Special Editions

The Subaru Impreza Turbo used to be a difficult car to get hold of here in the UK. This has come about due mainly to the exploits of one man, Colin McRae in the RAC Rally a couple of years ago. Up until then the Impreza Turbo was not that popular, but after his win in November 1994 and subsequent championship win in 1995 everyone wanted one and the waiting list just grew and grew.


McRae Special Edition

To commemorate Colin McRaes' success in the International Rally scene and the 1994 RAC win in particular, Subaru released 200 off (probably 199 as no.13 is unlikely to have been produced) limited edition Series McRae prepared by Prodrive. Finished in a very limited Rally Blue mica colour scheme with gold 6.5"x16" Speedline Safari alloy wheels, and special McRae decals. The interior was fitted out with Recaros front and the rear seats and side panels retrimmed in the same Le Mans/Avus material, special individual numbered badging and a factory fitted electric tilt/slide sunroof (in a RALLY car replica?)

On the road price was 22,999.


Unfortunately Colin did not win the championship in 1996 but Subaru retained the manufacturers title on the Catalunyan round and to celebrate this a limited edition Subaru Impreza Turbo Catalunya was released. Finished in an exclusive black mica paint (a hint of red metalic), colour matched door mirrors, Catalunya badging on the side and rear it is also fitted with gold versions of the standard 15" alloys fitted to the Sport.

The interior has been refitted out with black material, trimmed with red on the seats, and the instrument dials have a carbon fibre surround.

Carbon fibre dash

There is a short rally style gear knob, but disappointingly this is just as it says a shorter gear knob, NOT a quick shift. Finally there are Catalunya badged car mats, air conditioning as standard and a individually numbered badge on the dash to indicate which of the 200 you own (again probably 199 off).

Red/black seats!

First released in March 1997, for an on the road price of 21,610. The official Subaru UK Press Release is available here.

Click here to read about my own Catalunya.


For 1998 to celebrate winning the World Rally Manufacturers title for the third time in the row, Subaru UK have released the "Terzo", which means third in Italian. It is also the third special edition to the UK. There are 333 of these cars, all supplied in an exclusive blue (colour code 74F) similar to but not the same blue as the WRC cars, with gold 16 inch alloys and special "Terzo" badging on the sides and rear.

Interior the seats are trimmed in grey 'Alcantara' (a suede-effect) interior trim, with black 'Jersey' surround on seats. Note the rear seats do not split/drop to allow greater loading space. As with the Catalunya there are embossed carpets, interior plaque (no number 13 but I have had it confirmed that no. 334 exists!), and air conditioning. The car also comes fitted as standard with a Cobra Thatcham category 1 remote locking alarm/immobiliser system all in for a price of 22,995.

Seen also outside of the UK, but not badged as a Terzo, the colour code is E4 and the trim code is 830. See Australia in particular below.


22B STi type UK

For most of 1998 there were rumours that the awsome 22B seen in Japan and in the WRX Frenzy section would be coming to the UK as an official import rather than a grey.

With a car sitting prominantly at the front of the Subaru UK stand at the 1998 NEC Motor Show, it was rumour no more! Cost of the car at the Motor Show was listed as 39,950. 15 specially selected owners were hand picked from hundreds who applied and certain terms and conditionas had to be met, of which you had to be an owner of a Subaru at present, guarantee that you would not sell it on within a certain period, and be with one of the dealerships who met certain Subaru UK criteria.


Why 22B STi UK? Well the original 22B was from a run of 400, but the UK cars are over and above this with an extra 24 being made (the other 9 destined for other markets, one rumoured to be Australia). The standard 22B does not meet the SVA requirements and as such needs a few modifications such as rear fog light, fuel filler restriction etc. These modifications have been carried out by Prodrive, and at the same time a couple of other extras have been done to make the cars slightly unique against the many "grey" 22B already here.

Final drive gear ratio from 4.444 to 3.900
Speed limiter deletion
Height adjustable multi-reflector headlamps (as seen on the MY99)
High power driving lamps (not shown here..presumably the covers go....they do as the cars arrive with the covers in the boot)
Thatcham Cat1 Alarm/Immobiliser remote locking system with window closer
Facia to accomodate European DIN ICE
4 speakers
Special interior mats
3 year/60,000 mile warranty
3 year home and roadside assistance
6 year anti-corrosion guarantee
additional anti-corrosion treatment

Required for SVA and would be done on any imported 22B:-
MPH speedo
Unleaded fuel filler neck conversion
Fog light conversion (not mentioned in official blurb oops)

You will be able to tell the UK specification car over the original 400 by the rear boot which has three different badges and logos.....


An interior package might also be offered such as proper Recaros etc as seen in the Prodrive interior upgrade. For more details on the 22B see the WRX Frenzy section.

