Prodrive P25: The Final Impreza Restomod
Months in the past, Prodrive launched a preview of an upcoming challenge, with the silhouette picture unmistakably that of a two-door GC-series Impreza, and the code ‘P25′. Hypothesis naturally adopted as extra teasers have been shared within the weeks main as much as the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the place the automobile would make its official debut.
I visited Prodrive HQ a short while in the past (function coming quickly!) and the P25 challenge was nonetheless very a lot hush-hush on the time. Regardless of my relentless interrogation, each query was met with ‘no remark”, however now and again a sly smile escaped, which alluded to it being one thing reasonably particular. Given the collective information, skillset and functionality at Prodrive, it couldn’t be something however.
Saturday morning within the Cathedral Paddock inside Goodwood Property, the P25 was revealed, flanked by two Subaru WRC automobiles. Richard Thompson, chief engineer on the P25 challenge gave a brief discuss alongside Mark Higgins, who has been instrumental within the automobile’s improvement as a take a look at driver.
The P25 identify is critical for a number of causes. 25 years in the past, Prodrive debuted the primary two-door Impreza World Rally Automotive. They have been additionally closely concerned within the P1, a UK version of the two-door GC8 physique form. So a naming conference that pays homage to each was applicable, in addition to referencing the restricted run of 25 manufacturing automobiles.
The concept for the challenge took place 18 months in the past and improvement progressed rapidly, with workforce members scouring on-line auctions and house owners golf equipment to buy the donor automobiles.
To the untrained eye, the P25 appears similar to the 22B, a street automobile Subaru launched to rejoice their WRC victories (and never as a homologation automobile as is usually believed). Nonetheless, whenever you begin wanting extra intently, the variations grow to be extra obvious.
The P25’s arch line is greater than that on the 22B and was moulded off the WRC automobiles to offer extra clearance for the light-weight, cast 19-inch wheels as they cycle via the vary of journey offered by custom-specification Bilstein springs and dampers. These have been chosen to suit monstrous AP Racing callipers with 380mm rotors on the entrance, paired with 350mm rears.
Carbon fibre replaces a big portion of the outside panels, with the bonnet, bumpers, roof, mirrors and bulbous arches all receiving the composite therapy. The carbon quantities to a considerable weight saving, and the automobile ideas the scales at simply over 1,200kg (2,645lb) moist.
The cabin largely maintains the look of the unique inside, however nothing has been left untouched. All surfaces have been re-trimmed in an off-grey Alcantara-type materials or carbon fibre. A extra performance-oriented inside with a half cage and bucket seats is optionally available for buyer automobiles.
One obvious omission is the shifter within the centre console. These automobiles run a 6-speed sequential gearbox actuated by a single paddle behind the steering wheel. Pull for upshift, push for downshift, as within the WRC automobiles, with gear adjustments taking simply 80 milliseconds.
Launch management permits the automobile to distribute energy optimally and mechanically shift via the primary three gears, taking the automobile from standstill to 60mph in effectively underneath 4 seconds constantly.
Whereas the engine bay was off limits on the Pageant of Velocity weekend, we all know that powering the P25 will likely be a 2.5L Subaru-based block, however utterly re-engineered. The famend Subaru burble has been forsaken within the curiosity of efficiency, with an equal-length exhaust manifold and exhaust made by Akrapovič.
Being a improvement automobile, many particulars would nonetheless be topic to vary, however it labored flawlessly over the course of the weekend. Engineers have been checking knowledge logs and adjusting parameters frequently because the automobile solely had minimal testing earlier than its reveal, being accomplished just a few days prior.
The sticking level for many individuals is the value. Exclusivity doesn’t come low cost sadly and the P25 begins at roughly £500,000 together with taxes. Some huge cash, sure, however in a world the place it’s deemed socially acceptable for Singer to cost from £500,000 (£1.5 million for a DLS!) and the place varied different corporations have restomods or recreations being introduced at comparable value factors, it appears proportionate for the extent of workmanship invested.
Even when you may afford one although, it’s too late, with all 25 having been spoken for.
Had Prodrive utilized their experience which normally goes into creating championship-winning race automobiles to a distinct platform, it could have been seen as much less controversial, however I applaud them for referencing such a pivotal interval of their historical past.
There’s each chance that many of those automobiles will sit in non-public collections and barely see the sunshine of day, which is a big disgrace. However since Subaru has largely deserted severe efficiency street automobiles, I for one am completely satisfied the P25 exists, no matter the fee.