The Story Of Subaru's STI Impreza

A Rally Legend That Is Near And Dear To My Heart...

10w ago

Today I am going to talk about what is possibly my favorite car ever made the Subaru Impreza WRX STI, a car that dominated rallying for almost two decades!!! And when it wasn't demolishing rally stages, it was showing off on the streets. As a little kid my dad had the most basic, beat up and worn out Subaru Legacy you could possibly imagine, but in my mind it was the greatest car ever made!!! That car that I rode around in as a toddler is what helped me get into cars (That and having a mechanic for a dad) and especially Subaru's, every year we'd go to the Houston Autoshow, where all of the latest and greatest cars would be shown. I didn't run to go see the Ferrari's, Porsche's or Lamborghini's I went straight to go see the new STI Impreza because that was my dream car! Not the Bugatti Veyron which had just came out and smashed all of the records, not a Lamborghini Murcielgo but a humble compact saloon that packed a serious punch under the hood!!! Anyways enough with my childhood lets get to the cars actual story...

The Story Begins...

Before the STI was demolishing rally stages, Subaru had the Legacy RS which was a high performance version of the everyday Legacy sedan. The RS had a 5-speed manual transmission, and a familiar 2.0L turbocharged flat-four making 220hp and 200 LB-FT of torque this engine was the EJ20F4 which would later power the WRX and STI Imprezas that we all know and love. Then in 1992 the first WRX was unveiled, it had a modified version of the engine that powered the Legacy RS and made 240hp it also had been put in a smaller, sleeker body and we got our first taste of what was too come from Subaru. Sadly only the Japanese market version was this good though, in Europe they only had 210hp and America didn't even get the WRX. Then in February 1994, the STI was unveiled making 247hp and 228 LB-FT of torque (At least it was rated at that, most JDM manufacturers at the time lied, so it could be making 300hp) going to all 4 wheels, Subaru now got serious about rallying.

Rally Dominance..

From 1995 to 2003 Subaru would win three Constructors titles and three Drivers championships with the help of the late rallying legend Colin McRae, Richard Burns, and Peter Solberg who won Drivers Championships in 1995, 2001 and 2003 respectively. The STI was dominating in front of millions, and stealing the hearts of young kids like me. I especially loved watching Colin McRae, whose World Rally Blue Subaru is more iconic than the Queen of England. During his time with Subaru he held a then record for wins with 25 in WRC competition and helped capture three consecutive Constructors titles in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He remains as my favorite rally car driver of all time. Over the years since Peter Solberg won the last drivers championship for Subaru they have had less success, but have still continued to make fantastic cars for the people and make incredible feats.

Ken Blocks Record Jump...

Way back in 2006 Ken Block took a heavily modified 2002 Impreza WRX STI and set a then world record jump of 171 feet!!! That is absolutely insane for a car to travel that far through the air! This amazing feat helped propel Ken Block into one of the most iconic drivers of all time and turned him into an internet star, and even an appearance on Top Gear! This car has recently been in the news because it will soon be up for auction for charity, so that is pretty cool too.

The STI Through The Years...

Their have been 6 generations through the years, my personal favorite being the blob-eye generation from 2000-2007. With over 300hp in each generation and a perfect manual transmission, the STI has always been the best bang for your buck car of choice. I especially love the low rumble of that turbocharged flat-four, or as Jeremy said in the Africa Special "A Sound Which All Over The World Heralds The Arrival Of A Moron" I know I disagree with him, but I think his statement is hilarious!!! Now recently there was news about the next STI having a CVT in it and that is not good news. The CVT is the worst possible transmission to put in a performance car, they are usually in hybrids, basic family cars and electric cars, never in a high performance rally car! So please Subaru don't make this mistake.

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Comments (24)

  • wow, ken block did that jump at 5mph?????

      2 months ago
  • You brought me back my childhood

      2 months ago
  • I hope they don’t put that transmission in.

      2 months ago
  • I still don't get your love for my old beater Legacy, Subaru's are awesome though

      2 months ago
  • Great article, I love a good Impreza. I am a ford fanboy, but damn the GC8s look good, and the story of how mcrae one it was an amazing feat

      2 months ago
    • I have always been a Ford guy too but Subaru has always been tied for number one, I mean if you grew up in the mid 90's to early 2000's then you where either Subaru or Evo and I chose the STI

        2 months ago
    • I was a little bit of an evo fan, but I’ve grown to like both

        2 months ago