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Design Hiccups: Subaru Impreza WRX STI S201

Perhaps one of the most unknown and unappreciated Imprezas on the STI Lineup, but how it was born? well Here's the answer...

"Alvaro martínez" is a freelance writer who writes articles in his spare time and works making automotive reviews and many many more things


When it comes to talk about the first generation of the Subaru Impreza I can say that the GC8 was a pretty good first attempt at making a practical sports sedan that packed AWD, but what happened in the 2000s when the GC8 was on the end of it's prime? Well on the 2000s the cars we call today “ricers” “chavmobiles” or “nengs” were pretty popular, the neons under the car, the Lamborghini style doors along packing a big banging stereo on the back was something everyone liked, nobody cared if your EG Civic sounded like a hippo with a attack of Diarrhea since it sounded nice for them anyways, even fast and furious 1 came 1 year later entering the new millennium, the 2000s were a crazy era for cars and with that Subaru made a freak… of a bizarre appearance.

The origin: Subaru Electra One (Concept)

To begin... Subaru entered the 2000s with the Subaru Impreza WRX bug eye, as you might remember on a previous blogpost going over the history of the Impreza. the bug eye didn't exactly have a first good impression by the fans of the “Meaneye” Impreza, However Subaru didn't feel finished with the GC8 Platform and they decided that it deserved something else done, something crazy and bizarre for a sendoff..

Subaru picked up the shell of a first gen Subaru Impreza WRX STI RA they took that shell to frankestein's car workshop and after long months of work that creation arrived to the Tokyo motor show, the name of that creation was the Subaru Electra concept, a crazier version of the GC8 Impreza, when it came to appearances the Electra one took cosmetical cues from the base it had been built on, however the aerodynamics were something pretty crazy knowing the difference the Electra one had with the base it had been built on, it certainly looked like a extra from a fast and furious movie set with that crazy body kit.

Despite it's crazy appearance the Electra one received a warm welcome by the fans and it aroused their interest, Subaru got the feedback about the Electra one and got hands on work to please their fans with a proper production model.

The end result: Subaru Impreza WRX STI (S201) GC8.

I know that the first Impression that the Subaru Impreza WRX STI S201 gives is that it's a car designed by a 18yr old that has seen fast and furious 1 along Tokyo drift and tried to cram A LOT of these bodykits in a car, in fact it seems exactly like it but do not be fooled. The aerodynamics of the car were actually pretty functional.

Starting with the body we can see several differences regarding the concept, the Subaru Electra had headlight covers, while in the S201 they were eliminated to preserve the characteristic appearance of the Meaneye GC8 The front bumpers didn't suffer great changes compared to the Electra apart from fitting integrated fog lights in the front openings of the front bumper and above all you can see that it is slightly smaller than the electra itself.

The lateral skirts practically did not change with respect to the electra, but it can be seen that they stand out slightly more than in the electra, if we look at the rear we can see the crazy rear two-stage rear spoiler that was designed for lower wind resistance and improving the downforce, it no longer had "shelves" on the outter part of it as the Electra did,

It can also be seen that the Impreza S201 has a diffuser integrated in the rear bumper as a aerodynamic improvement helping to keep the rear of the Impreza glued to the ground along the rear wing's help, and also the tinted rear lights of the Electra one were replaced by normal STI rear tailights for the production version of the S201.

The S201 also packed a nice detail on the large diameter exhaust featuring the STi logo on the stainless steel finish along revised suspension components finished in the STI's traditional pink.

but what about the interior of the S201? did it really had a change?

A look at the interior...

Well... to begin on the description for the interior I will say that It includes a blue trimmed Instrument cluster with STI logos, gas, temp, differential distribution... it's all in there, the center console of the STI also displays the limited Edition numbering for the S201, packed a radio... the classic blue bucket seats with the Pink STI logos are also not missing on this special edition Impreza, being present also on the gear knob and also equiping a black Momo steering wheel with an airbag packing red stitching.

To be brief, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI S201 was not a ordinary limited edition as the RA edition, the S201 Impreza was sold only in the Japanese market limited to 300 units and only available in the classic Subaru silver color, priced on 3,9 million yen on the japanese market (30k euros aproximately) a pretty cheap price knowing what it was capable of.

The slightly modified EJ20 engine under the hood also packed some components with a red crackle finish, the brakes and wheels were also enhanced in pair with the car's performance, the EJ20 was able of producing 221kw (300cv) and was able to make 353 N/m at only 4k rpm.

Did you enjoy this blogpost? would you drive one of these? Leave a coment below and remember to hit that bump button if you enjoyed this post!

If you wish to know more about the origins of the Impreza check this post below.

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