The Impreza was the defining car in Subaru’s elevation from relative obscurity to a legend in world rallying.
From its introduction in 1993, to its final factory-backed appearance in 2008, the car’s iconic blue and yellow livery and flat-four bark made it a favourite with motorsport fans across the globe.
But which WRC Impreza was the best? That’s what we want to find out in our latest poll.
Take your pick from our shortlist of five below and cast your vote. Think we’ve missed one? Then tell us about your favourite Impreza on the WRC Facebook page.
Group A Impreza 555: The original
The Prodrive-developed Impreza 555 was introduced in 1993. Like its predecessor, the Legacy, it featured a compact, lightweight engine, well-balanced chassis and strut type suspension all round. The car’s first victory was in Corsica 1994 but its finest season came two years later when it won Subaru the 1995 WRC manufacturers’ title and Colin McRae the drivers’ crown. In 1996, it was the power behind Subaru’s second manufacturers’ championship.
Signature look: The first Impreza to get the gold wheel treatment
Impreza WRC97: The first World Rally Car
The Impreza WRC97 was the replacement for the Impreza 555 and the first of a new breed of machines created to new World Rally Car specifications. Revised regulations permitted major changes, chiefly to the width of the car and suspension geometry; engine internals and the aerodynamics. The WRC97 made the best possible debut with a win on the 1997 season opener when Piero Liatti won the Monte Carlo Rally. Seven more wins ensured Subaru was unchallenged for its third consecutive world manufacturers’ title.
Signature look: Say hello to the iconic double deck rear spoiler.
Impreza WRC2001: The four door Burns express
The WRC2001 was the product of a complete redesign that had started more than a year before with the WRC2000 - a car that looked similar to the WRC99 it replaced, but was in fact 80 per cent new under the skin. In 2001 the second phase of the project was completed when the mechanicals, including Prodrive’s semi-automatic transmission, were switched into a new four-door body shell. The car was to power Richard Burns to the 2001 World Championship title. Signature look: Prodrive ditched the bug-eye headlights of the road car in favour of its own quad lamp design.
Impreza WRC2003: The Solberg special
The WRC2003 was the result of a joint design process that brought Prodrive and Subaru’s engineering teams in Japan closer together than ever before. Between them, the two companies worked on revisions to the engine, roll-cage, body panels and the car's overall aerodynamic package. During the 2003 WRC campaign the car powered Subaru’s team leader Petter Solberg to four wins and the drivers’ title.
Signature look: The sectioned rear spoiler that featured six vertical wings.
Impreza WRC2008: The last hurrah
The Impreza World Rally Car underwent its biggest external change in 2008, when the switch of base car from saloon to hatchback called for an almost complete redesign. The new car began testing in December 2007 and it made its WRC debut midway through the 2008 season in Greece. Sadly, second place there was as good as it got for the WRC2008, and eight rallies later, after Rally GB, Subaru announced it was halting its WRC programme.
Signature look: A bold new style after 15 years of booted saloons