1999 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Version 5 Coupe
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 2000cc|
Based on the humble Impreza, Subaru's mighty WRX ranks right at the top of the list of motoring cult cars. The combination of all-wheel drive grip, turbocharging and, crucially, a keen sale price all contributed to this legend - not to mention images of the signature blue and gold works cars howling through the forests in the World Rally Championship. Introduced in 1992, the WRX shared the underpinnings of the previous Liberty/Legacy RS, but each part was refined, enhanced and packaged in the Impreza’s smaller body. Australian cars received a 155 kW version of the EJ20, 2.0-litre horizontally-opposed turbo 4-cylinder coupled to the familiar constant all-wheel drive system. A four-speed auto was made available, though the vast majority of buyers went with the five-speed manual. Acceleration was phenomenal, easily a match for the local V8s of the day, but it was the extraordinary levels of grip the WRX had that made it a legend. The original body 'GC8' Impreza WRXs went through to 2000 before the GD chassis was adopted- today the GC8 remains the choice of Subaru enthusiasts for its purer shape and direct association with the successful rally cars of the era. The flagship two-door STI model arrived in 1999, priced at $60,000 and limited to just 399 cars for the Australian market. Armed with a 206kW version of the fabulous boxer motor thanks to forged pistons, hollow stem inlet valves, sodium-filled exhaust valves and higher compression ratio, the STI redlined at 8200rpm - good for a 0-100 km/h dash of just 4.9 seconds - and left a legacy that has endured for almost 20 years since its launch.