When the good folks at Prodrive revealed plans to resurrect the Subaru Impreza 22B STi, the automotive internet seemed to be receiving the news with a vague mixture of heightened interest and exhaustion. Interest because who wouldn’t be excited by the prospect of a modern interpretation of the worst Impreza ever made? (It will always be an Impreza first for me WRX be damned.) Exhaustion because big priced restomods are not exactly rare these days, and coupled with the stratospheric rise in bargain prices of ’90s JDM heroes, the whole project had the distinct makings of nobody’s paradise.
So, of course, let’s eliminate that right off the bat. The Prodrive P25 will cost £460,000, or $564,765, before tax. When our collective nausea subsides, we can move on to the rest of the details.
Better? Nope? Neither do I. Either way, Prodrive is indeed counting on the two-door Impreza WRXs to give their lives to this cause. From there, carbon composite panels replace the original “trunk, hood, roof, sills, exterior mirrors, front and rear quarters and bumpers” to reduce the weight of the car at around 2,650 pounds, while Prodrive works its magic on Subaru. current 2.5-liter flat-four to squeeze out a total of 400 horsepower and 442 lb-ft.
A six-speed sequential gearbox replaces the original 22B’s five-speed manual, perhaps the car’s most controversial change. The addition of a WRC-esque hydraulic handbrake, which decouples the rear wheels from the center differential to aid acts of spirited oversteer, will be less divisive.
Launch control and an anti-lag system for the turbocharger get the P25 to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. More on all of the above and the transmission below, courtesy of Official Prodrive press release:
The engine is based on Subaru’s latest 2.5-litre cylinder block, but has been completely re-engineered by Prodrive’s powertrain team with bespoke internals including new cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods and a variable cam timing valve train. There’s a Garrett motorsport turbo with a high-performance intercooler and airbox and an Akrapovic titanium and stainless steel racing exhaust system.
The engine is mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox with helical-cut gears and semi-automatic shifting via a paddle on the steering column, allowing precise gear changes in 80 milliseconds. The car features a WRC-style launch control system, which combines the throttle and electrically operated clutch in the floor-mounted pedal box to automatically shift the car into first, second and third gears to achieve optimal acceleration from a standstill without any driver. intervention.
Power is sent to all four wheels via a transmission that includes an adjustable active center differential and front and rear limited-slip differentials. The McPherson strut suspension was retained, but with machined aluminum uprights that can be adjusted for camber and the geometry optimized for the wider track. Bilstein shock absorbers are adjustable in compression and rebound while springs and anti-roll bars optimize handling on asphalt.
As for the interior, the extensive use of Alcantara, carbon and leather sets it apart from a classic model. GM chassis Impreza of its day, while a “full-width high-definition multi-page display” was added to the dash, allowing drivers to record data and tune the engine to different performance maps. I’d like to see a photo of how this screen was fitted, but Prodrive hasn’t provided one yet!
From the outside, the P25 essentially looks like a reimagined 22B or – and I’m sure Prodrive would much prefer that association – a road-going version of one of the company’s WRC rally cars it produced for Subaru. in the late 1990s. The 1995 car that won Colin McRae his only driver’s title and the Japanese automaker one of its three constructors’ championships didn’t look like the P25, as it lacked flared fenders, the deep front spoiler and prominent rear spoiler we see here.
It’s all very pretty, mainly because Peter Stevens of Prodrive didn’t really care about the look of the original. Slim WRC-style side mirrors and huge 12-spoke tarmac rally-style wheels are competition-derived touches that certainly get the point across. If I nitpick, the use of blue LEDs in headlights is philosophically untenable to me, but hey, they can always be replaced. And if you can afford one, you can probably afford yellow lights.
Look for the P25 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, before deliveries of all 25 cars begin later in 2022.