Prodrive’s stunning homage to the Subaru Impreza 22B has been revealed.
The legendary Subaru Impreza 22B – essentially a road-going version of the car that won Subaru the Manufacturers’ title in the 1997 World Rally Championship – has returned as an updated, ultra exclusive and highly charged resto-mod.
Called the P25, the new arrival is the work of Banbury-based motorsport outfit Prodrive, which successful ran Subaru’s works rally team from 1990-2008.
It arrives 25 years on from the introduction of the Prodrive-engineered Impreza 22B, of which just 424 were ever built. The firm says it has “reimagined what this car would have been today”, and as such while the styling is left largely untouched, the two-door saloon’s construction and underpinnings have been almost completely re-engineered.
Just 25 examples will be produced, each using an original two-door Mk1 Impreza WRX as its basis and, while dramatically enhanced, staying true to the fan-favourite original’s ethos.
So the new model keeps its charismatic, burbling flat-four boxer engine – but with capacity raised from 2.2- to 2.5 litres and with outputs boosted to ‘over’ 298kW and 600Nm. It drives both axles through a six-speed semi-automatic transmission.
The engine, at its core, is Subaru’s latest-generation boxer engine – as used by the naturally aspirated BRZ coupe and its Toyota GR 86 sibling – but for this application paired with a monstrous Garrett motorsport turbocharger, a performance intercooler and a titanium/stainless steel race exhaust supplied by Akrapovic.
The engine’s cylinder liners, pistons, con rods and valve train are all bespoke, too.
Prodrive has kept the P25’s kerbweight to less than 1200kg (an Alpine A110 weighs a little over 1100kg, for context) and says that ‘WRC-derived’ launch control and anti-turbo lag systems help it sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds.
The low kerb weight is attributed chiefly to the use of replacement carbon composite panels for the boot, bonnet, roof, sills, wing mirrors and quarter panels – while Prodrive has also installed carbon door cards and a lighter lithium-ion battery. Slimmer, less bulky race seats are an option.
The P25 rides on Macpherson front and rear suspension, but gains machined aluminium uprights “which can be tuned for camber and geometry optimised for the wider 1770mm track”.
AP Racing supplies the brakes: fearsome-looking 380mm vented discs at the front, clamped by six-piston callipers, and 350mm items at the back with four-piston callipers. They’re fronted by Prodrive’s own 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in sticky Bridgestone Potenza tyres.
Prodrive has yet to reveal the interior ahead of the P25’s public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, but says the dashboard has been swapped for a “full-width high-definition multi-page display including a data logger”. It’s not all rally-inspired, though: Prodrive has upholstered the cabin in a mixture of leather, alcantara and carbon in what it says is a recreation of an “authentic late 1990s Impreza interior”.
The back seat is retained, but if any of the 25 buyers want a more purposeful two-seat proposition, it can be swapped for a partial roll cage.
The exterior is less dramatically overhauled, but Prodrive has once again called on the services of Peter Stevens – designer of the 1997 Impreza rally car and various road-going Prodrive Imprezas – to refine the silhouette.
David Richards, Prodrive chairman, said: “The iconic blue Subarus bring back memories of an extraordinary era of the WRC and it was the Impreza 22B that brought this rally car performance to the road.
“By reimagining this car using the latest technologies and materials the Prodrive P25 pays homage to its roots and there will be little else able to match its performance on the open road. I therefore believe we have achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza ever.