Any person who grew up as a rally lover in the millennium will no doubt have a matter for STIs. The Subaru kind, that is. At a time exactly where Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg exactly where drifting triple-5 branded Imprezas through the rally of a thousand lakes, you could pop into your local dealer and acquire a WRX that wasn’t much too significantly off from the equipment competing in the WRC.
With Subaru racking up the wins through the late 90s and early 2000s, a sequence of unique editions ended up introduced to mark, well, pretty substantially any time a car turned a wheel. There is the Series McRae to commemorate Colin McRae’s championship in 1995, the RB5 to rejoice Burns’ return to the Subaru WRC workforce in 1999 and Prodrive’s WR1 for Solberg’s title in 2003. That is only scratching the surface of what was offered in the Uk – but the really extraordinary Subarus of the era ended up sold exclusively in Japan.
For some reason – while not unexpectedly – Subaru Japan made the decision to establish its vehicles a minimal in another way to what it despatched out to the rest of the earth. Every technology is a very little distinct, but the normal rule of thumb is that the bodies were being stiffer, a mechanical differential was conventional and they usually deliver a little bit more ability. You also get equal size headers on JDM equipment, so you eliminate the distinctive burble of the British isles autos. This, for some, is a little bit of a deal breaker. But if you can appear past it you’ll open oneself up to a earth of incredibly hot STIs. Once again, the Subaru sort.
Japanese Subaru enthusiasts had been treated to the Variety RA-R, which is effectively the rally equivalent of a GT3 RS, additionally there were much more touring-targeted cars these kinds of as the S203 and S204. Most of these have been built in the hundreds and are for that reason tricky to locate. Wind back the clock to a time right before covid and these imports could be picked up between £20,000-£30,000. But in 2022 investing in a JDM-spec STI has seemingly come to be trendier than putting your life financial savings into bitcoin, so selling prices have skyrocketed.
You haven’t missed the boat – not nonetheless in any case – as this Spec C has all the most effective bits of what Japanese automobiles experienced to provide devoid of the lofty rate tag. Designed for Team N rally homologation, the Spec C showcased thinner overall body panels to strip out bodyweight, closer equipment ratios, new dampers and a rear strut brace. A new central differential was fitted, also, assisting transfer the car’s ‘official’ 280hp to the road and you also get the JDM-certain computerized water spray for the intercooler.
Like most Subarus of the era, the cabin is considerably essential but there’s a lot of rally blue carpet to jazz factors up a little bit and the entire world rally staff logos embroidered on to the headrests are a neat touch. Fortunately, the Spec C nonetheless retains standard luxuries like a radio and air conditioning. But if you seriously want to truly feel like Petter Solberg, there is a rally-type roof scoop that manually pops up to permit clean air into the cabin. Is there anything at all cooler than a Subaru with a roof scoop?
So, you get some of the edge of Subaru’s hardcore versions without the, er, compromises you obtain on the track-honed RA-R cars. It is also priced at a really sensible £24,995 with only 33,000 miles on the clock, full with a cambelt adjust. Which is about a third of the price tag of an RA-R and only a slight maximize on a very low mileage Uk car or truck – and that won’t appear with the all-critical auto water spray element for the intercooler, both.
SPECIFICATION | SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI SPEC C
Motor: 1,994, four-cylinder boxer
Transmission: six-velocity handbook, all-wheel travel
Power (hp): 280@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 291@4,400rpm
12 months registered: 2004
Recorded miles: 33,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £24,995