What is it about the Subaru Impreza 22B that makes it so special?
What the F40 is to Ferrari and the DB5 is to Aston Martin, the 22B is to Subaru; it’s the embodiment of a brand. Never has there been another Subaru held in such high esteem. It’s a handsome brute, a car that looks more at home amongst the trees than in the civilized world, with which it was intended.
At the heart of the 22B is Subaru’s EJ22, considered by many to be the brand’s greatest engine. The high strung flat-4 has been lusted after by many, myself included. It’s the perfect power plant for a car that more closely resembles its WRC counterpart than any Impreza since.
The car was built to celebrate Subaru’s 30th Anniversary and 3rd Constructor’s Title in the WRC. Only 400 units were produced and completely sold out in 30 minutes. As a collector’s car, it joins only a handful of the very best Japan has to offer.
What really makes the 22B so special are its looks. The Peter Stevens inspired body is utterly timeless and the car looks just as good today as it did 15 years ago.
For me it represents everything Subaru owners love about the brand; the WRB paint (the first road car to use it), the painfully flashy gold wheels and that massive STi rear wing. Sure you’ll look 16 behind the wheel and suffer from the disapproving stares of your fellow motorists but isn’t that the point? What defines a car for me is how big of a smile it puts on my face. Too often we see people buy cars for the sole purpose of fitting in. Just look at the direction the tuning industry is moving in… and all the hybrids populating the streets. People are no longer driving cars for themselves.
The 22B has presence. Behind the wheel, you’re diving a piece of rallying, dare I say automotive history. Were one to turn up at Cars & Coffee it would proudly join the company of the European elite. I had the rare opportunity of seeing one in the flesh while in Japan a few years ago. It was a biblical experience and (as always) looked even better in person. The 22B represents why I love cars and will always be a piece of automotive perfection.