Is there a more bewildering car than the Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STI of 2000 to 2007?
Not only are there three versions (two facelifts and a larger-engined model known as, according to their headlight design, bug-eye, blob-eye and hawk-eye), but there are also saloon, estate and wide-track bodies, not to mention Prodrive Performance Pack (PPP) variants and countless custom-tuned examples whose claimed power outputs inevitably tumble in the face of a rolling road. Add official special editions and it’s clear you need to know your Imprezas before you set foot on a seller’s forecourt.
The first generation of 1992 to 2000 established the Impreza Turbo as a performance car to be reckoned with and spawned an equally bewildering array of special editions, culminating in the legendary 22B of 1999 and Prodrive P1 of 2000.
From a technical standpoint, its successor, under the spotlight here, didn’t disappoint. There was the familiar boxy saloon body, now sitting on a longer and stiffer platform, clothing a 215bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged boxer engine, powering all four wheels via an open differential at the front and a limited- slip item at the back, with a viscous coupling in the centre.