On October twenty second, a day after the thirtieth anniversary of the Subaru Impreza, I joined 250 different Subaru otaku (nerds) and a really particular visitor on the foot of Mt. Haruna.
It was an effective way to have a good time a automotive which has an enormous following, not simply with rally followers however fanatics from all corners of tuner tradition.
In my final Impreza put up, I primarily centered on the rally historical past of the Impreza WRX. This time I’ll allow you to take pleasure in a group of the completely different types homeowners take with their automobiles in Japan.
I do know this can be a little little bit of Impreza overload, however I promise we received’t topic you to an excessive amount of extra obnoxious rumble within the coming days.
The GC chassis code is iconic, however the GF wagon can also be massively in style with Subarists who’ve canines. You get the identical dealing with and turbo boxer engine because the WRX, with some additional headroom within the again for additional members of the family or tenting gear. The Gravel Categorical pictured above is among the rarest Imprezas on the market.
Not solely is it uncommon, however the GF-body Gravel Categorical is a good instance of what makes Subaru, and fashions just like the Impreza and Forester so properly beloved.
Enjoyable reality: The Gravel Categorical was the forerunner to the Outback Sport and really a lot a prototype for the upcoming Forester.
Subaru will not be the most important automotive producer in Japan, however it’s positively probably the most area of interest.
So who precisely does Subaru attraction to? Properly, other than rally nerds, I might say principally outdoorsy varieties. Individuals who love a mountain getaway, some mountain climbing, snowboarding or perhaps even a spot of canoeing.
Folks usually say Subarus are nice at doing plenty of issues, however not likely glorious at doing something, and this has a component of reality.
If we return to the Impreza’s bread and butter – rally – then we are able to see that the mannequin was designed to sort out all types of terrain. From tight mountain roads, to snowy tundra and harsh rocky deserts. Throw in just a few tarmac particular levels and it’s simple to see what was required of the little automotive. It wanted to do a lot of issues properly.
To be truthful, it does plenty of issues very properly certainly.
So, this pedigree in off-road motorsports has made the Subaru platform among the best for all-round journey. I’m keen on a little bit of the outside way of life, and I’ve owned three Foresters in my life to show it.
In Japan, the normal forte of the Impreza can in all probability be categorised into rally, time assault, road and gymkhana, of which there’s some overlap.
A lot of the automobiles on the day have been arrange for quick road, as a result of nobody is de facto driving full-on time assault, rally or gymkhana automobiles round on the road right here. Except after all you’re hardcore like Junya Matsushita, who day by day drives his ex-WRC automotive, R30WRC.
Junya-san was the primary individual in Japan to be rocking an actual WRC automotive on the streets. It’s lacking all the unique livery, however continues to be within the traditional colors.
They’re not all blue and gold although; there are purple ones too, that are fairly uncommon.
Additionally falling into the uncommon Impreza class have been a bunch of Kind RAs and the S201. The latter has a barely extra highly effective engine than a typical Impreza, however a a lot uglier physique equipment. The Tommykaira was one other particular version which I’ve by no means seen on the road.
…As Lengthy As It’s Blue & Gold
Then there have been L555REP, R17WRC and the aforementioned R30WRC – a few of the automobiles that helped the Impreza turn into an icon, and which manufacturing mannequin Imprezas aspire to be like.
Akira Teshima (pictured above proper) was additionally integral to the design of the unique GC and GF Imprezas, and it was fairly cool to have him strolling round casually chatting to homeowners in regards to the automobiles they love a lot.
The Sonic Blue Mica paint and gold Speedline or O.Z. Racing wheel mixture actually gave the Impreza rockstar seems to be. Then, when the coupe model got here together with its enormous wheel arches and engorged fender flares, it was one of many coolest-looking rally automobiles of the century. Inform me in any other case.
I’m unsure if Subaru missed a trick by not providing extra wide-body variations of the Impreza, or if it was a genius transfer that catapulted values of ex-works rally automobiles and the 22B into the stratosphere of supercars.
Nonetheless, there are just a few first rate wide-body kits on the market in the event you like dressing up.
There are few automobiles on the market which have a following of followers who is likely to be labeled fanatics, maniacs or otaku. The Toyota AE86, the Honda Civic and the Subaru Impreza are on the listing. The connection? Motorsports. There’s additionally a component of championing the underdog, the David and Goliaths of the automotive world, reaching greatness from humble beginnings.
No matter it’s, there’s positively one thing particular in regards to the Subaru Impreza, and I for one look ahead to the subsequent 30 years of obnoxious rumble.