1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Featured, History, Top 5

Our 5 Favorite WRX STI Models

Subaru Tecnica International (STI) began as the motorsports division for Subaru in 1988. Amidst growing success in the World Rally Championship (WRC), the first STI model emerged in 1994, and its rally-proven performance has influenced the Subaru lineup ever since. The first Subaru Impreza WRX STI had 10 more horsepower than the standard WRX, stiffer suspension, and better brakes. In the 20 years since then, STI models have remained true to the first car’s winning formula of affordability, durability and high performance. Now that Subaru is poised to launch the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite rally-bred STIs over the years to honor the occasion.

1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STI

Widely known as the ultimate STI halo car, Subaru unleashed the Impreza 22B STI in 1998. It was intended to be a road-going version of the racer that won the 1997 FIA WRC title, Subaru’s third consecutive victory in the series. The year also intersected with the 40th anniversary of the Subaru brand.

The 22B featured a 2.2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine modified from the regular 2.0-liter STI powertrain, with power ramped up to 280 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Subaru made the track wider with new wheels and tires, added flared fenders and rocker sill extensions to the bodywork, and increased the inclination of the rear-wing’s main plane by 17 degrees to produce more aerodynamic downforce. A twin-plate ceramic-disc clutch and close-ratio gears in the transmission made effective use of the increased power to help the car record a seriously swift 4.3-second sprint from 0-60 mph. Power peaked at a lofty 6000 rpm, and the engine would happily rev to its 7900-rpm redline.

Although the engine was perhaps the most distinctive feature of the 22B STI, Subaru did not overlook the car’s handling dynamics. Upgraded rack-and-pinion steering with a quicker ratio and a specially tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers were also part of the rally-based package. Bob Hall of Wheels magazine in Australia remarked that “nobody was quite ready for [the 22B’s] adhesion and cornering competence. In dynamics alone, the 22B comes very close to matching the classic Porsche 928 for chassis balance. It’s really that good.” High praise, indeed.

While the Impreza 22B STI’s performance set the formula for future generations of the WRX STI, the car’s looks were just as influential. The shape itself grew out of Prodrive’s Impreza RS, but the now-iconic livery of Sonic Blue Mica paint and 17-inch gold BBS wheels came from the original 555-sponsored Impreza rally cars of the mid-1990s. The trademark hood scoop and cherry-red STI badge continue to be visual signatures of the WRX STI even today. Subaru built just 424 units of the Impreza 22B STI, with 400 for Japan and the remainder for the export market.

2000 Subaru Impreza S201 STI

In April 2000, Subaru launched a 300-car run of a model inspired by the Electra One concept car. Called the S201 STI, the car set itself apart from the conventional WRX STI with a recalibrated engine computer, more turbo boost, a higher-capacity air-to-air intercooler and a larger, free-flowing exhaust, all of which pushed output to 300 hp.

The S201 STI also stood out in a crowd thanks to its bold body kit. A new front fascia included a wide lower grille opening and a much deeper bumper. New side skirts and a bi-level rear wing further transformed the exterior, while the car’s cabin featured a titanium shift lever, aluminum pedals and blue interior trim. The STI boffins also fitted the car with a hood scoop, a limited-slip front differential, height-adjustable suspension, red brake calipers, and 17-inch forged-aluminum RAYS wheels.

Though sold only in small numbers, the S201 is quite distinctive and is a seriously memorable version of the WRX STI.

2001 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Following the debut of the second-generation Impreza, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI launched in Japan in late 2000. The so-called “New Age” generation of STI proved to be quite popular worldwide, thanks to its excellent driving dynamics, standout looks, and everyday usability. It would also be the first STI to make it to U.S. shores, although when it arrived here in 2004, it had an engine different from the one with which the car had been introduced in Japan.

The second-gen Subaru Impreza WRX STI continued to use a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine, but it featured a significant bump in power. Upgrades to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder included lightweight hollow camshafts, variable valve timing, and electronic throttle control, which together helped increase power and response lower in the rpm range to compensate for turbo lag. To cope with the heat of increased performance, the STI contained an intercooler 30 percent larger than the unit used in the standard WRX, and a larger hood scoop directed air to it.

When all was said and done, the STI engine developed 280 horsepower and 274 lb-ft of torque, an impressive step above the 250 hp and 245 lb-ft by the engine of the standard WRX. In keeping with the car’s rally-bred performance, a close-ratio, six-speed gearbox was available as an option. A computer-controlled center differential varied torque distribution to the front and rear wheels, while Brembo brakes delivered fade-free stopping power.

When the U.S. model of this car arrived, it featured a 2.5-liter boxer engine that made a burly 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. This gave it the power to prevail over the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which brought only 271 hp to the table with its 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four engine. Added power aside, the STI was also the better, more tractable day-to-day road car. As we said in a comparison test between the STI and a Mitsubishi Evo, “[The STI] is arguably more complete than any race-bred road car in history, and its owner needs to make very few sacrifices to enjoy it.”

2005 Subaru Impreza Prodrive RB320

As the builders of Subaru’s competition cars for the FIA World Rally Championship, the engineers at Britain-based Prodrive knew their way around a fast Subie. These Prodrive-built Impreza racers eventually racked up three championships in the WRC with Colin McRae, Richard Burns, and Petter Solberg behind the wheel.

Prodrive has also been behind numerous hot Subaru production models over the years, and in 2005, it brought to market the RB320, a specially prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The high-performance RB320 had a Prodrive-engineered package for the boxer four-cylinder that produced 320 hp, plus an upgraded chassis setup for a lower ride height with Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers. All of this made for a truly special STI, not to mention an aggressive appearance thanks to its mesh grille and 18-inch black wheels.

