The Subaru Impreza Driver's Club
Home Rallying Subaru Impreza Colin McRae MBE Projects Entertainment Photo Gallery Contact Directory > subaru-impreza > history-of-the-subaru-impreza Translate:     
Thursday, 23 October, 2014 - 22:15 (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

Lotus Exige S gets new six-speed automatic option
Lotus Exige S Automatic launched New automatic version of the Exige S, designed to widen the car's market appeal, on sale in January 2015 for £56,500

Lotus has unveiled an automatic version of its Exige S sports car, which will go on sale in January 2015.

The Exige S automatic will command a premium of £2000 over the manual variants, meaning the coupé will cost £56,500 and the roadster £57,500.

Lotus' boss, Jean-Marc Gales, said: "By introducing a paddle-shifted automatic, we have expanded the Exige product range to make it more accessible to customers worldwide.

"Now, customers who are more accustomed to two pedals and automatic transmissions can enjoy the unbelievable performance and handling of the Exige S without compromise."

The Toyota-sourced gearbox is the same six-speed torque convertor-based unit used in automatic 'IPS' versions of the Evora, but it has been tailored to suit the Exige S.

Sport and Race modes are offered, delivering more appropriate gear selections and responses when required, and column-mounted paddle shifts allow for prompt manual overrides.

Lotus says that the new self-shifting Exige is in the final stages of testing. Official performance figures are yet to be announced but the company states that the new car will "exceed the manual variant in performance".

The automatic, which retains the same 346bhp 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine found in manual versions, has so far proven as fast as its three-pedal counterpart around the Hethel test track.

It has also completed the 0-62mph sprint in 3.9sec, which is 0.1sec quicker than the manual Exige S.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo first drive review
2014 Nissan 370Z Nismo first drive review Still no delicate sporting masterstroke, but neither should it be. A muscular, charismatic and fast GT with much improved road manners The increasingly coherent and self-possessing Nissan 370Z, in flagship Nismo specification.You?ll remember that last year, as a toe-dipping exercise before really establishing its Nismo performance sub-brand, Nissan gave its now five-year-old V6 rear-drive coupe an official Nismo-branded motorsport makeover.The result can best be described as a momentary identity crisis. It involved some fairly serious chassis and body stiffening and some crass-looking aftermarket-catalogue body addenda, and frankly gave this simple muscle coupe rather too much performance attitude for its own good.Roll on twelve months and, following the wider establishing of the Nismo brand, the opportunity?s been taken to shave some of the misplaced edge off the range-topping Zed. Not that Nissan will admit as much; according to the brochures, this new Nismo is the most exciting and dynamic Z-car there has ever been (blah blah blah).The truth, however, is that the outgoing Nismo version was too noisy, too stiff-legged and too extravagantly bespoilered to fit the bill. It served its purpose inasmuch as it proved the concept?s sales potential; half of all 370Zs sold in the UK are now Nismos. But as a road car, it needed refinement in more ways than one.

Daimler offloads its stake in Tesla
Daimler offloads its stake in Tesla German automotive giant relinquishes financial interest in Elon Musk's electric car company

Daimler has offloaded its financial stake in Tesla, but has pledged to continue working with Elon Musk's electric car company.

The German automotive giant initially acquired an interest in Tesla in May 2009, and the two parties have collaborated on projects including the new Mercedes-Benz B-class Electric Drive.

The batteries for the first generation of the Smart Fortwo electric drive also came from the Californian company.

Despite the end of the financial deal, Tesla will continue to supply the power trains for the B-class Electric Drive. Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche said: ?Our partnership with Tesla is very successful and will be continued.?

Bodo Uebber, Daimler's finance chief, explained: ?We are extremely satisfied with the development of our investment in Tesla, but it is not necessary for our partnership and cooperation. For this reason, we have decided to divest of our shares. This will also allow Tesla to broaden its investor base.?

The sale of Daimler?s stake in Tesla will result in a cash inflow of around $780 million (£487m), which the German giant says will be used to "strengthen its operational business".

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

A ride in the Sin R1 shows how far this racer for the road has come
A ride in the Sin R1 shows how far this racer for the road has come It's been nine months since we last saw the road-going 444bhp Sin R1, and in that time the project has gone from hollow shell to road-ready sports car

There was a moment, right after passing the 140mph mark on Bruntingthorpe's back straight, when I began to realise just how far the Sin R1 road car has come in its short life.

I last saw this V8-engined, 444bhp sports car at Autosport International in January and, to be honest, was a little disappointed not to see a finished product. With the R1 racing car already finished and ready to race in the GT Cup, I'd expected to see the full R1 road car ? but instead the firm showed a hollow prototype, a body with no engine or interior.

Nevertheless, nine months later an almost-complete car is hurtling around the Leicestershire aerodrome. I say ?almost-complete?, because although orders are being taken this is still described as a pre-production model. It's about 95 per cent there, Sin boss Rosen Daskalov tells me. The interior, mechanicals, shape and panels are as customers would see them. What remains is to lift the fit and finish.

There's some work to do in that area, because although the R1 looks very striking on the road, close inspection reveals some panel gaps which are too large, an uneven paint finish in places and carbonfibre trim which looks pasted on.

It'll all need attention if Sin wants to succeed in attracting the kind of clientele who have £72,000 to spend on a sports car. That?s high-end Jaguar F-type and Porsche 911 Carrera money, after all.

The real proof of the car's potential, though, is in a passenger lap. I'm told the R1's Michelin tyres have already been put to good use on a cross-continental dash from Bulgaria, where the Sin company is based. Not helping is the British weather, and Bruntingthorpe is seriously wet by the time we head out.

Getting over the R1's high door sill takes finesse, but once strapped into the relatively spartan cabin the visibility is more than adequate. Though narrow, those leather sports seats are comfortable, too. Driver Jonny MacGregor straps into the other side, and as we head towards the circuit he explains this is the first time he's ever driven the R1 road car.

The 6.2-litre V8 engine's sound fills the cabin ? more so than in other similar cars, it has to be said. There may be some sound deadening work to do here.

Soon enough we're on track, and it's clear what chief executive Daskalov and his team have spent their time doing. The R1 feels smooth and comfortable, even as we enter triple-digit speeds.

MacGregor works the six-speed manual transmission hard, and it seems a little notchy at first, but the car's response and handling appear to be pitch perfect. Later Daskalov tells me he rarely uses first gear as it?s so short, and instead pulls off in second. 

On the back straight the R1 hits 140mph with no trouble. It almost feels lazy, effortlessly cruising along, but I'm reminded that earlier in the year we hit the same speed here in an old £500 Jaguar XJ Sport. There?s some dancing about from the front end and lots of wind noise, but from the passenger seat it still feels impressive.

A specific type of customer will be interested in buying an R1. With the racing version helping to raise brand awareness, there'll be those who can not only afford to buy the model, but who like the idea of owning truly rare sports car.

Plus, it has to be said, getting a project from hollow shell to full sports car in nine months is an achievement, especially for a small group working out of both the UK and Bulgaria. 

The first cars could be ready for customer deliveries at the end of the year, leaving the team ample time to work out the final kinks. If they succeed, R1 owners could end up with a car capable of fulfilling its promise of offering supercar thrills at sports car prices.

Read more about the Sin R1

Video: Porsche Cayenne Turbo review
Latest version of the luxury high-performance SUV put to the test on and off the road

The 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo gets more power, more torque and a whole host of other upgrades. Steve Sutcliffe puts the latest version of the luxury high-performance SUV to the test, on and off the road, to see just how much it's changed.

Read more about the 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo here.

Back to top


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

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

page constructed in 0.32 seconds