Connect 4: ‘extreme’ Subaru Imprezas, CAR+ May 2016

Published: 01 April 2016

► We revisit the new Impreza's ancestors
When Imprezas bled rally heritage
From Cosworth's CS400 to the 22b 

I’m Subaru, what were we talking about?

Impreza sedan and hatchback (2017-)

Latest Impreza is extreme as in extremely dull. Yes, it has an all-new platform, 80% new engine, ‘EyeSight’ collision avoidance tech and 40% improved crash durability. Yet this is unlikely to be tested by impacting a tree just after a ‘flat-right-do-not-cut’ – and the car might look more interesting post-accident.

Impreza Cosworth STI CS400

Cos you’re worth it

Impreza Cosworth STI CS400 (2010)

Yep, we’ve immediately jumped back seven years in an effort to refind a pulse. Unfortunately while Subaru’s collaboration with Cosworth was certainly extreme – to the tune of 395bhp and annual head gasket replacements – it also wasn’t especially good. Nice hatchback, though.

Impreza 22b STI

22b or… no, just 22b

Impreza 22b STi (1998)

Now we’re talking. Limited edition two-door shell, bespoke flared bodywork, bias-adjustable all-wheel drive and a bored-out 2.2-litre boxer turbo producing the ‘yeah right’ kind of 276bhp, as mandated by contemporary Japanese tradition. So good Colin McRae actually paid money for his.

Impreza WRX

World Rally experimental

Impreza WRX (1992)

With a 237bhp flat four and permanent all-wheel drive, the original WRX was basically a spaceship when it arrived in 1992. Foundation for the classic 555-liveried world rally cars, long may it hold a place in all high-octane hearts. Celebrated Type RA version – stripped, ready for action – was JDM only.

Read more from the May 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CJ Hubbard

Former CAR magazine associate editor, road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count