PlusNET - The Smarter Way to Internet!
Home Rallying Subaru Impreza Colin McRae MBE Projects Entertainment Photo Gallery Contact Directory > subaru-impreza > history-of-the-subaru-impreza Translate:     
Thursday, 24 April, 2014 - 07:20 (UK)  

 Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza Story
An Introduction to the Subaru Impreza

History of the Impreza
A complete History of Subaru and the Impreza

Special Editions
All the UK special edition Impreza's listed here

My 2001 Impreza WRX
My own 2001 Impreza WRX in Red Mica

Project PPP
Upgraded my WRX with PPP saving nearly £1,200!

Scooby @ Lochindorb
Photo gallery of the car at Lochindorb Jan08

Photo Gallery
MY08 Impreza (Gallery)
MY06 Impreza (Gallery)
MY03 Impreza (Gallery)


Search the web

My Other Sites
You are here :)
Local Regional website for Subaru Impreza Drivers Club Members

Campaign website devoted to bringing ADSL Broadband to Lhanbryde
Moray Group of Advanced Motorists
on-line resource of motoring related articles sent in by visitors

Motoring website helping to make Moray roads a little bit safer for all! -

Support .sco TLD

..:: The Subaru Impreza Story

1. The Subaru Impreza Story, as told by me
2. The History of the Subaru Impreza
3. Special Editions
4. Image Galleries
5. My 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX - Red Mica

..:: The History of the Subaru Impreza

Subaru is a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries. Which was originally Nakajima Aircraft back in 1917. It's wasn't until 1954 before Fuji Heavy Industries took on the challenge of building a road car. The name of this car was the P-1 (Nothing like the modern Subaru Impreza P1) which stood for Prototype-1. This name was later changed to the Subaru 1500. And here the Subaru was born. The name Subaru Closely translates to reference the star cluster Pleiades, which is the same famous star cluster that we see make up the subaru logo today. over the decades Subaru continued to build motor cars and in 1972 made it's first 4WD car with the Subaru Leone 4WD Station Wagon. From that point onwards Subaru made something for a name for it's self in the 4WD motor car department, almost like a trade mark. Think Subaru, think All Wheel Drive. However it wasn't until 1992 that the Subaru Impreza was born. So let's pick up the story from there.


The Launch of the Subaru Impreza (Japan) The Subaru Impreza was developed after rule changes in the World Rally Championship (WRC) demanded a replacement to the Subaru Legacy which was previously used by Subaru in the WRC. The changes meant that a new smaller, lighter and faster car was required in order to compete in the WRC. So even from day one, the Subaru Impreza was developed for rallying.


The Subaru Impreza reached the UK. Initially the Subaru Impreza was available in both Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and All Wheel Drive (AWD) versions. However the FWD was soon dropped in preference of the trademark Subaru AWD system.


The Turbo Charged Impreza 2000 AWD reached the UK (Known as the Subaru Impreza WRX in Japan). Also in 2004, Subaru Technica International (STI) was born and we started seeing STI versions of the Subaru Impreza Turbo. The Subaru Impreza WRX STI meant much more than an extra badge on the body. The STI stood for a full upgrading of the Subaru Impreza Taking was was learned on the World Rally stages and incorporating developments into the road car. Many areas were upgraded for the Subaru Impreza STI versions. Engine, Suspension and overall performance and handling greatly improved over the standard car. Top speed was limited to 155mph and 0-62 came in at just 4.7seconds for the Impreza STI. These figures made the Subaru Impreza very sought after by the local boy racers. Albeit a bit more expensive than the your every day Peugeot 205 and Vauxhall Nova.


Subaru won the World Rally Championship in a 555 WRC Subaru Impreza driven by fellow Scotsman Colin McRae. A brilliant achievement for both driver and manufacturer. Driver Colin McRae for being the first ever British driver to win the WRC, and Subaru proved that the Impreza was a World Leading rally car. To mark the success of Subaru winning the WRC championship that year, a special edition Subaru Impreza was released in the form of the McRae Series Subaru Impreza.


Subaru took the manufacturer title for a second year in a row, and promptly released another special edition Impreza knows as the Subaru Impreza Catalunya.


