Any rally enthusiast will recognise the Subaru Impreza 22B STi – which was essentially a road-going version of the car that helped Subaru win its third consecutive constructor’s title in the World Rally Championship back in 1997, in the hands of one Colin McRae.
To say that the 22B was rare is almost an understatement, as only 424 were ever built, and were all reportedly sold out within the two days of its release in 1998. But now nearly 25 years later, Subaru’s historic racing partner Prodrive is bringing the iconic 22B back as a restomod, and while it’s even rarer than before, it’s also going to be significantly better.
Dubbed the P25, the Prodrive restomod begins life as an original two-door Mk.1 Subaru Impreza chassis, and from there it gets a heavy dose of carbon fibre, with the entire exterior body pretty much made out of a carbon composite. As a nod to the 1997 WRC car, the P25 also gets the unique mini wing mirrors and a massive WRC rear wing at the back, both made out of carbon fibre, of course.
Prodrive even enlisted the help of Peter Stevens, who designed the original Impreza WRC in 1997, to help further tweak certain elements on the exterior styling of the restomod tribute – and well, the results just speak for itself.
Thanks to the intense weight-loss regime, including optional lightweight seats and carbon fibre door cards on the interior to further reduce mass, the entire car comes in at just under 1,200 kg. And on top of that, the P25 also gets a thoroughly modern Subaru powertrain, with a new, upgraded 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine underneath the bonnet to make over 400 hp.
The powertrain is connected to a six-speed sequential gearbox with gear shift paddles behind the steering wheel, with power – of course – sent to all four wheels. Pair that to a WRC-style launch system, and the P25 can reach 100 km/h from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds. Not bad for a “25-year-old” car, eh?
Prodrive also gave the P25 a set of upgraded suspensions with adjustable dampers, with springs and sway bars optimised for on-road corner-carving. Bigger brakes with six-piston calipers and 15-inch rotors in front help keep the speed in check, both of which are mounted behind the 19-inch Prodrive wheels – which unfortunately aren’t painted gold like the WRC cars.
The company did not provide any interior photos of the car just yet, but it’s said to have an “authentic late 1990s Impreza interior” feel, albeit upholstered with leather and Alcantara, instead of fabric and plastic. As it is essentially a race car for the roads, the Prodrive P25 also gets a widescreen MoTeC digital instrument dash that also includes a drive mode selector for street and track conditions.
Only 25 units of the Prodrive P25 will ever be offered for purchase, and they’ll all come in a standard four-seat configuration – although, the company will yank out the rear seats for a partial roll cage on request by the buyer. It’s not cheap, starting at GBP460,000 (approx. RM2.47 mil) before any taxes. But then again, you’ll also be getting a piece of history, so…