UK

Frayz’s V7 STi

UK Impreza owners have always had a special eye for tuning. The popularity of rallying and motor sports in general has had a heavy influence on the way they style their cars. It’s an approach I wish we saw more of in the US.

Frayz’s V7 STi has been around for as long as I can remember and the car has gone through a pretty extensive rebuild in the last couple of years. I’d recommend checking out his build thread if you have time.

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The execution of this Impreza is something pretty special. No aspect of the car has been left untouched and the attention to detail immense. In many respects the car alludes to some of the special edition Impreza models we’ve seen from shops like Prodrive.

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While many criticize the organized chaos that is a Suabru engine bay, there is beauty to be found here. The careful color coordination and selection of only the finest parts speaks to this car’s purpose of blending high performance with ultimate streetability.

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The same philosophy holds true in the interior.

Anyone can build a car that looks great sitting in their garage. It’s a different story entirely to build something that not only looks great but can also take whatever abuse its owner throws at it.

Photos courtesy of Frayz.

Revisit: Subaru STi RB5

A few weeks ago, I posted about the UK-only STi RB5. The car is essentially an upgraded GC8, in honor of Richard Burns’s return to the SWRT.

The other day I came across this lightly modded example.

Judging by that sheet of paper on the rear window, this car was for sale at some point.

It’s easy to understand why so many consider the GC8, to be Subaru’s best iteration of the Impreza. I mean look at the thing! Even by today’s standards, it’s a thing of beauty; with so much character. The RB5’s biggest selling point, has to be that pristine shade of Steel Blue Mica.

Throwback Thursdays: Subaru Impreza STi RB5

The European and Japanese markets are no strangers to special edition versions of cars. Nearly every manufacturer offers various trim and performance packages, for specific markets. The US has never been a market, that gets much attention in this area. Foreign auto manufacturers perceive us, as daft corn farmers, who wouldn’t appreciate the subtle differences, of a limited production model. That’s not to say our own government isn’t to blame as well. We’ve always forced foreign auto manufactures, to make special tweaks to their vehicles, to meet our anal emissions and safety regulations.

The UK on the other hand is the complete opposite. They’ve been getting the good stuff for years, especially when it comes to Subarus. It’s one of the brand’s biggest markets and as a result, a slew of special edition models and performance packages, have been sold there. 1999 marked the return of Richard Burns, to the Subaru World Rally Team and to commemorate the occasion, they released the Impreza STi RB5. The “RB” of course being Burns’s initials and 5, his starting number.

The original brochure photo.

The RB5 started life as a standard UK-type, Subaru Impreza STi and was then given a facelift by Prodrive. The standard trim is mostly looks, including a special coat of Steel Blue Mica paint. The car is dressed in special edition RB5 decals, with blue alcantara bathing the interior trim.

The RB5 features a unique set of Speedline 6-spoke wheels and Pirelli P Zero tires. A Prodrive short shifter and suspension, rounds out the package.

The WR Sport Performance Package, was also available, as an optional extra and included a larger STi rear wing, upgraded intercooler piping, a Prodrive exhaust and tuned ECU.

Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this point and thinking “big deal”.

I like this car because it’s something different, a departure from the norm. In an age where everyone’s car looks the same, it’s all about the details. The RB5 commemorates one of Subaru’s all time great WRC drivers, Richard Burns, who died much too soon.

I love people’s passions and hobbies. Who chooses to buy this car, over a standard Impreza and why? These are the kinds of stories that really intrigue me. I’m a lover of all things Subaru and very envious of the UK market, who have always gotten the cream of the crop, after Japan. Steel Blue Mica is a fantastic color, wouldn’t you say?

Photos courtesy of Steve Coulter Performance Cars.