Subaru won a hat-trick of manufacturer championships and celebrated once again by releasing a new special edition Impreza. The Subaru Impreza Terzo (Italian for 3rd). Only 333 Subaru Impreza Terzos were made, as a mark of the three championships won with the Subaru Impreza. 1997 also saw a few changes to the Impreza road car. Interior styling was updated including an exclusive MOMO racing steering wheel. Meanwhile STI versions were given an newly designed rear spoiler. In Japan a special 2-door coupe Subaru Impreza was released which was used as the 1998 WRC car.


The Subaru Impreza 22B. A label that often conjures up thoughts of what the ultimate Subaru Impreza might be. The 22B (Note: for the computer geeks out there, 22B in hex converts to 555 in decimal.) provided a 2.2l boxer engine, more hardcore styling all round including 2-doors instead of 4 and an adjustable rear wing made up just some of the key features of the 22B. Only 400 22B's were made in order to celebrate 40 years of Subaru and only 16 of those were destined for the UK. I've seen three in total!! UK versions also had tweaked gearing which was specifically optimised to UK roads. How cool is that!


To celebrate the new driver lineup of Richard Burns in the Subaru World Rally Team, Subaru decided it was once again time for a special edition. This time the RB5 named after Richard Burns. Sadly in November 2003 Richard Burns was diagnosed with a form of brain tumour and later died on the 25th November 2005 from his illness. This makes the RB5 all the more special now. Only 444 RB5's were made, with the option of the WR Sport pack.

1999 Also saw the release of another special edition. The Subaru Impreza P1, which like the Subaru Impreza 22B was a 2-door coupe model, and like the 22B it was only available in WR Blue. However unlike the 22B the Subaru Impreza P1 delivered a 276bhp out of the box, and supporting a whole load of new accessories such as 10-spoke OZ Titanium racing wheels, improved quick-shift gearbox, rear-wiper, new front wing/splitter, new fog lamps and a new exclusive rear wing. Unlike the Impreza 22B there were 1,000 P1's made. Despite this the Subaru Impreza P1 remains one of the most expensive Subaru Impreza's to buy today.



For eight years, the Subaru Impreza remained more or less unchanged (externally) until 2000 where Subaru decided to update the Impreza for the 21st century. This change was met with mixed views. The appropriately labeled Bug-eye version by critics, was just that. Bug-eyed! One can only guess it was Subaru's attempt to make the Impreza all cute and cuddly. But this didn't go down well with the fans. Many NewAge impreza's promptly had their headlights replaces with WRC look-alike HI-Definition (HiD) lamps or the more aggressive looking Morette cluster. What was in favour of the fans was the globalisation of the WRX name. Previously only used in Japan, the WRX badge was now stuck to any Impreza with a Turbo!


To celebrate Richard Burns's win in the WRC and the launch of the of the new model, Subaru decided to launch yet another special edition Impreza. This time the Subaru Impreza UK300. Once again just like the 22B and P1 the only colour available was WR Blue. The UK300 supported new prodrive styled spoilers of which the rear wing looked like was picked from bit of an airfix kit and not put together properly. Thankfully the front end was improved slightly, with the addition of improved HiD headlamps which made the car look slightly less like a bug. Yet no matter what they did, it was still going to be remembered as the Bug-Eyed version. 2001 also saw the arrival of the NewAge (Must stop calling it bug-eyed) Subaru Impreza WRX STI to the UK. Just like previous STI's, this was based on the WRX but tweaked a little by the Subaru Technica International (STI) team. If that wasn't enough there was also the option of a Prodrive Performance Pack (PPP). The Subaru Imrpeza WRX STI saw a few key changes over the standard Subaru Impreza WRX. This time, the addition of a 6-speed gearbox as opposed to the WRX 5-speed. Also a nice welcome was similar headlamps which were found on the UK300.


It didn't take long before Subaru had to give in to pressure from fans and go back to the drawing board (literally) to come up with a new style Subaru Impreza. So in 2002, Subaru announced yet another NewAge Impreza. The MY03. Main difference here was the front end. More or less everything else stayed the same, but those bug-eyed headlamps were out and replaced with slightly less ugly ones. Also a bigger bonnet scoop was included. Not to be outdone, the Subaru Impreza WRX power was increased by 10bhp. Not surprisingly many Bug-eyed Subaru Impreza's were made available on the 2nd hand market as many owners wanted to change their driveway accessory for the new style Subaru Impreza.