Only 320 units of this high-performance car were built, and all were sold in Britain. The RB designation honored Richard Burns, who died of brain cancer in 2005 just four years after winning the WRC championship with Subaru and Prodrive.

2011 Subaru Cosworth Impreza CS400

Prodrive isn’t the only British racing company with links to Subaru, as Cosworth – the noted British builder of purebred racing engines – helped create the Cosworth Impreza CS400.

Cosworth had cast the aluminum blocks for Subaru’s rally engines, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to prepare a total engine package. The turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four under the hood of the regular WRX STI was thoroughly upgraded with new crankshaft bearings, steel connecting rods, stout pistons with a lower compression ratio, new head gaskets and fortified head studs. These modifications helped the engine withstand increase boost from the new turbocharger, and the further addition of free-flowing intake and exhaust helped produce 395 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, a bump of 90 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque over a U.S.-specification STI engine.

Cosworth also applied its magic touch to the WRX STI’s chassis. Eibach coil springs lowered the ride height by a half-inch, Bilstein dampers controlled the suspension action, and hard suspension bushings delivered sharper handling response. Heavy-duty, six-piston AP brake calipers produced stronger, crisper action from the front brake discs, and the 18-inch wheels were wrapped in super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tires.

The Cosworth Impreza CS400 was never sold in North America, but Autocar got to sample the car in Britain. After the CS400 reached 100 km/hr (62 mph) in a scant 3.7 seconds and reached the end of a quarter-mile right on the back bumper of an Audi RS6, the magazine proclaimed this car to be “the fastest, most powerful and most expensive Subaru Impreza that’s ever been offered for sale in the UK.” Cosworth limited production to 75 cars — but had it not, the $83,000 asking price would likely have limited sales anyway.

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1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured, History, Poll

POLL: Subaru Impreza WRX STI Generations? Which Car is Your Favorite?

The Subaru Impreza is a compact automobile that has been manufactured since 1992 by Subaru, introduced as a replacement for the Leone, with the predecessor’s EA series engines replaced by the new EJ series.

Now in its fifth generation, Subaru has offered four-door sedan and five-door body variants since 1992; the firm also offered a coupe from 1995 until 2000, and a wagon from the Impreza’s introduction until 2007, when a five-door hatchback replaced it. Mainstream versions have received naturally aspirated “boxer” flat-four engines ranging from 1.5- to 2.5-liters, with the performance-oriented Impreza WRX and WRX STI models uprated with the addition of turbochargers. Since the third generation series, some markets have adopted the abbreviated Subaru WRX name for these high-performance variants. The first three generations of Impreza in North America were also available with an off-road appearance package called the Outback Sport. For the fourth generation, this appearance package was renamed the XV (Crosstrek in North America), and, unlike the Outback Sport (which was exclusive to the North American market), is sold internationally.

Subaru has offered both front- and all-wheel drive layouts for the Impreza. Since the late-1990s, some markets have restricted sales to the all-wheel drive model—therefore granting the Impreza a unique selling proposition in the global compact class characterized by front-wheel drive. However, Japanese models remain available in either configuration.

Which Car is Your Favorite? Here are this round’s options:

 

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- 1992, 1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured, History, Limited Editions

Why Every Car Enthusiast Needs To Drive A Subaru Impreza

It doesn’t look like much, but the Subaru Impreza has one of the strongest fanbases and reputations in the internet car world. Drive one hard and you’ll understand why.

(Full Disclosure: I’ve never owned a Subaru Impreza, but I’ve driven a few. Bill Petrow of Broken Motorsports let me drive his runaround for a week. Team O’Neil Rally Schoollet me cut loose in a slightly modified Hawkeye sedan and a Prodrive-built WRC-spec rally car. I didn’t pay a dime, other than for gas in Bill’s car. Thanks, Bill. Come to think of it, I’ve also driven a new Subaru STI for a day across Wales on a press trip set up by Subaru a year back. I got to run a rear-wheel-drive-converted Impreza rally car on a muddy stage at the Higgins Rally School on that same trip. Subaru covered all my costs for those two.)
I get the feeling that Imprezas are often driven for the wrong reasons. When I was growing up in Northern California, I only saw these little sedans getting driven around by crunchy granola types who I think were mostly afraid of putting on snow chains when they drove up to the Sierras. They had lots of bumper stickers. They were basically Corollas that got worse gas mileage. Also they can be quite homely. And their interiors are garbage.

And over the past, ugh, what is this now, five years I’ve been writing about cars on the internet, I’ve mostly seen Imprezas in the performance community getting driven like little muscle cars. The big draw for a lot of Subaru fans is the power you get from Subaru’s turbo motors and the speed off the line of its AWD system. Go to any ski resort and you’ll hear the BRAAAAAAAP of a blacked-out STI clone with most of an exhaust. Go to any rich kid suburb in the Southwest and you’ll hear it, too. Tuned Subarus with boosted boxer motors are fast, and that’s enough for most leadfoot drivers.

My boss used to have a WRX sedan. I think he, like thousands of other mad-at-the-world dudes, just wanted the speed. It’s not hard or expensive to get a Subaru that’s loud and fast, a step up in price and prestige from cheap Hondas on the affordable enthusiast car scale. For a lot of people, Subarus are for bros and lady-bros. You know, these people.

Up until a few years ago I had never driven a Subaru Impreza of any generation, so I only vaguely desired something like an early two-door 2.5RS, mostly because I thought it looked cool. But now I’ve driven everything from a Prodrive-built rally car to a non-turbo ‘Blobeye’ sedan and there’s something deeper about these cars that every enthusiast should know first hand.

