From 22B to the latest STi, we celebrate Subaru’s awesome AWD rally fighter with a parade.
Welcome to the first of our new Motor1.com Car Parade monthly video series, showcasing the evolution of cool cars throughout automotive history. We start this adventure with everyone's favourite rally-bred machine, the famous WRX.
Subaru began making waves in the world of rallying in the early 1990s with the first-generation Legacy. Though it saw some success, a smaller car would be better suited for the demanding stages of the World Rally Championship, something that led to the development of the Impreza WRX (which stood for World Rally eXperimental).
The updated WRX STi first appeared in 1994, but it was Colin McRae and his iconic 555 Impreza that scored the manufacturer its first World Rally Championship title in 1995. That marked the first of three consecutive WRC titles won by the Subaru which, in addition to the highly collectible and supremely awesome Impreza 22B (below), cemented the WRX as one of legendary nameplates in the 1990s era of Japanese performance.
Things changed a bit in 2000 with the introduction of the second-generation WRX. Aside from the polarising 'bug eye' styling, the car was a bit bigger and it didn’t enjoy quite the same racing success as its predecessor.
The third-generation WRX was introduced in 2007 as a five-door hatchback, something that split option among WRX purists. Subaru later revived the saloon format allowing buyers to make the choice themselves. Most people considered the restyle an improvement, but this is also the era in which Subaru quit WRC.
Today, Subaru still pays homage to the WRX’s rally history with classic World Rally Blue paint and iconic gold wheels – perhaps the only car that can pull off the look. The WRX STI Final Edition marks the end of the road for this model in the UK...for now.