Although Turbo versions of the Subaru Impreza were available in Japan and Europe from more or less day one. The US favoured their muscle cars and not these Japanese breed of performance cars. Which meant the Subaru Impreza Turbo's never "officially" reached US soil until the 2002 model. Any previous Subaru Impreza's were Imports. Unfortunately for the US market the famous 2.0l boxer engine had to go. The fuel regulations in the US meant that the high performance expected from the Subaru Impreza could not be achieved from the 2.0l engine with US fuel. Instead, the Subaru Impreza was given a nice new 2.5l boxer engine for the US market, in order to keep the power and performance up.


Another Subaru WRC title win with Petter Solberg at the wheel. Once again sticking with tradition a new special edition was released, known as the Subaru Impreza WR1. I must admit the WR1 is one of my personal favourites, if only because of the unique Ice Blue colour. Only 500 WR1's were made, but Subaru decided to throw everything at it, including PPP and Driver Controlled Centre Diff (DCCD). The Subaru Impreza WRX STI also saw further improvements in 2004 with upgraded mechanics from the Japanese models. This new revised STI saw a new front diff, along with the DCCD system which was found on the WR1 and UK300 models. Nice!


Towards the end of 2005. Again just 2 years after the previous model was replaced, Subaru decided to release another new bodied Subaru Impreza, the MY06. This time with new crystal rear light cluster and yet another new front end. The jury is still out about whether or not it is a hit or a miss. I personally think it looks Awesome. Almost as though Subaru have forgotten the last 5 years and gone back to the aggressive styling of the original Subaru Impreza from the 90's! I admit, it did take a few days to get used to, but after you see past the SEAT grill and BMW headlamps you soon realise that this is the sort of car you want other people to see you in, in their rear view mirror. (Admittedly briefly as you scream past them shortly after words :) Sadly the MY06 marked the end for the traditional 2.0l boxer engine. Instead we saw the introduction of the 2.5l boxer engine into the Subaru Impreza. A sad end which seems to have gone relatively unnoticed. But then think of what they can do with that extra 500cubic centimetres of space. Mwaahaahaahaa!...


Towards the end of 2006. Subaru / Prodrive announced the realease of a new Special Edition Impreza. Sadly without recent success in the WRC. This time the special edition was to celebrate the life of previous Subaru WRC Champion Richard Burns who sadly died 12 months previously due to a brain tumour. The New Special Edition Subaru Impreza was to be named the RB320. That's 320bhp and a limited number of 320 to be produced. Essentially the RB320 is a 2006 model Subaru Impeza WRX STi PPP with just abotu ever add on you can think of, along with bespoke prodrive/blitsen dampers, exclusive obsidian black paint work, black alloys and full dront grill set. All in all making the RB320 very exclusive and ver agressive looking with only small markings on the passenger, drivers doors and boot lid of a small orange RB320 logo. The rest of the car is very much black in respect for the late Richard Burns. A true trubite to a great champion!



I have yet to come up with a word that describes Subaru in 2007. At the time of writing Subaru had recently announced the drascically redesigned 2008 model of the Subaru Impreza (You can see some photos here) Make your own mind up about what you think of it. My initial thoughts are yuk.. And I have to say my thoughts are still more or less the same. The car does NOT look agressive as it shoudl and just looks like any other family hatchback on the road. a fair pecentage of the Impreza's appeal has always been it's agressive shape and styling. Even teh bugeye version admitedly wasn't welcomed by many had the trademark styling that for every other angle you knew it was an Impreza and more importantly a car to be reckoned with!. This new one doesn't do much for me I'm afraid. Doesn't excite me when I see pictures of it like previous styles. The same recipie is still there usign the same 2.5l boxer engine from teh MY06 models, a new intercooler has been shoved in. Power remains teh same at 225ps for the WRX model, awd as standard of course :). However the tyres are narrower than previous versions. Also it's worth noting that at time of writing there are no plans for a WRX version or saloon version for the UK. Instead we'll have the basic models then a jump up to the STi's I see this as a mistake as the WRX hits a just about affordable market for most peopel who cant afford te £25k price of the STi. However somethign new for the MY08 Impreza will be the introduction of a 170bhp Diesel Impreza. Thats right diesel. Should be interesting...Watch this space...