This is going to sound weird, but it’s the normalcy of the Impreza that makes it so good to drive. I did a couple hundred miles in that Blobeye I mentioned, road tripping out to Pennsylvania to co-drive in a rally a few years back. The car didn’t have much of anything but lots of room and AWD. It drove and functioned, like I said before, like a Corolla with worse gas mileage.

I had that road trip in mind two weekends ago when I was fully and completely sideways in an almost identical Impreza, a Hawkeye used as a trainer car by Team O’Neil Rally School up in New Hampshire. At its roots, it was still the same plain car too look at and to drive around like any other car.
Huck it into a corner in snow, though, and the car becomes one of the best driver’s cars around.

If you’ve never gone sideways in an all-wheel drive car, you won’t really understand the sensations of it. The feeling and the responses aren’t like anything else you might drive. Turn in to the corner with a big lift off the gas, even a brush of the brakes with your left foot, and the nose of the car dives down and into the turn. Get back on the gas and the car will pull you out of your slide and in to the next bend.

You can do the same trick with a front-wheel drive car, but you always have the feeling there that the car is operating in two halves. You can feel the undriven rear slide out and you can feel the driven front pull you free. An all-wheel drive Impreza doesn’t have that sensation. It feels like the entire car, wrapping around you in a single motion, evenly slips in and out of a corner as one.


There’s no big drama about it. Subarus have viscous differentials, sort of juggling the power around the corners of the car, and it all sort of meshes and globularizes into unified motion. It’s not abrupt. It’s not sharp. It’s creamy peanut butter plastering over all the little holes on a piece of bread. Your little mistakes at the wheel and the little undulations of the road all get processed by the Subaru’s AWD. All it leaves you with is sideways speed.

The sensations were largely the same even when I drove a full-on rally spec car, one owned by O’Neil and built by some Prodrive meachnics out in the midwest. Prodrive, if you’re not familiar with Subaru lore, was the British race shop that built Subaru’s winning World Rally Championship cars. Prodrive gave the world the 555 Imprezas, sideways over crests and on into the collective unconscious.

The dog box transmission whined and the engine thundered when Tim O’Neil, riding shotgun with me, flicked on the anti-lag button. Flames shot out the exhaust. We took off like nothing else. The handling was so neutral, so plain. Like any other Impreza, it made getting sideways in the snow as easy as possible. The big difference was that the torque of the thing hungered for more speed. First. Second. Third. Already too fast on the little slalom/skidpad course O’Neil had laid out. The car wanted to be doing a hundred miles an hour through the woods. Everything on the car was designed to make that happen as quickly and as simply as possible.

Don’t get me wrong. These cars do not fix all drivers. One icy corner did leave me tapping a snow bank, taking some paint off the back bumper of this (eek) reasonably historic car. Subarus make driving like this easy. They do not make it idiot-proof.

I’ve driven all kinds of other performance cars. I’ve been sideways in front-drivers and rear-drivers. I’ve driven more analog, old-school all-wheel drive cars like an ‘80s Audi 4000 Quattro. I’ve driven more digital, new-school all-wheel drive cars like the current Ford Focus RS. Drift cars. Race cars. Off-roaders and ex-military vehicles. Getting an all-wheel drive drift going in an Impreza stands out as one of the most accessible and interesting experiences you can have in a car.

Look past the vapes and flat brim hats of Subaru bro-ism. Leave the hippie associations of Foresters and Outbacks aside. If you’ve never gone sideways with all four wheels lit up, find a way to get yourself behind the wheel of an Impreza.
It won’t seem like much at first, but that’s the whole charm.

From : Jalopnik

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- 1992, 1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Car Culture, Car Technology, Featured

3 Reasons You Should Buy a Subaru -Subaru’s 3 Top Competitive Advantages

As you car shop for Subarus and possibly other brands, it’s important to know what makes a Subaru a Subaru and how the other brands stack up. Forget the hype about the number of cup holders or whether the car has illuminated vanity mirrors. This one page describes three core issues you should look at when considering buying a car, no matter what the brand. By the time you read to the bottom on this page, you will understand why Subaru owners are so loyal and passionate about their cars and why Subaru is the safe choice for you and your family. Just ask ANY Subaru owner.

1. Horizontally Opposed Boxer Engine – Flat is Beautiful

The Subaru Boxer engine sits at the heart of every Subaru vehicle. The intelligent engineering behind Subaru’s Boxer engine provides the get-up and go you expect from a Subaru, and provides plenty of power for Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system. The flat laying engine design provides the perfect combination of balance, power and efficiency. Besides the occupants, the most important piece of your vehicle is under the hood. While our competitors may focus on rear-seat DVD players and 11 cupholders, at Subaru our main goal is your driving experience and safety. The Subaru Boxer engine delivers, even under the most adverse conditions and still maintains the highest fuel efficiency among dedicated AWD vehicles. When you compare the Boxer to other engine styles you will quickly realize there is no comparison. The video above illustrates this.


NOTE: The boxer engine name comes from the way the pistons move. In most cars, pistons move up and down. In the boxer engine, the pistons move horizontally, like a boxer punching.

Boxer Engine Advantages vs. Inline and V-type Engines

  • You want a smooth ride with long lasting dependability. The Subaru Boxer engines’ unique design provides less vibration than our competitors. Each horizontally opposed piston cancels the vibration of the opposite piston.
  • Besides Subaru, only Porsche uses the unique Boxer engine style to maximize power and stability. It’s no wonder why V-Type and Inline engines in Toyota, Honda, Ford and Nissan don’t compare to the Subaru Boxer.
  • You want your engine to last as long as possible, right? Look at the cars below. Notice how the pistons in the boxer engine on the left are always lubricated. Lubed pistons on the Boxer engine wear slower than dry starting Inline and V-type engines because there is less friction when initially starting your vehicle. Think of it like a roll-on deodorant where you have to get the ball wet by rolling it before it works. Not good for the pistons (or your armpit).

