In the late 1990s, the UK AWD car scene was smitten with the first generation Subaru Impreza WRX STi, resulting in a large number of grey imports from Japan. Subaru wasn't particularly very happy at this and commissioned Prodrive to get to work.
The result was this. Dubbed the Prodrive P1, it was a limited edition Subaru Impreza STi customized for the British roads.
The engine was a WRX STi unit producing 276bhp.
All of the 1000 P1s came in the classic Sonic Blue paint job. It also sported a front splitter that helped the high speed stability of what is otherwise quite a boxy car.
On a rally bred car like this, mud flaps are mandatory for the purists …
This particular car I shot sat on 18 inch OZ wheels in anthracite grey …
This car resides in Switzerland and is owned by a police officer, so I am not sure exactly how loud this P1 stamped backbox is, because Switzerland is really picky about such things…
It was priced roughly around what the grey imports from Japan were going for, in order to entice the people to buy a car with proper backing. It is the only road car to date to bear the Prodrive name. They later developed another car, called the P2, but it was halted at the prototype phase.
You lookin' at me? Who else thinks this is the best looking Impreza generation?
P1 branding is all over the car. Scooby owners often tell me how one is incomplete without the big wing at the back.
The little carbon spoiler lip is subtle.
The car was unveiled in 1999 by none other than England's only World Rally champion, who was driving for Subaru at the time, the late Richard Burns.
Born at the end of an era of rally cars with more mechanical wizardry than electronics, I love this car to bits.
In comparison, a 22B is often considered as the more intense looking Impreza and the wide hips of the 22B surely hammer the point home. That said, since there were only 25 of them made for export alongside the 399 JDM cars and in comparison 1000 P1s, this is a much more realistic dream Impreza.