..:: Featured Motoring News feed

 Autocar RSS Feed

New Mazda 2 spotted ahead of 2015 launch
New Mazda 2 spotted ahead of 2015 launch Mazda's next global car to get Hazumi concept-inspired styling and a frugal range of engines with sub-90g/km CO2 emissions on some models

The next-generation Mazda 2 will stay true to the well-received Hazumi concept car, judging by these first spy pictures.

When revealed at the Geneva show last month, the Hazumi was claimed to show every part of the production 2, due in early 2015, apart from its headlights, wheels, wing mirrors and door handles. These spy pictures reveal the concept?s shape has been retained along with the styling that made it such a hit.  

Underpinning the new 2 is a version of the firm?s SkyActiv platform, which will make the new 2 lighter and more agile than the current model. It's smaller than the version used on the current Mazda 3, and does away with that car's multi-link rear suspension set-up in favour of a cheaper twist-beam rear axle. A new 1.5-litre turbodiesel unit with sub-90g/km CO2 emissions will feature in the engine line-up. 

Destined to become a global model for Mazda, the new 2 will be twinned with and built alongside a new Toyota Yaris in some markets. By doing so, Mazda is able to get the economies of scale it wants to acheive with a global car. European sales will be important for the new model as Mazda continues to recover to pre-crisis levels.

Additional reporting by Darren Moss

Best car deals: Citroen C4, Range Rover Evoque, Audi A1, Mazda 3
Best car deals: Citroen C4, Range Rover Evoque, Audi A1, Mazda 3 The best new car deals and new car leasing deals for this week, including offers on the CitroŽn C4, Range Rover Evoque, Audi A1, Mazda 3 and VW Tiguan

If you?re in the market for a new car, or after the best new-car leasing deal, you can save thousands with a little research. This is the pick of what our deals experts have found this week.

Best new car deals 

For a stylish compact MPV the CitroŽn C4 is likely to turn heads, and thanks to its generous equipment inside is also fairly practical. UK Car Discount is currently offering the diesel 1.6 e-HDi 115 Airdream in VTR + specification for £16,914. That's a saving of over £3800 from the list price.

Land Rover's Range Rover Evoque is our favourite compact SUV, and with good reason, its great looks are backed up with impressive driving manners. We found a 2.0-litre Si4 Dynamic model equipped with the Luxury Pack going for £44,725 on Car Cost, a saving of almost £2000 from the list price.

Best new car leasing deals

Audi's A1 is a capable and stylish premium compact hatchback, and is also a popular choice for customers wanting to lease a car. An offer we spotted from Blue Chilli Cars has the 1.6-litre TDI Sport model on a four-year contract for £190 per month. There's an initial payment of £1717, and an annual limit of 8000 miles.

We've been impressed with the latest Mazda 3, despite the firm's European market share taking a pounding during the recession. Diamond Contract Hire currently has the 1.5-litre SE model going for £206 per month on a four-year contract. That's with an initial payment of £1236 and with an annual limit of 10,000 miles.

Deal of the week

The Tiguan is one of Volkswagen's best-selling cars and a practical SUV to boot. We spotted an excellent offer from Drive the Deal, which gets you a 2.0-litre TDI Bluemotion Tech Match model, which includes part leather trim and metallic paint, for £24,645. That's a significant saving from the list price of almost £5000, or a reduction of 16.5 per cent.

Can you find a better deal? Let us know in the comments section below.

Your suggestions for Jaguar's next 'Good to be Bad' advert
Your suggestions for Jaguar's next Following a torrent of suggestions for where Jaguar should take its trio of hollywood villains next, we've picked what we think is a clear winner

Our blog yesterday on whether Jaguar's 'Good to be Bad' adverts help or hinder the brand has sparked a torrent of debate. It?s worth remembering that our original point was that the F-type coupť - which we?ve tested extensively - has much more breadth and subtlety than the billboard ads seek to imply 

However, because of the success of the associated TV spots, the whole thing soon broadened into a debate about the pros and cons of using celebrities in high-quality advertising video productions.  

To reprise: this advert was originally made for screening during TV coverage of the American Superbowl, where a 30-second slot costs millions, so no surprise that Jaguar is prepared to invest in the likes of Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong to carry its message on camera. The effect has been exactly what Jaguar must have wanted. It went viral after screening, and we're still talking about it more than two months after the Superbowl finished.