 2. Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

All-wheel drive (AWD) is not a unique concept, but symmetrical all-wheel drive is. Unlike most AWD systems that are adapted from 2-wheel drive, Subaru’s symmetrical AWD starts out as all-wheel drive. Power for the symmetrical AWD system comes directly from Subaru’s Boxer engine, which gives adequate power to each wheel, continuously, to prevent slippage in any road condition. Competitors often say, “We have all-wheel drive, just like Subaru.” Don’t let their misinformed salespeople or their part-time AWD systems or fancy names like Intuitive AWD (Nissan), Intelligent 4WD (Ford), On-Demand 4WD (Toyota) or Real Time 4WD (Honda) fool you. Only Subaru’s symmetrical AWD system is always on to protect you and your family when you need it most. This is clearly demonstrated in the videos below:.

NOTE: Torque steer is created when the front drive shafts are of unequal length. During heavy acceleration the steering may pull to one side, which can be disturbing to the driver causing them to fight for control. The video below demonstrates the effects of torque steer.

 Torque steer will not occur with Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD. The best way to describe Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is to compare it to an airplane wing. Imagine what would happen if one wing was longer than the other – the plane would lose control. Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD is balanced like an airplane wing or perhaps a butterfly. It’s a thing of beauty inspired by nature.

Symmetrical AWD vs. Front-Wheel Drive-based AWD

Front-wheel drive-based AWD systems are adapted by a transverse mounted engine. What does this mean for your driving experience? Subaru symmetrical AWD works all the time, not just when the vehicle senses slippage. Also, the almost perfectly balanced design improves control and handling, even on the toughest of road conditions. Don’t you want to keep your family safe all the time, not just when your vehicle thinks it should?

 

 

Notice the symmetrical AWD system? The balanced design helps improve vehicle stability, safety and power and it’s only found in a Subaru.

3. Subaru Advanced Safety Engineering

 Subaru was named the ONLY automaker with IIHS Top Safety Picks for All Models – FIVE YEARS IN A ROW (2010 – 2015)! People think of safety as the ability to survive an accident. But, the best way to survive an accident is to avoid having one in the first place. Subaru’s are equipped with a broad range of safety features and systems to protect you. At Subaru of Keene, we don’t feel that safety features should be an option on your next car purchase. That’s why all of our Subaru’s have a thorough array of active and passive safety features to protect you and your family. Go ahead, compare us to the competition and you will notice that our competitors feel that safety has a price tag.

Ring-Shaped Reinforced Frame

There are no weak spots in a ring. Try this: place your finger on a table and press on the top of your wedding band, you won’t feel the pressure because it protects your finger. Ring-shaped construction protects passengers. It is engineered to absorb and dissipate the forces of an impact.

Safety Brake Pedal System

During a severe frontal collision, the brake pedal and components present a clear danger to your feet and legs. The safety brake pedal system actually moves away from the driver to prevent these injuries on Subaru vehicles. You might not think you will ever be involved in a serious car accident, but if you are you will be safer if you have the safety brake pedal system in your Subaru.

Subaru VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control, also known as electronic stability control)

Standard on all 2010 and newer models, VDC helps keep you on your intended path by measuring variables such as steering input, braking, and vehicle angle. Sensing any slide that causes the vehicle to deviate from your intended course, VDC applies individual brakes and / or reduces engine power to help counteract the slide and help keep you safely in control. How cool is that!

-VDC operates at all speed-whether the vehicle is in a straight line or while cornering
-VDC can sense impending loss of control at either the front or rear of the vehicle and momentarily applies the brake on one or more wheel providing a counteracting force to help restore stability.

  • -VDC is equipped with an off button that can be activated/deactivated at the discretion of the driver
  • When the VDC system is deactivated (VDC warning light is illuminated on dash), the VDC system can be reactivated (VDC warning light not illuminated on dash) by:
    -Pushing in the VDC button
    -Or, by pushing in the VDC button and holding it in for approximately 10 seconds
    system will stay activated until the engine is turned off
    -Or, After the vehicle is stopped the iignition is shut off and the ignition key is returned to the lock position and then the engine is restarted

4-Wheel Independent Suspension

– Designed to keep all four wheels in contact with the road surface
-Works efficiently with Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
-Lets each wheel react to bumps and potholes independently of the others
-Better control and a smooth ride over rough road surfaces
-Subaru’s Double Wishbone Suspension provides more trunk cargo room than traditional suspension systems.

Subaru Active Safety Features

-Four Channel/four sensor anti-lock braking system
-Electronic Brake Force Distribution
-Brake Assist
-Driver Visibility
-Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
-Boxer Engine Placement
-Fully Independent Suspension
-Vehicle Dynamics Control System 

Subaru Passive Safety Features

-Ring-shaped reinforcement body frame design
-Front and rear crumple zones
-Occupant restraint systems: seat belts and advanced airbags
-Safety Pedal System
-Sub-frame and Engine placement
-Collapsible steering column
-Lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH)

Notice how the crumple zones and engine displacement prevented cabin intrusion in this severe head-on collision of a Subaru Legacy.

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- 1992, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured, History

Top 10 Subaru Cars Of All Time

Here are my choices for the top 10 Subaru’s, taking into consideration enthusiast popularity, performance, styling and innovation.

Subaru has a loyal following of owners who are enthusiastic about their “Subie.” What makes Subaru unique is that all current models, with the exception of the RWD BRZ possess Subaru’s symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive system, which certainly gives the driver “confidence in motion” in any driving conditions. Subaru is a unique automotive brand offering dependable and high quality vehicles in the Canadian market.

