January 8, 2013 10:05 PM |
Posted By: Cameron_Hill
Rated 2.3 out of 5.0 by 4 members
THE CHOP SHOP BLOG - IS SUBARU DEAD?
Sad (and late) news for all petroheads as Subaru has imported its last WRX STi to the UK. The WRX STi of Subaru’s Impreza lineup has always been a beacon of excellent engineering and drivetrain design philosophy in the grubby marshlands of souped up Japanese saloons. Known for their powerful turbocharged boxer engines and uncompromising AWD handling they have gained fame as one of the best models of all time. However, to many a car nuts distress and woe, the Impreza has been discontinued in the UK.
Subaru first gained popularity with its turbo and WRX STi deviations when they were first conceived by intelligent and revolutionary Subaru engineers in 1994. The 2000 turbo, the first mega Subaru to hit the damp roads of the UK, instantly gained fame with its punchy Japanese engine and non-compromising attitude giving it the ability to traverse terrain German and British saloons would shy away from.
With its rallying success that followed, Subaru released the Impreza ‘McRae edition’ in homage to the driver which brought them victory in the 1995 WRC. Just 200 were built which are now highly collectible sadly due to Colin’s untimely death.
Later came the 22b; with a larger 267bhp 2.2litre engine revving under the air scooped bonnet it was christened by many fans as the best Impreza ever built, myself included.
With Richard Burns’ arrival into the rallying world complimentary models followed and so did many other iterations of the Subaru saloon. Prodrive – a tuning company got involved and created the P1, Impreza WRC1 and later around 2007 a monstrous 316bhp obsidian black model in tribute to the late Burns himself.
Further on in ’07 a hatchback was made which many STi sedan purists despised (yet I still thought was awesome). Cosworth got a hold of it and applied their power-leveling brutish touch. A hefty 50k price tag and other faults such as old school whiplash turbo-lag saw this model fail in the sports car market.
As the years clocked by we saw the Impreza devolve back into its original saloon form and with desperate attempts of making the boxer engine better and improving the handling the Impreza was announced DOA and was shipped back to its birthplace of the rising sun for an honorable burial.
The WRX STi had some good years in its life; success in the World Rally Championship, iconic tuner status and a candidate for Ecoty in 2003. Nevertheless, there’s always the bad with its transformation into hatchback form saw many hateful words; sadly due to CO2 regulations the Impreza fell sick and slowly faded away desperately clawing at petrolheads to regain the crown of brilliance it once had. Subaru we salute you.
Impreza WRX STi RIP.