Subaru Impreza WRX STI 2.0 Spec C Review
Back to the old school

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
13 Jan 2010

Forget about the latest hatchback STI for there's only the rally bred Spec C if you're looking at the ultimate driving weapon.

C for Competition

In the past one and a half decades, the Subaru Impreza WRX has redefined the term performance bargain. Never before was there another performance car that gives so much performance for so little money. For those who want even more performance, Subaru offers an even more hard-core version of the WRX called the STI.

By now, you should have known that STI or Subaru Tecnica International is responsible for the company's rallying activities and is sort of like the M Division of Subaru and the company's crème de la crème engineers strut their stuff there.

In Japan, there is a plethora of WRX STI models that you can choose from. While overseas WRX STIs are now 2.5-litre to meet more stringent global emissions standard, JDM (Japanese Domestic Model) STIs remain 2-litre. In Japan, you can buy STI WRX models that are even more powerful and hardcore like the brilliant S204 and rally homologation specials. The latter include lightweight models like the STI Type RA and the Spec C.

The Spec C was never officially sold here previously but now, Subaru importer Motorimage Enterprises (MIE) have made available to the market a small number of 07 model year Impreza WRX STI Spec C examples. These cars were imported for MIE's Group N rally car build project and with the rally car now based on the newer five-door STI Impreza, MIE has homologated remaining Spec C examples for registration as road cars and made them available for sale, which means you can now have a rally or race ready WRX on your driveway.

A quick glance at the Spec C and you'll not immediately know that it is one truly special Scooby. Like the last of the GDB model STIs, he Spec C looks serious and purposeful and ready to tear down the tarmac in front of it right away. The only visible clue that it is a Spec C is the roof-mounted air scoop (to cool the driver and navigator on hot and humid rally stages), a traditional feature of hardcore, lightweight Imprezas like this one and the the Type RA. The tea tray rear spoiler and the gold wheels are the standard WRX STI items. Disappointinly, the optional forged BBS alloy wheels are not available here. It still looks mean and imposing nonetheless and with a couple of mudflaps attached, look ready to storm a rally special stage.


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