“We’re proud of every model in the Subaru family as each one has propelled our momentum and helped us hone our product offering based on our core engineering – our SUBARU BOXER engine – and the drivetrain that makes the most sense for consumers,” said Joe Felstein, Director of Marketing, Subaru Canada, Inc. in an exclusive interview with wheels.ca. “In most cases, that’s the celebrated Subaru symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive system, but our rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, the BRZ, has also expanded the Subaru family by welcoming new customers to the brand.”

The popularity of Subaru has grown in recent years from appealing to a niche market with the quirky, boxy, rugged look of their vehicles to evolving into more mainstream contemporary designs that appeal to a wider audience. Here are my choices for the top 10 Subaru’s, taking into consideration enthusiast popularity, performance, styling and innovation. Let us know what’s on your top 10 Subaru list in the comments section.

RELATED: Subaru’s 15 Fastest Cars of All Time

10. 1990 – Present Subaru Legacy

The Legacy sedan has been around since 1990 and has gotten better with each generation. The current sixth generation Legacy won the coveted Automotive Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) 2015 Canadian Car of the Year Award for its overall outstanding quality and driving characteristics. Available with a 2.5L 4-cylinder Boxer engine or 3.6L 6-cylinder Boxer, continuously variable transmission (CVT) or 6-speed manual, all Legacy models are equipped with Subaru’s symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive system.

9. 1992 – 1996 Subaru SVX


The SVX luxury performance coupe was a very unique looking Subaru. The distinctive design element was the signature window-within-a-window. The SVX was the most expensive Subaru model at the time and the company lost money producing it, however it was still significant to showcase the Japanese automaker’s performance and technology advancements. Its 3.3L Boxer horizontally opposed flat-six made 231 horsepower and 228 lb-ft torque – impressive numbers for the early 1990s.

8. 2003 – 2006 Subaru Baja


The funky looking Baja was different from any other automobile being produced during its lifecycle and that’s what Subaru wanted, something special. A car-truck hybrid, the four-door Baja was based on the Subaru Outback and its open-bed made it unique. Baja was all-wheel drive and very versatile and certainly has a place on this list.

7. 1978 – 1994 Subaru BRAT


The BRAT was a quirky looking little pick-up truck sold in many markets under other nameplates except Japan. Its advantage over other small pick up trucks was its four-wheel drive capabilities. The BRAT was powered by Subaru’s EA engine and was available with a Turbo and either automatic or manual transmissions.

6. 1958 – 1971 Subaru 360


The 360 was Subaru’s first automobile whose nameplate was derived from its small 356 cc engine displacement. Production reached 392,000 over its 12-year model run. Nicknamed the Ladybug, the 360 was one of Japan’s most popular cars and was available as two-door, station wagon, convertible and sport model variants. The two-door, rear engine city car weighed only 1,000 pounds and complied with Japan’s light car (Kei car) regulations during its time.

RELATED: 10 of The Rarest Subarus Ever

5. 2005 – 2009 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon

After driving a friend’s Legacy GT Wagon I know why he loves it so much. The street was covered with dense snow and the Legacy ploughed through it with ease. When I drove the GT Wagon on dry days, I was amazed by the gusto from the 2.5L turbo Boxer engine putting down 265 horsepower. The GT Wagon was available with automatic Sportshift transmission and 6-speed manual. This magnificent family hauler can do it all around the neighbourhood and on the racetrack.

4. 2012 – Present Subaru BRZ


Jointly developed with Toyota (Scion FR-S) the BRZ is the only rear-wheel drive vehicle in the current Subaru line-up. This 2+2 coupe has become extremely popular as an affordable performance sports car and can be easily modified and tuned. Known as the Toyota GT86 and FT86 in other markets, BRZ stands for Boxer engine, Rear-wheel drive, and Z for the zenith. There are subtle trim and suspension differences between the BRZ, FR-S and GT86, however they all share the same 2.0L Dual Overhead Cam, 16-valve, horizontally opposed, 4-cylinder Boxer engine making 200 horsepower. This adrenaline pumping sports car possesses a low centre of gravity and sport-tuned suspension system for razor-sharp handling. Starting at $27,395 (MSRP), it’s an incredible value and a future classic.

3. 2002 – Present Subaru WRX and WRX STI


When the much-anticipated Impreza WRX arrived in North American showrooms in 2002, it was an instant success. This was the first turbocharged Subaru available in Canada. With its signature “bug eyed” front, pronounced hood scoop and chiselled good looks, the WRX got the attention of tuners and rally racers for its outstanding performance and handling characteristics. All WRX models feature Subaru’s ubiquitous Boxer engine and symmetrical full-time All-Wheel Drive system making the WRX a winner on the rally track circuit and in the hearts of Subaru enthusiasts.

The 2004 WRX STI was the first STI (Subaru Tecnica International) model available in North America. The 2.5L Flat 4 Boxer engine put down a whopping 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive. The STI is no sleeper with a huge hood scoop, rear spoiler, massive brakes and gold wheels, this was a legend in the making and set the stage for all the other STI performance models that have followed. The current WRX STI boosts 305 horsepower.

2. 1998 Subaru 22B STI


This limited edition wide body coupe was produced to commemorate Subaru’s 40th anniversary and success in FIA World Rally Championship racing. 22B STI was sold in Japan, UK and Australia and is a coveted collectors item amongst Subaru enthusiasts. The turbocharged 2.2L engine made an incredible 276 horsepower. All 22B STI examples are dark blue with fender flared wide body trim, a unique hood and adjustable rear wing. Bilstein suspension, red STI brake callipers, and 17″ gold wheels complete the sporty appearance.

