Prepare to feel perturbed, because this is a hot Subaru Impreza you’re going to struggle to get your hands on. CAR Online’s spies have spotted the new Spec C Impreza testing at the Nurburgring, and the bad news is it’s a Japanese-only model built to homologate the Scooby for Group N rallying.
So I can’t get hold of the new Subaru Impreza Spec C?
You can, but you’ll probably have to get one from an importer. In the past Subaru UK has never imported JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) cars and a source within the company has told CAR there are no plans to change that policy.
But you’ll want one of these Spec C Imprezas. The car will run the JDM 2.0-litre flat-four, but expect tweaks to the turbocharger to increase the engine’s responsiveness. When we drove the Japanese-spec STi we found it lacking a little below 3000rpm.
As Spec C cars are also homologated for rallying Subaru will no doubt fit a different radiator and water pump, along with additional oil coolers for the engine and transmission.
Click 'Next' below to read more about the Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec C
What else will be new? I think I spy a rear diffuser…
You do indeed, plus lightweight white wheels. This car doesn’t appear to be a full-on or fully finished Spec C car though. Previous Spec C models have had a roof vent, so either this prototype is missing it, or going soft. After all, Subaru allowed last-generation Spec C models to be ordered with electric windows and air-conditioning! Which is a bit odd on a stripped-out car that comes with thinner glass and a lighter roof...
Expect similar weight-saving tweaks, along with other lightweight materials. Previous Spec Cs have weighed 100kg less than the regular models.
In Japan the Spec C might actually be cheaper than the regular STi, though imports are sure to carry a premium in the UK due to their rarity. The Spec C should debut at a motor in the next six months.
But what do I do if I want a full UK car?
Place an order for the new 330S or badger Subaru to build the 380S. At this week's London motor show the company unveiled three Impreza surprises: a WRX-S – a halfway house between the WRX and STi – and two hot STis.
The first is the 330S, confirmed production and coming with a Prodrive Performance Pack that lifts the 2.5-litre engine's output from 296bhp to 325bhp, thanks to a modified ECU and exhaust system. Price should start at dead on £30k and be with us for September 2008.
The 380S is just a concept, for now, but it will almost certainly be built, or rebuilt as Prodrive will hand-build each engine. Expect the car to be with us for Christmas.
Now that would be a nice present to receive from Santa...