When Fountains of Wayne sang about their 1992 Subaru, we’re pretty sure it was a satire of musicians bragging about their Maybachs and Rolls Royces. But now, 30 years after the Impreza’s launch, some first-generation examples are worth just as much as those fashionable brands. From versions never sold in America like the 22B to old WRC rally cars, the best Imprezas have already sold for low six-figure prices.
So, apparently, the time is right for a $564,000 Impreza WRX restomod in the vein of a Porsche Singer or one of those 400-hp V12 E-Type Jags. But reflexively exclaiming, “Half a million dollars for a Subaru!?” would miss the point. The Prodrive P25 comes from a company known for its engineering and craftsmanship. After all, Prodrive helped get Imprezas into WRC championship cars in the first place, not to mention creating other legends like the Paris-Dakar Rally Raid 959 for Porsche and the Bastos E30 M3 rally car for BMW.
Every Prodrive P25 starts life as a 2-door Impreza WRX. Beneath the signature blue paint job, however, all major body panels – hood, trunk, roof, sills, fenders, rear quarter panels, bumpers, fender and mirrors – are formed from carbon composites, giving weight empty of only 1,200 kg (2,645 pounds).
Under the hood hides a 2.5-liter Subaru boxer that generates 400 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. Between a new airbox and Akrapovič titanium and stainless steel exhaust sits an upgraded intercooler, Garrett turbochargers and built-in internals including new cylinder sleeves, pistons, connecting rods and valves with variable cam timing.
Instead of a conventional 5-speed transmission, the P25 uses a 6-speed semi-automatic paddle-shift gearbox with helical-cut gears that can change gears in just 80 milliseconds, according to Prodrive. They also added a WRC-style launch control, floor-mounted crankset. and anti-lag, returning a 0-62 time of less than 3.5 seconds.
The AWD system now has an active center differential with limited-slip differentials between the two sets of wheels. New aluminum struts with 2-way adjustable Bilstein shocks and camber adjustment plates make up the suspension. bring the 19-inch gray rims and Potenza Bridgestone 235/35/19 stationary are 15-inch ventilated discs mated to 6-piston calipers. The rears get vented 14.8-inch discs with 4-pot clamps.
Prodrive says the interior recreates the aura of a late 1990s Impreza, but upgraded with leather, alcantara and carbon throughout. Buyers have a choice of rear seats or a partial roll cage to complement the front racing bucket seats.
“The iconic blue Subarus brings back memories of an extraordinary era in the WRC and it was the Impreza 22B that brought the performance of this rally car 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 nothing else able to match its performance on the road,” Prodrive chairman David Richards said in a statement. “So I think we’ve achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza of all time.”
Prodrive will only build 25, although the name P25 comes from the number of years since Subaru won its three consecutive WRC titles from 1995 to 1997. In any case, it’s not a lot. So if you want heart-pounding performance from a true race-engineered workshop with the secret good looks of an unassuming ’90s Subaru, this is your ticket. Just add, as Wayne’s song says, a Greenpeace sticker to the back.