It’s 25 years since Prodrive debuted the two door Impreza World Rally Car (WRC), which inspired the Subaru Impreza 22B. Only 424 of these special edition road cars were manufactured and over time it has achieved cult status as the ultimate turbo charged four wheel drive car of its era.
Now 25 years later using the latest technology and materials, Prodrive has reimagined what this car would have been today. Just 25 cars will be produced, each with an original two-door Impreza WRX chassis at its core. This is the very same chassis used in the first Impreza WRC, but now with reduced weight, a more powerful engine and improved vehicle dynamics.
Extensive use of carbon composite means the car weighs less than 1200 kg. The use of the latest 2.5 litre flat four ‘boxer’ engine producing over 400 bhp and 600 Nm of torque, combined with a six speed semi-automatic gearbox, WRC-derived launch control and turbo anti-lag, means the P25 will reach 100kph from rest in under 3.5 seconds.
Weight has been removed from the chassis by manufacturing the boot, bonnet, roof, sills, door mirrors, front and rear quarters, WRC style rear wing and bumpers from carbon composite, while inside there are optional lightweight race seats with carbon door cards and a lithium-ion battery.
The engine is based on Subaru’s latest 2.5 litre cylinder block, but has been totally re-engineered by Prodrive’s powertrain team with bespoke internal components, including new cylinder liners, pistons, con rods, and a valve train with variable cam timing. There is a Garrett motorsport turbo with a high performance intercooler and airbox and an Akrapovic titanium and stainless steel racing exhaust system.
The engine is mated to a six speed sequential gearbox with helical cut gears and semi-automatic shift via a paddle on the steering column, giving precise gear changes in 80 milliseconds. The car has a WRC-style launch control system, which combines the fly-by-wire throttle and clutch in the floor mounted pedal box to automatically take the car through first, second and third gear to achieve the optimal acceleration from standstill without any driver intervention.
Power is delivered to all four wheels via a drivetrain which features an adjustable active centre differential and limited-slip differentials front and rear. McPherson strut suspension has been retained, but with machined aluminium uprights which can be tuned for camber and geometry optimised for the wider 1770mm track. The Bilstein dampers are adjustable for compression and rebound while the springs and anti-roll bars optimise the tarmac handling.
Stopping power is provided by AP Racing brakes with 380mm vented discs and six piston calipers at the front and 350mm vented discs and four piston calipers at the rear with floating bells and multiple pad options. Prodrive 8.5 x 19 rims are fitted with Bridgestone Potenza 235/35/19 tyres which are matched to the dampers.
The driver dashboard is a full width high-definition multi-page display including a data logger. For those wishing to take the car on track the driver can select from various throttle response and engine performance maps, including anti-lag adjustment. There is also a WRC style ‘fly-off’ hydraulic handbrake, which automatically disengages the centre differential to remove drive to the rear wheels. This is in addition to the standard electric park brake.
While Prodrive’s focus has been on the driving experience, the interior has also been upgraded, recreating an authentic late 1990s Impreza interior using a combination of leather, alcantara and carbon trim. The P25 can carry four passengers, but there is also the option to remove the rear seats and have a partial safety cage fitted.
Peter Stevens, who styled the original Impreza WRC in 1997, as well as subsequent Prodrive limited edition Subarus, has restyled a number of features of the P25. Peter has worked alongside the Prodrive engineering team, overseen by technical director, David Lapworth, who was responsible for developing the first Impreza WRC 25 years ago.
“The iconic blue Subarus bring back memories of an extraordinary era of the WRC and it was the Impreza 22B that brought this rally car performance to the road. By reimagining this car using the latest technologies and materials the Prodrive P25 pays homage to its roots and there will be little else able to match its performance on the open road. I therefore believe we have achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza ever.” – David Richards, Prodrive chairman
The first P25 development car will make several runs up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, before embarking on an extensive test and development programme.
The 25 production cars will be built at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury, UK with the first being delivered to customers later this year.
The P25 will be UK road registered and priced at £460,000 + VAT.