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Silver 2K RS Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ever wonder what it takes to turn your Sube into a WRC contender?

Blantantly stolen without permission from

> Making a good Impreza

The Subaru Impreza WRC is one of the most significant cars in the history of world rallying. When the first design emerged in 1996 it not only signalled the start of the World Rally Car era, but also the first sign of Prodrive boss David Richards' plans to take rallying to a wider audience.

Richards' famous instruction to his designers was to create a car that "looked like it was doing 100mph even when it was stood still in a car park." The stunning body shape was designed by Peter Stevens, the aerodynamicist behind the McLaren F1 road car, and perfectly met Richards' criteria.

The car lived up to its looks by starting 1997 with three straight wins in the hands of Piero Liatti, Kenneth Eriksson and Colin McRae. The latter seemed set for his second title only for the Subaru's two main teething troubles to wipe out his first advantage. A series of cambelt failures robbed the team of an enormous number of points before the part was redesigned, by which time there was trouble brewing between the engineers and their lead driver over which specification car to use on gravel, as McRae vehemently objected to the 'wide track' model the team preferred.

The following year was a similar story but with fewer highs before the lows. This time it was another recurring engine problem that hampered the Subaru. Even when it was running reliably it wasn't always as fast as it should have been, mainly because Pirelli were lagging behind on tyre development.

Problems continued in early 1999 as the team struggled to make a new fly-by-wire gearbox work reliably. Rumours even circulated that Subaru would pull the plug on the problem after nearly a year without a win, but then back-to-back triumphs on the punishing roads of Argentina and Greece proved that the Impreza was not as fragile as everyone had thought.

Subaru has never stopped updating and reworking the Impreza, but introducing the very different WRC2000 three events into the 2000 season meant that the team had to cope with all the new car teething troubles (of which there were no shortage) in the middle of the season. It was a similar story last season when the 44S version marked another step forward and another clutch of brave technological advances. It was also the first time that the aesthetic appearance of the car had significantly. There were teething troubles as ever, but this time the car rapidly became a consistent frontrunner, if probably not the absolute fastest on the stages. This improved reliability allowed Richard Burns to take his Impreza to a last gasp title.

The Subaru Impreza is an excellent all-round car that can win on any surface, even if the Ford Focus and Peugeot 206 probably had a slight edge in terms of out-and-out speed for much of last season. It remains on Pirelli tyres but the company have made great strides since the frustrations of 1998.

If the whole package can stay as reliable as it was by the end of 2001 then the new season could be another very successful one for the car that changed the face of rallying.


DIMENSIONS: 4340x1770x1390mm
WEIGHT: 1230kg
TYRES: Pirelli


Engine: Flat 4-cylinder, 16 valve, turbocharged

Capacity: 1994cc

Bore: 92.0mm

Stroke: 75.0mm

Engine Management: Subaru programmable electronic engine management system

Power: 300bhp @ 5500rpm (rumored to be much more, SWRT won't say)

Torque: 60kg-m/4000rpm

Exhaust System: Ceramic coated, lagged with fire-proof material and aluminium covered. Fitted with two, three-way catalytic converters

Turbo Charger: IHI - with WRC regulation 34mm restrictor

Spark Plugs: NGK

Fuel tank capacity: 80 Litres


Transmission: Prodrive 6-speed electro-hydraulic

Torque Split front/rear: 50/50

Differentials: Electro-hydraulically controlled

Drive System: 4 wheel-drive

Suspension Front: MacPherson strut

Suspension Rear: MacPherson strut with longitudinal and transverse link

Brakes: Alcon / Prodrive 305mm ventilated discs and 4-pot calipers front and Rear. For asphalt use, front brakes are 366mm ventilated discs with 6-pot water-cooled calipers

Steering: Power assisted rack and pinion

Tyres: Pirelli

Shock Absorbers: Bilstein / Prodrive, fully adjustable with remote reservoirs

Wheels: OZ cast magnesium

Onboard Systems:

Data Systems: 3 microprocessor controllers; one each for engine, transmission and data-logging, joined by CAN-bus link

Driver Display: LCD colour monitor with eight selectable data screens

Radio Equipment: Kenwood


Overall length: 4405mm

Overall width: 1770mm

Overall height: 1390mm

Wheelbase: 2535mm

Car weight: 1230kgs (WRC regulation min.)
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