Some of you agreed with me that Jaguar?s portrayal of its own car is trite: the company doesn?t even try to portray the full extent of the car?s capabilities. But most of you agreed with my colleague Darren Moss?s assessment that the campaign plays on an ideal that especially suits Jaguar?s current purpose: that being seen as rebellious sweeps away the pipe-and-slippers image Jaguar has been fighting for years. Makes sense, even to me?

One surprising outcome of all this is how many of you have taken the trouble to suggest follow-up adverts to the original. Becoming an advertising ?creative? obviously has powerful appeal to Autocar?s website visitors. Here?s a typical offering, presented by an author we sadly can?t credit, which has the budget-boosting virtue of needing the services of only one of Jaguar?s pricey trio of actors?  

Picture an English gentleman (Hiddleston), the sort of bloke men want to be and women want to be with. He's fashionable in an elegant, timeless sort of way but has a slightly dangerous, unpredictable aura. He?s in an underground car park, with three sports cars parked next to one another. He saunters past a Porsche 911, looking straight ahead, then a Mercedes SLK (with a wry look to the camera) before arriving beside an F-type coupť. He presses the key fob to unlock the car, turns to the camera and delivers the production?s only line: "Well, which would you expect me to choose?"

Could you do better? Send us your suggestions for the next "Good to be Bad" advert, and if we think they?re good we?ll write about them.

Additional reporting by Darren Moss

New entry-level Porsche Macan revealed in Beijing
New entry-level Porsche Macan revealed in Beijing Four-cylinder petrol power for Asia-bound Porsche Macan, but this entry-level model could be sold in the UK in the future

Porsche has provided official details on its new entry-level four-cylinder petrol-powered version of the Macan.

The new Macan, seen at the Beijing motor show, runs parent company Volkswagen?s EA888 engine ? as used by a wide range of models from Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat, making it the first Porsche model since the 968 to use four-cylinder power. 

The turbocharged 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder direct injection unit, boasting the same state of tune found on the VW Golf GTI Performance Package, develops 234bhp and 258lb ft of torque between 1500-4500rpm. Porsche claims the new model will return 36.7mpg on a combined cycle.

By comparison, the turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 powered Macan S possesses 335bhp and 339lb ft.

For Asian markets, the Macan?s four-cylinder engine is mated to a standard seven-speed PDK dual clutch gearbox boasting remote steering wheel shift paddles.

Porsche claims an official 0-62mph time for the Macan of 6.9sec, an in-gear 50-75mph split of 5.1sec and a 139mph top speed. The Macan is visually distinguished by standard 18-inch wheels and twin trapezoidal-shaped tail pipes.   

The four-cylinder Macan will initially be sold in selected Asian markets. Information pertaining to UK sales has not yet been revealed, although Porsche officials suggest it will join the local line-up in 2015.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

Quick news: One-off Ferrari F12; New Ford boss; PSA sells HybridAir tech
Quick news: One-off Ferrari F12; New Ford boss imminent; PSA sells HybridAir tec Ferrari's Special Projects division creates one-off F12, Mark Fields favourite to take over from Mulally, Peugeot selling innovative compressed air tech, GM invests in battery factory

Ferrari's Special Projects division has reportedly created a new one-off Targa version of the F12 Berlinetta. Although still disguised, the model has been modified with three new bonnet vents and a restyled front bumper. Reports suggest the car could be named SP America.

The announcement of Ford COO Mark Fields as the successor to current boss Alan Mulally is understood to be imminent. Mulally is expected to retire from his post at the end of this year, having headed Ford since 2006.

Peugeot is trying to sell its HybridAir technology to competitors. Company boss Maxime Picat said the firm needs "at least 500,000" units to be sold every year in order to make the system viable. The move means other car makers outside of PSA could adopt the technology.

General Motors is to invest £267 million across two of its facilities responsible for producing its battery-powered vehicles. Of that sum, £228 million will go to its Detroit assembly plant and £38m to its battery plant. The facilities currently manufacture the Chevrolet Volt, Vauxhall Ampera and Cadillac ELR. This investment suggests GM is readying replacements for those models.

Additional reporting by Mike Vousden

Back to top


Home | Website Directory | Contact | Link 2 Us | Sitemap

~ Copyright 1999 - 2014 Alan Addison, - All Rights Reserved ~

page constructed in 1.278 seconds