1. 1998-2001 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

 

The Impreza 2.5RS coupe was introduced in 1998 to the Canadian market as the first rally inspired Subaru available to the everyday consumer. The 2.5RS had the same body style and AWD system that was being used by the Prodrive tuned powerhouse Subaru’s that were winning races in the World Rally Circuit. The 2.5RS was the most significant Subaru model to captured the imagination of performance enthusiasts and contribute towards the popularity of Subaru in the rally world. The 2.5RS looked aggressive with it’s bulging hood scoop, large rear spoiler, gold coloured alloy wheels plus the 2.5L flat four engine put out a respectable 165 horsepower making it a fun car to drive.

Derek Serianni, administrator of the Toronto Subaru Club said, “the 2.5RS was the car that started it all for Subaru enthusiasts in Canada because it was the first rally inspired Subaru we could get our hands on. Our club was initially formed in 1998 as the 2.5RS Club of Toronto, which goes to show what an impact it was on the scene back then. In 2000 we re-branded the club as The Toronto Subaru Club as Subaru’s became more popular and our membership base started reflecting this.”

Battle Subaru Impreza Type R P1 and Subaru Impreza STI


“With each new model iteration, we are listening to the needs of our customers and the current generations of our product portfolio is proof positive that we are resonating more and more with Canadians,” commented Joe Felstein from Subaru Canada. “We are on track for our fourth consecutive annual sales record this year. A portion of this success can be attributed to Subaru’s belief in safety, durability, quality and reliability, performance and appealing to adventure and active lifestyle owners.”

The Toronto Subaru Club (TSC) is a perfect example of how enthusiastic Subaru owners are about the brand. With 11,000 online forum members spanning Canada, TSC welcomes all Subaru owners to join in the camaraderie and love affair with Subaru.

“The loyalty and passion of our members is obvious by the joy and pride they take in their Subie” commented TSC administrator Derek Serianni. “Subaru Canada is a tremendous support for our club by hosting our annual Hyper Meet car show and matching our charitable donation to Ronald McDonald House Charities Toronto for sick children receiving medical treatment. Kudos to Subaru Canada for listening to their customers and what we want to see in terms of product features and enhancements – which have come to fruition.”

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- 1992, 1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured, History, Limited Editions

Subaru’s 15 Fastest Cars of All Time

Subaru has long been known for building some of the most capable and versatile vehicles in the world. If you’re planning on doing some rally driving, chances are Subaru has been near the top of the list of vehicles to check out. Popular models like the Impreza, Forester, and Outback have long been favorites of outdoors enthusiasts, and every year their cars get more reliable and lively.

The Japanese company has long been known for producing fantastic, rally-inspired, performance-oriented vehicles to add to their pedestrian line-up. While it may not have production vehicles that can keep up with something like a Corvette Z06, this smaller automaker does still hold the advantage in the all-wheel drive performance car department.

Today we will focus on acceleration times from 0-60 for rankings, since most of the company’s cars are governed to specific top speeds with electronic limiters. Naturally we have excluded concept models, one-offs, and heavily-modified aftermarket builds from the list in order to keep it “production vehicle specific,” and since certain models like the WRX STI ts Type RA and the Legacy Turbo models from the early 1990s did not have reliable performance statistics available, they were omitted from the list.

*Editors’ Note: this article has been updated to address some factual errors that were present in the prior version. We appreciate our readers’ diligence, and thank them for pointing it out to us.

15. Subaru Baja Turbo


Remember the Baja? The short-lived Subaru that hearkened back to memories of the Chevy El Camino or Subaru’s very own Brat? Well, it wasn’t just known for its awkward appearance, as the turbo version actually had quite a bit of jump to it, and could make the sprint from zero to 60 miles-per hour in 7.3 seconds with a manual gearbox. The Baja Turbo was limited to a top speed of 130 miles-per hour, and produced 210 horsepower from a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine. Ugly never looked so good…

14. Subaru SVX


Digging way back into the archives for some performance data, you will stumble upon an oddball Subaru bearing a badge that says “SVX.” Hitting sixty in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 143 miles per hour, the SVX was a true Grand Touring (GT) car, and while it only came in automatic (which was prone to overheating), it did come equipped with a 3.3-liter flat-six engine, and rocked all 230 horsepower and 224 pound-feet of torque all the way to redline. With its wind-defusing side windows, funky interior styling, and undeniably Lancer-ish lines, this car was the quintessential 90s vehicle.

13. Subaru Legacy 3.6R

Of all the Legacy models that have hit the market over the years, the 3.6R is one of the easiest to overlook, as it looked just like a regular Legacy and was not aggressively styled at all. And yet it remains one of the quickest models Subaru has ever produced, with its 3.6-liter flat-6 engine hitting 0-60 times in 7.1 seconds. The odd part was that this model only kicked out 256 ponies, which is strange, since certain four-cylinder Legacy models produced even more power.

12. Subaru BRZ


One of the newest additions to the Subaru lineup, the BRZ breaks the monotony of the company’s classic designs by bringing a rear-wheel drive platform to the streets. Despite its sporty appearance, it fails to even crack the top ten of Subaru’s fastest models, since testing showed the BRZ made the trip from 0-60 in 6.4 seconds courtesy of 200 horsepower. As the BRZ evolves in coming years, performance numbers will surely improve, but for now, it only makes it up to the number twelve on our list today.

11. Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Limited

Another Legacy model to add to the list, the Legacy 2.5 GT Limited bested the much larger 3.6R flat-six by quite a bit, as it shared a lot of genetic make-up with the mighty STI. Making the trip from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, the 2.5 GT Limited used a turbocharged flat-4 engine, was available with a manual transmission, and was limited to an overall top speed of 150 miles per hour. With 265 horsepower, and 258 pound-feet worth of torque this version of the Legacy was a real surprise win for performance seekers, and if you re fortunate enough to find a Legacy GT wagon somewhere with a clutch, buy it, because that is a high-powered unicorn right there.

