Prodrive is back to building racy Subarus.
Twenty-five years ago, in 1997, Subaru won the constructor's title in the World Rally Championship for the final time. That same year, Colin McRae famously lost to Tommi Makinen in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV by a single point.
Few people know that Subaru had almost nothing to do with it. While it's true the famous 555 (a British tobacco firm) car was a Scooby, Subaru ended its direct involvement with rallying in the late 1980s. It placed the team under the stewardship of Prodrive, and the entire operation was moved to England.
Now, Prodrive is back to "recapture the essence" of that famous 555 Subaru with a reimagined take on the classic Subaru WRX.
It's called the Prodrive P25, and it draws inspiration from the Subaru 22B, easily one of the most iconic Impreza models ever made. It won't be cheap, but most restomods aren't. Production will be extremely limited - only 25 in total, further celebrating the years since the final victory.
The car will be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine, producing more than 400 horsepower. That famous flat-four will be mated to a six-speed, semi-automatic paddle-shift transmission.
That might raise some eyebrows, but we're betting this will be a rally-style sequential gearbox, not unlike what you'd find in some of McRae's other cars. While Prodrive doesn't mention it in the press release, there's no way this car will be anything but AWD. It'll also be light, thanks to "extensive use of carbon fiber and a lightweight chassis."
The visual inspiration from the 22B is evident, especially at the front. Peter Stevens, who designed the original WRC Impreza, is also behind the P25's design.
Engineering is overseen by another WRC heavyweight, David Lapworth, Prodrive's technical director. By all accounts, this looks to be as close to a reproduced WRC Impreza as you'll be able to get.
"The original 22B Impreza is considered the most iconic of Subarus and highly sought after. We wanted to enhance everything that made that car so special by applying the very latest technology to create our own modern interpretation of a car that's established a place in motoring history," said Prodrive Chairman David Richards.
The P25 will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, and the first cars will be delivered to customers later this year.
While further details are under wraps, for now, we certainly expect to hear more from Prodrive at the FoS. Until then, we'll be watching WRC reruns.