30 years of Subaru Impreza: long jumpers and other world champions

30 years of Subaru Impreza: long jumpers and other world champions


He drove carefully and obediently: excessive design did not seem important to his Japanese designers. The main thing is that the new Subaru went through everywhere – and crossed the finish line first. After all, the Impreza’s four-wheel drive technology should impress, as indicated by the name, which is derived from the English verb “impress”.

With high-performance all-wheel drive vehicles, Subaru succeeded in becoming an internationally recognized 4×4 specialist. Now, in the autumn of 1992, what was missing was a charismatic rival in the compact class, where the VW Golf or Toyota Corolla set the tone. . In fact, the Subaru Impreza brought all the usual characteristics of the brand, ie powerful boxer engines with a low center of gravity and a 4×4 drive system with a balanced setting of neutral driving behavior and this even with an engine of the basis of cheap gasoline: That. it was good enough for a career bestseller and first place as the world’s leading all-wheel drive vehicle in its class.

But Subaru also had prominent sports drivers in mind who were looking for a Far Eastern five-seater alternative to European Vmax plants like the BMW M3, Maserati 430 or Porsche 968: the Impreza WRX STI, which was usually in bright blue . painting and gold rims, it was initially replaced by a boxer engine of 206 kW / 280 hp and immediately gained cult status. No wonder, since the WRX STI dominated the World Rally Championship for years. Fans of console racing games quickly chose racing with the boxer revving up to 8,000 revs as their favorite. This Subaru was even good for real world records: In 2009, stunt driver Travis Patrana jumped 82 meters with STDs.

Success came in 1994 with the Subaru Impreza STI

Although the super-powerful WRX STI sports sedan paid tribute to European emissions legislation in 2018 and for the last time showed a performance sign of large rear wings and a sharp spoiler lip in the “Final Edition”, the fifth generation Impreza with a mild hybrid. The boxer is still fascinated by the beauty of the winner of this hot-blooded series. The sports legend was born in January 1994 in the motorsport division of Subaru Tecnica International, as indicated by the model number STI. The acronym WRX, World Rally Experimental, in turn pointed to the Impreza’s most extreme arena: rally tracks. Subaru ran the first practice rounds in the World Rally Championship as early as 1980, but success only came in 1994 with the Impreza STI. At the end of the season, Subaru took second place in the manufacturers’ championship and giants Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae were second and fourth in the drivers’ championship.

A year later, these two Impreza drivers engaged in a head-to-head battle that saw Subaru enter the history books with McRae becoming the youngest ever WRC drivers’ title. Sainz was a close second as the Japanese marque took the Constructors’ Championship, again in 1996 and 1997. Subaru’s subsequent WRC seasons saw the championship achieved, but only Richard Burns (2001) and Petter Solberg (2003) managed to win the drivers’ championship. . ‘ world championship with the Impreza WRC. In addition, the Impreza WRC marked a surprise in Germany, as Armin Kremer became German Rally Champion with it in 1998 and 1999. Many reasons to celebrate, which benefited fans of fast street racers, as shown by the Impreza GT Turbo with 160 kW / 218 hp, which Subaru honored the victory of Armin Kremer. One of the special sports series that is still coveted today is the “Holzer Edition 2.0 GL” and public car, which the Holzer team celebrated from the 1998 campaign season.

Even more exciting are the street racers, whose signature WRX STI showed engine outputs of 206 kW / 280 PS to 235 kW / 320 PS, and which ran to 100 km / h in 4.4 seconds back in the 1990s: Even the V12 didn’t cut it this. at that time as a Ferrari 550 Marenello. With a knack for burning best times on the tarmac, Nippon’s fastest boxer also earned respect at the Nürburgring. In the spring of 2010, the WRX STI achieved a time of 7:55 minutes, a record for four-door cars of this type. Class wins and big wins in the 24 hour race at Green Hell and also at the Pikes. The climb to the top of the mountain has followed until today the disease of sexually transmitted diseases leaves its mark.

The road led to a large number

On the contrary, the road led to great numbers and economic success for the Impreza in the end over medium-power boxer gasoline engines and boxer diesel, which was not very popular in the Impreza. First there was the 4.35 meter long Impreza as a standard notchback with a five-door hatchback, a coupe followed in 1995, under the hood worked gasoline engines with 66 kW / 90 hp or better 85 kW / 115 hp. That was enough for running around the city and for the leaves and forest paths, because many forest workers and hunters liked the wheeled vehicle immediately. Contributing to this were special models such as the Impreza Pirsch with a raised chassis, front protection bar and welding pan. In the second version, the five-door Impreza was given the suffix Sportkombi in 2001, and this body variant worked for itself under the Swedish cult brand Saab. Like the Saab 9-2 X, the four-wheel drive should accelerate the Scandinavians to new success in North America, an attempt that was stopped after only three years.

An attempt to introduce a front-wheel drive Impreza 1.5 RF as an entry-level version in the German Subaru program was also short-lived in 2008. The world’s first boxer diesel, which was introduced at the same time, was only a short-lived success in the Impreza, unlike the bigger Forester and Outback models. On the other hand, the balance of the Impreza crossover versions is completely different. Their off-road appearance went perfectly with the 4×4 vehicle from the beginning, and the Subaru Impreza XV launched in 2010 was so convincing that the Subaru XV followed just two years later: now without the Impreza signature, but more derived from the Impreza. Subaru designers built a bridge to the future in 2016: the “World Platform” is designed for electric drives, and the fifth generation Impreza still uses it with boxer gasoline engines and micro-hybrid technology.

How are you doing? The next Impreza is on the way, but before that, the JDM and WRC communities are celebrating the 30th anniversary of this 4 million-selling 4×4. The experts at Classic Analytics, a classic car evaluation organization, know how popular classics are. : “Well-preserved Imprezas from the early 1990s can be found for around 3,000 euros. But anyone who says Impreza in Germany usually means a top-of-the-line WRX and its market value is not only due to the popularity of the movie ‘Fast and Furios’, but above all for its success in the World Kart Racing championship. Under 25,000 euros, nothing goes for a good example, in the United States a few months ago. a car with few kilometers was auctioned for more than $300,000.”