10. Subaru Impreza WRX Sport Wagon

How do you improve on the WRX base model? Turn it into a wagon, of course! Although it’s no longer in production, the WRX Sport Wagon was a lean and mean rally machine that could jet past the original WRX back in the day as it hit sixty in 5.8 seconds. Now, more than a decade after it first hit American shores, the Sport Wagon is officially defunct. But when it was around, the WRX Sport Wagon’s turbocharged flat-4, made 227 horsepower and conjured up 217 pound-feet of torque, which was more than enough for a trip to soccer practice.

9. Subaru Legacy GT spec.B

Subaru only made 500 Legacy GT spec.B sedans, they cost quite a lot for what you got, and they were only available in one color: dark silver. They also shared the same 250-horsepower powerplant with the previously mentioned Legacy GT version, and according to Car and Driver, it had a navigation system that cost $1,200 more than the identical one drivers found in the normal GT model. But it did have better suspension, bigger brakes, wider wheels, and was able to fly to 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 5.3 seconds for some reason. And while some may attribute these gains to the spec.B’s fatter wheels and increased grip, we relish in the fact that it was only made available with a six-speed manual gearbox and had one super slick limited edition interior.

8. Subaru Forester 2.5 XT

It’s pretty wild to think that a Forester model can outperform everything you have seen thus far, but at least on paper it’s true. The Forester 2.5 XT was the variant to consider too, as it was able to hit 60 miles-per hour in just 5.2 seconds courtesy of its 4.44 gearing. With its turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower, this car is still a great sleeper option for anyone looking for an unassuming around town ass-kicker.

7. Subaru WRX

Here’s the model everyone has been waiting for, the storied WRX. Long a favorite of daily-driven enthusiasts and rally drivers alike, the WRX has seen numerous incarnations over the years, and the base model is still able to hold its own in the top ten of Subaru’s fastest. The newest 2015 WRX can jet from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds according to Car and Driver, utilizes a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, and makes around 268 horsepower in base trim. And while it often gets overshadowed by its bigger twin, the STI, there is no arguing with the price point of one of these little cars, and how good they have become.

6. Subaru WRX STI


A glance at the picture above accurately summarizes the experience of driving the WRX STI. This suped-up version of the WRX is capable of hitting the 160 miles per hour mark, along with quickly sprinting from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds according to Road & Track’s test results. The STI offers the DNA of a rally car, with the practicality of an every-day vehicle, and while the WRX base model offers more or less the same experience,the STI and its half-liter larger engine cranks the fun up to frenzied as you confidently rocket through snow, mud, tarmac, and treacherous terrain.

5. Subaru Impreza 330S

The Impreza 330S is not one of the company’s more well-known models, but it sure does have some impressive performance stats. The 330S blasted from rest to 60 in 4.8 seconds, and used a beefed-up 2.5-liter turbo flat-four that created 325 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque, which are not small numbers by any measure. As the five-door hatch combined a six-speed manual gearbox with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, this British specialty version of the Impreza made for one of the best Subaru models ever built.

4. Subaru WRX Special Edition


Perhaps the most “specialized” variant of the WRX to ever see release was a Special Edition. With its signature “Punkin Orange” color and blistering acceleration speed of 4.7 seconds to sixty, this decal-laden tangerine dream was a highly coveted machine when it first came out. Built with a wider body and bigger, blacker wheels, this limited run offering was a real beast on and off the track.

3. Subaru Impreza 22B STI


“The Subaru from hell” as Car and Driver so eloquently puts it, was a 4.7 second car that put up startling numbers for something that looked so dated. Rocking the boxy, early 1990s look, the 22B STI was only made in a batch of 424 cars, and was designed to commemorate Subaru’s 40th anniversary. Limited to an overall top speed of 144 miles-per hour, and rocking an unorthodox 2.2-liters of engine displacement, this obscurity rode its 280 horsepower motor all the way to infamy.

2. Subaru WRX STI S206

Somehow Subaru engineers keep topping themselves with WRX variations, and the WRX STI S206 is one of the best. While most Americans remain unaware of its existence, the Japan-exclusive neck-snapper has been ratcheted-up to 316 horsepower, and makes sixty look slow in just 4.5 seconds. Couple this with 318 pound-feet of torque and some serious “JDM swag,” and suddenly you’ve got a car that is designed to make any high school ricer drool.

1. Subaru WR1


The WR1 may be similar in looks to most of its milder brethren, but it is extremely advanced in the performance department. Producings 342 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is no easy feat, and Subaru got this little demon to hit a top speed of 155 miles-per hour without issue. Zero to 60 was timed out at 4.3 seconds, and since the WR1 was a limited-run reproduction of a Subaru rally car, many people cried foul over its price and rarity. Originally used to win rally championships in its hayday, this car serves its purpose here today as the fastest production car Subaru ever turned out.

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- 1992, 1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured

10 of The Rarest Subarus Ever

Since 1954, Subaru has produced millions of sports cars worldwide, with many models having production runs of fewer than a thousand units. Below I’ve listed some of those Subaru vehicles that are rare, strange or otherwise unknown.

Since 1954, Subaru has produced millions of cars worldwide, with many models having production runs of fewer than a thousand units. Below I’ve listed some of those Subaru vehicles that are rare, strange or otherwise unknown.
STI stands for Subaru Tecnica International, WRX stands for World Rally X, with the X meaning ‘cross’ or ‘experimental’ (depending on who you ask). FE? That stands for Fuel Economy, and the incredibly efficient FE was rated at 33 mpg city and 50 mpg highway.

