Subaru’s first serious campaign in rallying came in 1989, with the launch of Subaru Technica International and the involvement of Prodrive, which led to the creation of the Group A Subaru Legacy RS rally car. The Legacy was powered by a longitudinally mounted boxer engine, which despite having the benefit of a low centre of gravity, ultimately lacked power and suffered from repeated drive train issues. Prodrive worked on the car over the next few years, but the problems took a long while to sort resulting in the car’s sole win ironically coming on its last outing.
Prodrive’s experience of building rally cars told them that the way forward was a smaller, more agile car and work on a Group A Impreza rally car began. This car appeared towards the end of 1993 and had a more neutral front/rear weight distribution and featured active differentials. The car’s first outing was on the 1000 Lakes Rally and in the hands of Ari Vatanen finished 2nd overall.
In 1997 the FIA changed the regulations of rallying, with Group A being replaced with World Rally Car. These changes gave teams much greater freedom in terms of construction design and materials. This new freedom led Prodrive to totally redesign the car, launching the WRC97, which featured modified camshafts, cylinder ports and combustion chambers. which saw increases in both power and torque.
In 1998 the Impreza WRC98 replaced the 97 and saw the introduction of computer controlled active front, centre and rear differentials, and an electronic throttle. Not perhaps surprisingly mechanical failures were common, which prevented the team from challenging for the world title.
Was originally built in 1998 for Colin McRae and Nicky Grist and was used on Rally Australia and Rally Finland where it finished 4th and retired with suspension damage respectively. The car then passed to Piero Liatti and Fabrizia Pons who used it on Rally Argentina and Rally Catalunya, where it finished 6th and retired with engine damage respectively.
The car was then passed to Possum Bourne who used it on the 1999 Rally New Zealand and Rally Australia finishing 5th and retiring with cambelt failure respectively. In 2000 Possum returned for Rally New Zealand and Rally Australia finishing 6th and 7th respectively. Away from the WRC Possum won the Australian Rally Championship in 1999 and 2000, as well as the Asian Pacific Championship in 2000.
After that the car passed into the private hands being used by Melvyn Evans in Ireland during 2003, before being purchased by Damien Cole who used it on a number of BTRDA and National events during 2004 to 2006.
Following this the car was rallied in Ireland until purchase by its current owner in January 2013
Engine : Turbo Charged, Fuel Injected, 4 Cylinder, DOHC, 16V 2ltr,
Power : 300 BHP +