One Final Challenger: The Tomei/Cusco Impreza

In the sport of Time Attack, only one car can claim the title of Undisputed King. The Cyber Evo dominated the sport in Japan, then headed to Australia, where it’s won the World Time Attack Challenge every year, since the event’s inception in 2010. Sierra Sierra and their Evo VIII have made numerous attempts to beat the Cyber Evo without success, placing second overall in 2010 and 2011. But what about the Evo’s main rival, the Impreza?

A few years ago Tomei Powered teamed up with Cusco and Tarzan Yamada, to begin a project that would become Subaru’s answer to the Cyber Evo. The project seemed very promising and where Zero/Sports were never able to match the Cyber Evo, it seemed very likely that this new car had a shot. The project enlisted a number of specialists in their given fields. Voltex joined the project to develop new aero for the car, while Cusco handled all of the suspension and Tomei, the power and tuning.

Ultimately the project never reached its end goal and once again a challenger was silenced by the Cyber Evo’s dominance. The Tomei/Cusco Impreza placed third overall in the 2010 WTAC, with a best time of 1:31.9010, a full second and a half behind the Cyber Evo. Where in some cases, it could be argued that the car’s driver was a factor, Tarzan Yamada piloted both rivals. It wouldn’t see any further competition beyond the event and declined to participate the following year.

Despite everything, we’re still left with one of the most exciting Time Attack Imprezas ever built. Similar to JUN and Zero/Sports, the Tomei/Cusco Impreza was built for Unlimited and Pro Class competition. One of the best aspects of Time Attack, is the sheer lunacy of the aero where no concept is left unexplored in the pursuit of valuable seconds.

The Tomei/Cusco Impreza features one-off aero from Voltex with a front splitter not unlike the one used on its rival Cyber Evo. The chassis features an under tray to produce as much downforce as possible. The car has also lost much of what made it a sedan in the first place, by removing the rear doors and positioning the driver’s seat in the middle of the interior, for better weight distribution.

The interior is all business with little left behind apart from some scaffolding and single Bride Gardis bucket.

People have failed to understand what the term “flush” actually refers to. This is flush; notice how the lips of the wheels and side walls of the tires are perfectly aligned with the car’s fenders? The car’s “stance” has everything to do with the suspension configuration. Notice the car’s ride height and and the negative camber of the wheels. This is no way refers to the fitment of the wheels and tires, in relation to the car’s fenders.

While we’re on the subject of wheels the tires; the Tomei/Cusco Impreza sports a set of 18×9.5 Volk TE37s, with Advan A050 tires.

A proper engine bay featuring all the latest and greatest from Tomei. The engine is a fully built EJ25G prototype. The reverse intake manifold allows for shorter intercooler piping, resulting in quicker spool. The turbocharger is a Garrett GT3076R, which helps the car to produce 444whp and 434lb-ft of torque. All of which is tuned on a Motec M600 ECU.

Most of the suspension components where custom built specifically for this car by Cusco. Included in the long list of suspension parts are their ZERO3X coilovers.

The rear corner could be the car’s best angle.

With the Impreza becoming heavier, softer and more luxurious with every new iteration, this could the be last of the fully stripped out Time Attack monsters. It’s the last Impreza to make one final attempt at sacking the Cyber Evo, which has officially been retired. A great time attack car and despite it’s relatively short career, it’ll most certainly be remembered in high regard.

Photos courtesy of Yokohama.

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3 comments

  1. Any word on what happened to this car? Why did it stop racing? Was it sold? Parted out? It was short lived. I expected more from it before it disappeared from the scene.

  2. It’s a shame this car never took down the Cyber Evo. Seems like they didn’t quite continue pushing it. I read the Cyber Evo kept pushing the aero limits pretty hard. Seems like the RWD time attack monsters are what’s making news this year at Tsukuba with some S14’s and RX7’s. Where’s all the evo’s and suby’s?

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