1. Subaru FE Coupe

Yes, Subaru was beating the 2015 Toyota Prius’ 48 highway miles per gallon in 1979. The 1.6 liter, horizontally opposed four cylinder was fitted with a “transistorized ignition”, with an increased compression ratio, a redesigned camshaft and new combustion chamber design. Definitely on of the best Subaru old models . Options at the time included an AM/FM stereo, tape system and a CB radio. Rarity: So low I can’t find anything on the Internet about it.

2. Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec C Type RA-R


Subaru absolutely loves the alphabet, and if you haven’t seen my parody video on this topic, check it out. That video was inspired in part by the Impreza WRX STi Spec C Type RA-R. This rare 320 horsepower, 318 lb ft of torque monster was released in 2006 with only 300 making it to production. That’s even more rare than the Impreza 22B. The year it was released, the STi Spec C Type RA-R came at an asking price of 4,284,000 Yen, which is $35,685 in today’s marketplace. A quick google search finds one for sale at $37,382 in Britain. If you bought one, good investment!

3. Subaru FF-1

According to Subaru, the FF-1 was the first front-wheel drive car to come out of Japan and the first to use Subaru’s four-cylinder Boxer engine. Offered from 1969 to 1972, the FF-1 was available in two-door, four-door and a wagon models. A few enthusiasts over on NASIOC have saved a couple of these FF-1s from the junkyard, like SubieGal with her 1970 FF-1 and Kostamojen with his FF-1. The FF-1 was powered by Subaru’s 1.1-liter EA-61 engine, pushing out 65 horsepower and 61 pound feet of torque. According to many, this is the rarest Subaru you can find in the US.

4. Subaru Impreza Casa Blanca

Possibly the ugliest, most vile Subaru ever conceived, the Casa Blanca was a car based around the 1999-2000 Impreza. According to Jalopnik, the Casa Blanca was designed during a retro car craze over in Japan. The front fascia design works well on its own, but when paired with the rally-inspired look of the first generation Impreza wagon, it makes me want to nuke it from orbit. The rear end design was mailed in too. The designers simply took out the taillights and plopped in new ones. 5,000 of these Japan-only monsters were ever made and as far as I know, no one has been crazy enough to bring one state-side.

5. Subaru 360


This adorable little munchkin is the Subaru 360, a model introduced by Subaru in 1958. It took a decade for the 360 to make its way to America where it went on sale at an affordable $1,297 (around $9,000 when adjusted for 2015 inflation). Not exactly rare for the time, Subaru produced 392,000 of these rear-engined, two-door cars over a 12 year run. The 360 was powered by a two-cylinder, two-stroke engine churning out a neck snapping 22 horsepower. Although it was underpowered by today’s standards, it weighed only 900 pounds and achieved 66.3 miles per gallon. That’s LA to New York on only 41.8 gallons of gas! With today’s gas prices, that’s a cross-country road trip for $87. (Sidenote: Gas prices averaged $0.35 per gallon in 1970, so that road trip would have cost you less than $15 in gas back then.) Rarity in the US? 10,000 of the Sport model were sold in the US, how many are still running, unknown.

6. Subaru Legacy 2.5GT spec.B

Offered from 2006-2009, the spec.B was a rare performance-based Legacy with a turbocharged 2.5-liter, with 241 torque and 243 horsepower. It feels more like a small suv rather than a sedan. In some ways, it’s the closest US fans have ever seen to a production model Legacy STi. Other upgrades over the Legacy GT included a six-speed manual transmission, DVD-based navigation and a Momo steering wheel. According to the Internets, only around 1,000 were ever produced. Car and Driver tested the $34,620 car in 2006 and felt that it was a little spendy and fell short option-wise when compared to other cars in its price group. Hey, you can’t put a price on rarity.

7. Subaru Sambar

Not exactly rare overseas, the Sambar has been a staple in Japan since 1961. The small cars Lord, the original Sambar microvan/microtruck was created as an option for Subaru 360 buyers that wanted to carry small loads. The Sambar was first powered by a tiny 356cc two-stroke engine paired with a 3-speed manual transmission and offered in van and pickup truck variations. Today, the 2015 Subaru Sambar is powered by a 3-cylinder, 660cc engine offered in both 2WD and 4WD variants. There are a handful of the old model stateside currently, with more than a few being turned into Volkswagen Bus replicas.

8. Subaru Impreza UK300

Not your typical 4 door sedan . As the name suggests, the UK300 had a limited run of only 300 units. According to NorthUrsalia.com, the UK300 was a Prodrive project on the old Bugeye Impreza. A Prodrive Performance Package was added, as well as a couple exterior and interior design enhancements.

9. Subaru S201

On of the best sports cars. Another one for the “kill it with fire” books, the S201 was based around the first generation Impreza with a seriously awful body kit. The spoiler may be the worst in existence. It wasn’t just all show and no go, since it came with a 2.0 liter with 300 horsepower and 260 torque. According to NorthUrsalia.com, the S201 was based around the Electra One concept. No one knows how many are still around, but maybe that just helps us forget about it.

10. 1998 Impreza 22B STI Coupe


Aahhh, yes, the Subaru Impreza 22b . No rare Subaru list is complete without the holy grail of Subarus, the 22B. Easily my favorite Subaru ever, the 22B came with a closed-deck 2.2 liter with 278 horsepower. What separates the 22B from the rest of Subaru’s fleet is the incredible widebody kit and the nearly bulletproof engine. Only 424 were ever produced and, as of this writing, I’m only aware of 2 being in the States. The 22B is truly Subaru’s greatest masterpiece.


Bonus: One more, and possibly the rarest “recent” model.

The Unicorn, the Acadia Green 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

 

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