While we knew the P25 was coming and that it would look like a 2-door Impreza and be very capable and expensive, we’ll admit to being blown away by the end result. Granted we haven’t seen it in the flesh yet – the covers are coming down this Thursday at the Festival of Speed - but there certainly can’t be an argument that the P25 is seeing the deal. Having launched the original WRC Impreza 25 years ago, Prodrive says it “reimagined what this car would have been today”. Good job guys.
And of course it gets better. Those optimized body parts? Carbon composite, the lot. WRC-style trunk, bonnet, roof, sills, door mirrors, front and rear ends, rear wing and bumper. Peter Stevens, who designed the WRC version at the time, is responsible for the new look (those rear arches alone make us look weird) and Prodrive’s know-how in putting everything back together means the P25 still makes less than 1,200 kg while retaining the steel monocoque of a WRX.
Into this updated, lightweight mix, the company has inserted Subaru’s latest 2.5-liter flat-four, albeit completely redesigned with bespoke internal components including new cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods and a variable cam valve train. Oh, and there’s also a Garrett Motorsport turbo with upgraded intercooler and airbox, and Akrapovic racing exhaust in titanium and stainless steel. All things considered, it makes 400 hp and 443 lb ft of torque, and we’ll say in a moment that the P25 probably sounds as good as it looks.
It will also be serious. Prodrive expects to hit 62mph in under 3.5 seconds, thanks in part to a six-speed sequential box with helical gears, but also because it gets a WRC-style launch control system that uses fly-by-wire Throttle and clutch combined in the floor-mounted pedal box to automatically shift the car through first, second and third gears. Imagine that away from the lights.
Power goes to all four wheels via an adjustable active center differential and front and rear locking differentials (giving you an idea of how the P25 will drive). Prodrive has retained the McPherson struts but says it has used machined aluminum posts that can be tuned for optimal geometry for the car’s wider 1770mm track. New Bilstein dampers are adjustable in compression and rebound, while the springs and stabilizers are apparently optimized for asphalt handling. You also get AP Racing brakes and gorgeous 19-inch Prodrive rims.
We haven’t seen the inside yet, but the dash is said to feature a high-resolution, full-width, multi-page display including a data logger. The firm clearly expects owners to take the car to the track (you would have to, right?) and has catered to track day use with “various throttle response and engine performance maps, including anti-lag adjustment”. And if you’re thinking of ‘Lordy’, there’s also a WRC-style ‘fly-off’ hydraulic handbrake that automatically disengages the center differential to remove drive to the rear wheels. That means the P25 is tailor-made to handle all manner of silliness.
That’s a good thing, because the P25 isn’t cheap, as you’d expect. For one, there will only ever be 25 of these (obviously), and for another – in case the description above didn’t tell you – it’s about as close to a road rally car as you’ll ever get. Accordingly, Prodrive will charge £460,000 plus VAT for each individual sample. Big bucks, sure – but if these don’t disappear off Banbury’s shelves like hot cakes, we’ll be eating our PH brand hats. In fact, with Goodwood imminent and runs in the development car heading up the hill, we expect they’ll all be gone by the end of the week.
Prodrive Chairman David Richards said: “The legendary blue Subarus brings back memories of an exceptional era in WRC and it was the Impreza 22B that brought this rally car performance to the streets. By redesigning this car using the latest technologies and materials, the Prodrive P25 pays homage to its roots and there will be few else that can match its performance on the open road. So I believe we’ve achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza of all time.” Deliveries to the lucky few are set to begin later this year.