The car has already been reviewed by several magazines. Autocar stated that "The 22B comes to life over a good road like no other car we've driven." but they did find the car slightly raw needing to be driven at 8/10 or more to be fully appreciated.

The UK TV programme Driven on Ch.4 also supposedly tested a 22B-UK head to head with an M3 and Audi S4 but the car was in fact a grey import and the test was unfairly rigged for TV! A burnt out clutch by unsympathetic presenters during rehersal meant the car would "only" do a 5.2s 0-60mph instead of the sub 5s they had been achieving. The blue smoke seen during the run was not tire smoke :-( During the handling test the car was set up so it looked good for the cameras with "the 'rse hanging out" which did nothing for the timed slalom. Yes we know the 22B hasn't got adjustable suspension. Driven forgot to mention that this car was very special with Ledar Type C adjustable suspension. Pictures of the car, which is owned by an IWOC member can be seen on the WRX Frenzy pages and also in the members meet section of the Impreza Web Owners Club (IWOC).

One final interesting fact is that Subaru UK found themselves having to delay the introduction of the cars to 1999 as it was discovered that there have already been around 50 (the limit on any one type in any one year) 22B imported into the UK through the SVA!


How about a Richard Burns special edition to celebrate the return of the English driver to the Subaru camp? Enter the RB5. Why 5? His car number he is driving under in the WRC is 5. The official Subaru UK Press Release is available here.

Specification :-

WR Sport Performance Package:-

Rather than concentrating on unusable top end power the Performance Package developes most of its benefit in the all important mid-range where it is in its element for over taking and real world driving.

N.B. the WR Sport Performance Package does not include Suspension Kit, which should be ordered separately and fitted at your dealership.

Ok how about a picture.....;-) RB5
Note this is the RB5 with the performance package (as indicated by the rear wing). Also its GREY! Steel blue indeed.
If you want a BIG 976x637 (137k) picture then click here RB5

The RB5 has been awarded a number of times and won quite a few head to head road car tests in various magaazines. The main characteristic that wins people over is the handling and EVO pronounced mid 99 that the RB5 was the best handling Impreza ever. It should be noted though that basically under the Steel Blue paintwork the RB5 is an MY99 with 17in wheels. There is effectively no difference in the suspension department.

The other confusion lays with many magazines only testing and thus concluding the RB5 comes with the performance pack as standard which is not the case. Remember that this was an option and again any MY99 or MY00 can have exactly the same Prodrive Performance Pack fitted. The June 2000 EVO magazine also incorrectly states in their Impreza history that this pack breaks and cancels the warranty.


Prodrive P1

Rumours of the car surfaced way back in May 1999, and the 22nd September issue of Autocar had a scoop two page article with pictures of a slightly modified white WRX Type R also confirming the er... fact that there are rumours ;-) The article had some wild inaccuracies which could be pulled to pieces by any Impreza enthusiast.....anyway two weeks on...


Autocar 6th October 1999 front page! (subscriptions 01795 414816)

Autocar magazine made up for the inaccuracies by bringing the ultimate scoop in a 6 page article on the Prodrive P1, a car predicted upon these very pages. Developed from an STi type R, it is modified for UK (and European) tastes to specifications laid out by Prodrive who were the catalysts for the project. For further details have a look at the P1 page.


With the P1 being released there was no turbo special edition in 2000 but it was the turn of the 2 litre Sport to get the Special Edition treatment. The standard Sport was upgraded :-

Compare the standard red mica Sport picture with the black special editions.


UK300

The UK300 special edition was officially released in the UK on Wednesday 23rd May. The official information can be found on the UK300 Special Edition page. Following in the footsteps of the RB5, Terzo, Catalunya and McRae special editions, the UK300 ofers something a bit special in limited edition form. This was also the first release of the PPP on the MY2001.


Subaru UK Special Edition Impreza 2.0 litre GX Sport

The Limited Edition GX Sport was released in August 2002.

GX Sport copyright Subaru UK

Available in dark blue mica, silver, or black the GX Sport is available in limited numbers from your Subaru UK dealer for an on the road price of 15,995. The price includes the Morrette front headlamp upgrade, and WRC style rear wing. Alloys remain disapointingly at 15in though.


WR1

 

Other markets have their own special editions and here are a few details obtained from a couple of IWOC members....

In Europe the "555" special edition is the model over and above the standard model, and seems to be released every year.

96 Model '555' (France)

-Black WRX bucket seats trimmed with grey alcantara
-Black dashboard
-555 Blue paintwork
-Gold wheels
-No split rear seat
-Nardi leather steering wheel and gear knob
-Cost FRF165 000 (compared to FRF 155 000 for standard model) Exchange rate was about 8F to the

97 Model - '555' (France)

Red trim on black seats (all models now have bucket seats and Nardi steering wheel)
Blue paintwork
Gold wheels
Cost FRF 166 500 (FRF 159 000 for standard model)

97 Model 'WRX' (France)

As for '555' plus:
Metallic blue paint (like the WRC)
WRX sticker and number on boot, front wings, and inside (very tacky and cheap).

