Even we knew the P25 was coming, and that it would look like a two-door Impreza and be very powerful and expensive, we’ll admit we were taken aback by the end result. Admittedly, we haven’t seen it in real life yet – the covers are coming off this Thursday at the Festival of Speed - but there can certainly be no argument that the P25 looks good. After launching the original WRC Impreza 25 years ago, Prodrive says it has ‘re-imagined what this car would have been like today’. Nice work, guys.
And of course it gets better. Those pinched body panels? Carbon composite, the lot. WRC style trunk, hood, roof, side sills, door mirrors, front and rear walls, rear wing and bumpers. Peter Stevens, who designed the WRC version at the time, is responsible for the new look (the rear arches alone make us funny) and Prodrive’s expertise in putting it all back together means the P25 weighs less 1,200kg, despite while retaining the steel monocoque of a WRX.
In this updated, lightweight mix, the company has put Subaru’s latest 2.5-liter flat-four, albeit completely redesigned with custom internal components, including new cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods and a variable cam timing valve train. Oh and there’s also a Garrett motorsport turbo with an upgraded intercooler and airbox, plus Akrapovic titanium and stainless steel racing exhaust system. All told, it makes 400 horsepower and 443 lb ft of torque, and we’ll just go ahead and say the P25 probably sounds as good as it looks.
It’s also going to be serious. Prodrive thinks it will hit 100kph in under 3.5 seconds, in part thanks to a six-speed helical-speed sequential transmission, but also because it will get a WRC-esque launch control system that combines the fly-by-wire throttle and clutch in the floor-mounted pedal box to automatically move the car through first, second and third gear. Just imagine that away from the lights.
Power goes to all four wheels via an adjustable active center differential and front and rear locking differentials (which gives you an idea of how the P25 is going to do). Prodrive has kept the McPherson struts, but claims to have used machined aluminum uprights that can be tuned for the optimum geometry of the car’s wider 1770mm track. New Bilstein dampers are adjustable for compression and rebound, while the springs and anti-roll bars are apparently optimized for asphalt handling. You also get AP Racing brakes and beautiful 19-inch Prodrive rims.
We haven’t seen the inside yet, although the dash is said to feature a full-width, high-definition multi-page display, including a data logger, and there’s the option of a ‘partial’ safety cage and racing seats. Obviously the company expects owners to take the car on the track (it should, right?) And if you think “Lordy”, there’s also a WRC-esque ‘fly-off’ hydraulic handbrake, which automatically disengages the center differential to remove drive to the rear wheels. That means the P25 is tailor-made to accommodate all sorts of follies.
This is a good thing, because predictably, the P25 isn’t cheap. Firstly there will only be 25 of them (obvs) and secondly – if the description above didn’t do it for you – it’s about as close to a rally car for the road as you will ever get. Accordingly, Prodrive will charge £460,000 plus VAT for each copy. A lot of money, of course – but if these don’t disappear from Banbury’s shelves like hot cakes, we’ll be eating our PH-branded caps. In fact, with Goodwood imminent and up the hill in the planned development car, we expect them all to be gone by the end of the week.
David Richards, President of Prodrive, said: “The iconic blue Subarus evokes memories of an extraordinary era of the WRC and it was the Impreza 22B that brought this rally car to the road. By reinventing this car using the latest technologies and materials, the Prodrive P25 pays tribute to its roots and there will be little else that can match its performance on the road. I therefore believe that we have achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza ever.” Deliveries to the happy few will start later this year.