GRR

Prodrive P25 is the ultimate rally restomod and debuts at FOS

20th June 2022
Bob Murray

It's blue, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive and just a couple of days away now from flying up the Goodwood Hill in what will be a time warp moment for fans of the Subaru Impreza WRC. It’s the Prodrive P25 and its dynamic debut at the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard promises to be one of the festival’s unmissable moments.

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Which is of course as it should be for such an iconic machine freshly recreated a quarter of a century later with modern tech and materials – but, crucially, staying true to the original.  It’s even been engineered and designed by the same people (David Lapworth and Peter Stevens) who worked on the original WRC (World Rally Car) in 1997.

The WRC inspired what has become a Subaru cult car, the 22B, of which only 424 were ever made. It is this definitive turbo four-wheel-drive car of the 1990s that the Prodrive P25 emulates. Prodrive says the P25 is what the 22B would be like today if it were still made.

Prodrive is going to make only 25 of them and development car number one seen here for the first time (before we had only drawings) is the machine to star at Goodwood at the weekend.

We have known it was going to make its debut in West Sussex for a while, but until now details of the car’s spec have been scarce.

Each car is going to be road registered and cost from £552,000 including the vat – not so much the working-class hero any more.

Acceleration? Activate the standard launch control and you’ll get from 0-62mph in under 3.5 seconds. The flat-four engine produces 395PS (295kW) with 600Nm of torque. Weight? Under 1200kg, so 50kg less than the original 22B, as well as more powerful.

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More power, less weight and better performance are the result of a lot of re-engineering and the substitution of key parts with carbon-composites – one reason for that hefty price tag.

All 25 P25s cars will have at their core an original two-door Impreza WRC. It’s instantly recognisable as such, with some notable new styling updates by Mr Stevens, but in reality, is a different beast from a 1997 original.

Boot, bonnet, roof, sills, door mirrors, front and rear quarters, rear wing and bumpers are all newly rendered in carbon composite. Weight saving extends inside with optional lightweight race seats – four of them, or just two and a roll cage if you prefer.

The 19-inch wheels are suspended by the original MacPherson strut suspension, but with machined aluminium uprights which can be tuned for camber to optimise the P25’s wider 1,770mm track.  The Bilstein dampers are also adjustable. The rims are shod with Bridgestone Potenza 235/35/19 tyres and the brakes are AP Racing vented discs with six-piston callipers up front.

The engine is Subaru’s latest 2.5-litre boxer unit but extensively revised and upgraded by Prodrive in Banbury. New internals include bespoke cylinder liners, pistons, con rods, and a valve train with variable cam timing. There is a Garrett motorsport turbo and an Akrapovic titanium and stainless-steel racing exhaust system.  

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The resultant 395PS (the 22B boasted 345PS) goes to all four wheels via a six-speed semi-automatic sequential transmission and an adjustable active centre differential and limited-slip differentials front and rear.

Proper rally stuff in other words, and how about this as a nod to the real thing: a fly-off hydraulic handbrake  which automatically disengages the centre diff. No excuses then for any lack of donuts in front of the house on the P25’s runs up the Goodwood Hill!

Updates inside similarly keep the faith with the original without going too digital crazy. Leather, Alcantara and carbon trim are said to recreate an authentic late 1990s Impreza interior.

Prodrive chairman David Richards believes there will be little to match the P25’s performance on the open road. “By reimagining the 22B using the latest technologies and materials the Prodrive P25 pays homage to its roots. We have achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza ever.”

Some car then – and at some price – but for car nuts of a certain age perhaps the most enticing ‘restomod’ of them all.

  • Festival of Speed

  • 2022

  • FOS 2022

  • Prodrive

  • P25

  • phil-hay-prodrive-p25-fos-main.jpg

    Festival of Speed

    Prodrive P25 is an Impreza 22B for 2022

  • p25-prodrive.jpg

    Festival of Speed

    Video: Prodrive P25 is a restomod rally monster on the Hill

  • p25-main-1.jpg

    News

    Prodrive P25 breaks cover as a 400PS Subaru 22B restomod

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