98 Model 'WRX' (France)

Black paint
Gold wheels

Many thanks to Mark Mansfield for the above info.


Netherlands

Dutch 555 special edition

Dutch 555 Special
(with thanks to Yvo T.)

Dutch 555 Special Dutch 555 Special Dutch 555 Special Dutch 555 Special
(with thanks to Harry de G.)

Stars 25 SE

In 1999 to celebrate 25 years in Holland, Subaru have released a special edition Impreza called the "Stars 25". Available in two colours, 40 off in black and 120 off in blue steel (known in STi colour as "cool grey").
Gold wheels
Colour coded side skirts, mirrors
Blue/black alcatara seats
Brushed aluminium facia on dashboard?
Priced F3500 more than the standard car

The car is very similar specification to the Italian cool grey special edition seen below.


Austria

Austrian SE  Austrian SE
Austrian Special Edition (with thanks to Romeo D.)


Italy

1997 No details apart from this picture (source unknown). Note similar seats to the Catalunya.

The 1999 special across Europe seems to have been the cool grey (ok steel blue) as seen on the RB5 and Stars 25, and now seen here in Italy. Thanks to Bavagnoli Ariberto for the pictures.

Italian Special Italian Special Italian Special Italian Special


Germany

German MY99 turbo "Classic" Special Edition. A 5 door in black mica and a wood and leather inerior, makes for a different special as seen in the cool grey offerings elsewhere in Europe.

turbo classic  turbo classic  turbo classic  turbo classic 

Many thanks to Gary Franks for the pictures


Australia

Previous limited runs - in '97 (possibly as part of '97 model run-out) released 'ClubSpec' - either four or five door, special blue mica paint, gold 15" wheels, red inserts on seats, special 'ClubSpec' decals.

Limited edition 4 and 5 door - Silver Anniversary model - limited numbers, special black mica paint, gold wheels (std '98 config.), CD player, leather trim on non-standard seats (seats appear to be from the non-turbo RX model - not wrap around). Automatic transmission. All else standard.

Many thanks to William Fletcher and Ralph Douglas for the above info.

Club Spec Evo 2 - Specal blue mica paint, quick shift gear change, 16 inch gold alloys, seats and side trim as per STi3 (red/black with grey suede), Nardi steering wheel, Leather shroud for gearstick rather than moulded gater, Tracker security system, Club Spec decals. AU $47k on the road.

WRX Club spec evo 2 

Many thanks to Perry R. for the above photograph. The cars specification is very similar to the UK Terzo.

1999 - Club spec EVO 3 - Released May 99 Blue Steel Metallic, Gold Wheels, Blue Alcantara and Jersey seats, Colour-keyed side spoiler, rear underspoiler, door handles and exterior mirrors, Metallic-designed instrument panel, Keyless entry system, EVO 3 Stickers.
150 Manual Sedans $41,690

2000 - Club Spec EVO 4 - Released March 00 Cashmere Yellow, Black Wheels, Yellow Seat Inserts, Single CD Player, Door Mounted Tweeters, Each Car Individually Numbered, EVO 4 Stickers.
250 Sedans $42,260
50 Hatches

Many thanks to Shane.

1999 also saw the official import of some 400 off modified WRX 2 door into Australia. Differences between the Japanese specification type R and the Australian 2 door have been observed as follows....

Clear rear windows rather than dark.
No active centre diff, just normal viscous coupling.
No Intercooler water sprayer.
Old style STi III suspension (ie: not inverted struts)
Large centre speedo and small rev-counter.
No technical motorised folding mirrors.
Small rear brakes (ie: not ventilated)
'Long' gearing as per std car.

Thanks to Phil Gardener for the above info. Phil owns a Japanese specification type R and got to see the Australian version whilst on holiday.

2000 saw a 4 door STi imported.


Japan

For the ultimate special editions nip over to the Japanese WRX Frenzy pages and look up the 22B-STi !


USA and Canada

The turbo was not available in its original format in North America due to emmisions restrictions and unconfirmed rumour of failing a specific crash/impact test but this does not stop them having any special editions. The Impreza is available in 2.5 litre normally aspirated form known as the 2.5RS. For 1999 this is being revamped and restyled and comes in coupe 2 door form.....

RS Coupe  RS Coupe  RS Coupe 

Many thanks to Gail B. for the above pictures.


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Page last updated 9th March 2003
Copyright 1996/7/8/9/2000/1/2/3 Steve Breen
All photographs of McRae, UK300, GX Sport and RB5 specification cars on this page copyright © Subaru UK with thanks to Subaru UK Press Dept. Copyright of photographs remain with source. Used here by permission and may NOT be copied for any purpose.