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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Subaru Impreza: Rally Hero of the 90's

10 years ago, Subaru pulled out of the World Rally Championship for good after sliding down the performance table and succumbing to the ’08 economic meltdown. It was a sad end to what had been a great decade for the team and rally spectators. Colin McRae started his WRC career with Subaru, winning the WRC in 1995 and Petter Solberg joined in 2000 eventually winning the 2003 WRC – beating the legendary Sebastian Loeb.

Subaru Impreza WRC car
1997 Impreza WRC car, image courtesy of H&H

The car at the heart of all of this was the Impreza, launched in 1993, that would quickly put Subaru on the map. The Impreza’s famous dark blue paint with lime yellow decals were instantly recognisable tearing through muddy rally stages and Subaru capitalised on this by launching a host of different  versions including the STi and Turbo models to capture the rally cars spirit. The Impreza and its rally wins alone helped boost sales for the manufacture, who up until the Impreza’s launch was only known in the farming community. The Impreza underwent a controversial refresh in 2000 which saw the introduction of the infamous ‘bug’ headlights; it polarized opinion so much that just 3 years later the Impreza was refreshed again, with toned down styling. By 2008 the Impreza range diversified, the classic saloon style was dropped and many were surprised that the Impreza became a conventional looking hatchback. These later models didn’t enjoy quite the same following as the earlier models and the Impreza name disappeared from the UK market in 2013 due to poor Sterling/Yen exchange rates. Earlier this year, the Impreza was bought back – along with its familiar saloon shape, although whether it captures the public’s imagination like the early models in what is now a very different market, remains to be seen.

Subaru Impreza (2018)
Subaru Impreza today. Image: Car Magazine

While the glory days of the rally championships may be long gone for Subaru, those early cars still live on  and have become classics in their own right. With their ready ability to be modified (and a dedicated community to support it) the Impreza is a staple at car shows across the world and has a strong following which will live on for a long time.

Recently, a second generation Impreza (00 – 07) race car was bought to us to have fitted one of our 310mm chord high-downforce Carbon Fibre wings. The wing is designed using in-house CFD software to significantly increase down force at the rear, and, being autoclaved from Carbon Fibre with clever internal stringers, weighs next to nothing.  The wing sits atop CNC machined Alloy wing mounts, which are powder coated in satin black for a slick finish and also feature an array of mounting holes allowing you to finely adjust the wing’s angle of attack (AoA) to get a nice aero balance. The wing is completed by lightweight Carbon Fiber end plates.

It’s a perfect match for the Impreza and can be fitted with minimal modification to the boot lid. For Impreza owners who want to extract the most amount of performance from their cars, we now offer this package as a kit, available on our website.

Subaru Impreza (00 - 07) 2nd Generation GD, GG Carbon Fibre Rear Wing Kit - R01SB0517


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