Subaru impreza P1
The Impreza Turbo has been around seemingly for ever. In it’s natural environment, rallying, Subaru has won the World Rally Championship drivers title 3 times and the constructors championship 3 times. Launched in 1992 (1993 in the UK), the Impreza was initally released as a 5 door estate (wagon) then the 4 door saloon followed. In 1994 the Turbo was introduced to the UK.
Special Editions (UK)
When Subaru won the 1995 WRC with Colin McRae, the first in a of a long line of special editions was released. The Series McRae was followed in ’96 by the Catalunya (the round in which Subaru clinched the championship that year). After a few revisions in ’96 and ’97 including a smaller turbo and reprogrammed ECU, new dashboard, door cards, passenger airbag, Momo wheel, new seats, stereo, the next special edition; Terso was introduced (Terso means Third in Italian. Subaru won the championship for the third year running).
The 22B was the next special edition, and it was no cosmetic, cynical marketing ploy. Built in 1998 to celebrate Subarus 40th Birthday, the 22B, short for 2.2 Boxer, (or as some think a tie in with their main sponsor 555, 22B translates as 555 in decimal). Wide arches, an enlarged 2.2 litre engine, around 280 bhp, adjustable wing, and restyled front and rear bumpers, the 22B was (and some consider still is) the ultimate version of the Impreza. With 400 made, of which only 16 were official UK versions, the 22B is a rare sight on British roads, and an expensive one too with low milage cars fetching up to £35k!
After the 1999 Special Edition RB5 (named after Richard Burns) came the P1.
Apart from the rather expensive 22B, the UK had never had an official 3 door variant of the Impreza like the Japanese did. The market was beginning to be flooded by Japanese imports. In 1999, Subaru and Prodrive got their heads together and produced the P1. Featuring a power hike (up to 276bhp) 10 spoke OZ wheels, quick rack steering, quick shift gear change, new rear wing and front splitter (designed by Peter Stevens), the P1 could be considered a cut down 22B for the UK market. Utilizing the 3 door Japanese bodied car as a base, Prodrive re-engineered the car to be the ultimate impreza for use on British roads. Initially, 500 were planned but that number doubled to 1000 due to huge interest in the car.