This Rare Subaru Impreza P1 is Every Fan’s Daydream
Asking someone to pick the greatest Subaru Impreza of all time is like asking someone to choose between cake, brownies or ice cream. It’s hard to go wrong with any. But if you had to choose, well, you’d do well to include this rare bird in that tough pick—a Subaru Impreza P1. Built in 2000, the Subaru Impreza P1 was the super coupe solution to an odd problem in the UK, rampant “grey market” imports. At the time, UK fans were snapping up imported Japanese-market Subarus like hotcakes, aching for their higher performance, and leaving Subaru UK dealers to cry foul. Subaru’s response? Give them something even better. Prodrive—the outfit responsible for race-prepping Subaru’s championship winning rally cars—was brought in to specially develop said cars, of which only 1,000 were built. And they were quite, quite good. This is one of them. RELATED: See More Photos of the Rare Subaru Impreza P1 Prodrive
The P1 magic began with the body of a WRX STi Type R two-door, which would become the first Impreza coupe available in the UK… barring the unobtainium 22B, of which only 400 were built worldwide. Regardless, the chassis was put through a long (and costly) type approval process before it would be A-OK for British B-roads. Mind you, once it got to those B-roads, it was probably the quickest thing for miles.
The Subaru Impreza P1 was bestowed a pumped up 2.0-liter engine, which brought forth a raucous 280 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and put it to the ground through a specially tuned suspension for UK roads. That was about 65 horsepower more than the runner-up UK-market Impreza Turbo. Eibach springs found a home underneath, complemented by STi dampers, uprated anti-roll bars, and a sleek set of titanium-finish OZ wheels (this car wears gold, however).
The net result was a firm but responsive ride over dimpled pavement, but also a car that could do naught to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and crack 155 mph.
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All 1,000 Subaru Impreza P1s dressed to match in lustrous Sonic Blue paint and boasted a functional aero-kit crafted by Peter Stevens, designer of the McLaren F1. Inside and out there’s Prodrive badging, but more importantly a set of Prodrive sport seats. It all still looks fantastic, and it’s hard to imagine this beast is now 16 years old.
These weren’t cheap though. When new, the Subaru Impreza P1 retailed for £31,000 in the UK. Even so, Subaru had no problem selling out of the lot, and the UK’s Classic Car Auctions will have no problem shifting this one.
This rare bird, which is said to be #832, crossed the block at the auction house’s March 19th sale, and it’s bound to make one Subaru fan very, very happy.
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