight components. The engine is the Japan-spec STI’s 2-litre flat-four rather than the 2.5 that powers UK cars, with peak power of 304bhp at 6400rpm. A new ball-bearing turbo, which reduces friction inside the turbo, brings quicker throttle response. There’s also a water spray for the intercooler that allows the car to be punished longer but retain maximum power: depending on the amount of stress the engine is subject to, the unit regularly sprays water over the intercooler, reducing intake temperatures from 70C to 40C. According to the engineers, this allows the engine to retain about 25bhp and 30lb ft that would normally be sacrificed when an engine is thrashed.

This effect is especially noticeable coming out of tight corners when you need explosive acceleration. Even after several hot laps, whereas the STI engine had started to show signs of fatigue and throttle response had waned in the mid-range, the Spec C’s tacho spins high and hard as the car’s intercooler light flashes on the dash, letting you know that water is being sprayed two or three times a minute to cool things down in the engine bay and maintain maximum usable power. Other upgrades include a high lateral-g fuel pump.

At chassis level, the Spec C has a new rear mechanical LSD replacing the Torsen item on the regular STI, bespoke springs and dampers, a thicker rear anti-roll bar and those grippier Potenza RE070s on 18in alloys. The combined effect is a chassis that gets the power down more effectively than any STI before it. The Spec C’s turn-in is sharper with less understeer, and yet it retains an excellent ride, certainly being more comforable than previous Spec Cs. The Brembo four-piston brake set-up is similarly impressive with almost no fade.

While interpreting the grip levels of the stock STI can be a challenge, the Spec C’s more feelsome steering delivers more of the information that tells a driver when adhesion limits are being reached. And being able to get closer to the Spec C’s limits, but staying within your own, makes this car a lot more fun – and safer – to chuck around than an STI. It’s a pity that it won’t be available in showrooms here, but that’s where the specialist importers come in"...

Factory original and in classic World Rally Blue this particular STI Spec C was found by our team in Japan and highlighted as a top quality example. Now at Torque GT HQ and ready to view by appointment.

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Specification
Year 2009
Mileage 69000
Engine 2.0
Transmission Manual
Bodystyle Hatchback
Features
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Climate Control
  • Power-assisted Steering
  • Power Locks
  • Power Windows
  • 4-Wheel Drive
  • Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)
  • Driver Airbag
  • Passenger Airbag
  • Xenon headlights
  • CD Player
  • Rear Spoiler
Included
  • UK Conversions
  • Dinitrol Treatment
  • Oil and filter service
  • 130 Point Vehicle Inspection
  • UK Registration
  • BIMTA mileage certificate
Enquiry Form 01364 654247
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