Richard Burns’s iconic 2000 Rally GB-winning Subaru Impreza S6 WRC car has just been sold for a record $1,121,000 at auction. Both a focal point of Subaru’s and Burns’s rally success, the car itself is also lauded as one of the most original period WRC cars in existence on account of its original purchase directly from the finish line back in 2000.
As a result, the Impreza S6’s bodywork retains its original paintwork, brushed panels and livery. Under the beaten skin is also the original powertrain, made up from the turbocharged flat-four engine that bellowed through the forests of Wales with its off-beat hum, paired to a period sequential manual transmission. Even the original communication headsets and telemetry equipment for both Burns and co-driver Robert Reid remain inside.
As the legend goes, this unfortunately wasn’t the car that took Burns and Subaru to the top step of the championship, with Marcus Gronholm beating Burns to the overall 2000 WRC title by just five points in his Peugeot 206. Yet to have such an iconic example of WRC royalty in this type of condition is certainly part of the reason why the Subaru hit such a massive figure.
But more than just being an iconic racing car, the 2000 Subaru Impreza S6 WRC rally car is also a poignant symbol of a whole generation of car enthusiasts that were drawn to the world rally championship, and the cars that followed that fans could actually go out and buy.
In 2021, the WRC is currently in a state of change with the introduction of new hybridised cars next year, but rather than be a bad thing, this new focus on electrification might just jolt a new-found enthusiasm for more manufacturers to get involved – spurring on the level of competition and variety within the racing series that cars from the Impreza’s generation typify. For now though, it’s cars like Burns’s 2000 WRC Impreza that hark back to the World Rally Championship’s glory days, making $1,121,000 seem entirely reasonable.