Subaru launched the first Impreza as a relatively boring family saloon in 1992. Its flat-four boxer engine gave it a low centre of gravity and it wasn’t long before before the turbocharged WRX models were introduced, so-named for World Rally eXperimental. In the UK they were initially sold as the 2000 Turbo.
Meanwhile, Prodrive in the UK had been running the Subaru World Rally team since 1989, initially with the Subaru Legacy, driven by the late Colin McRae, among others. When the Impreza Turbo became available, Prodrive switched to that, resulting in three consecutive Constructor’s World Championships, 1995-97, and Driver’s Championships for Colin McRae in 1995, the late Richard Burns in 2001 and Petter Solberg in 2003.
This 1994 road car was one of the very first Subaru Impreza Turbos to be imported into the UK. Then when it was just six months old, it went to Prodrive to become the company’s first official upgrade to a roadgoing Impreza – this at a time when Prodrive was responsible for the Subaru works rally cars. This car is marked as PD001, and can be regarded as the predecessor to the famous limited edition Series McRae road cars introduced in 1995 to celebrate Colin McRae’s World Rally Championship win.
The car has been fully restored, as you’ll see in the pictures. Later Prodrive cars were usually fitted with Recaro interiors, but this is unusual in having a standard interior in, being the first of its kind. Its owner, a dedicated Subaru collector, has gone to a lot of effort to retain the car’s originality, and is so passionate about early Imprezas that he now sources and sells previously unobtainable repair panels for the early models, as Automotive Repair Panels, along with his business Silverline Oils.