The 22b Reborn: Prodrive P25

The 22b Reborn: Prodrive P25

As car enthusiasts, we love and respect the reimaginations of retro models that once ruled the roads. Remember the first time the Ford GT came out 18 years ago, the traces of the old GT40 racer blended perfectly with Ford’s modern design language. Many new retro-tribute models came after constantly proved how bringing the old back is always a good idea to stir up the car enthusiasts’ hive. Among these models stand a recent one named Prodrive P25, which is arguably the perfect tribute to one of the most legendary pieces of motorsport, the Subaru Impreza 22b STi. Let us take a deeper look into this expensive blue beast and see why it really is the 22b, reborn.

The P25 is based on the Impreza 22b STi seen above.

A Brief History of Prodrive

Before diving into the P25, it is crucial we talk about the brand itself. Founded in 1984, Prodrive is a motorsport and engineering group that has been building race cars for Aston Martin, Team X44 and Bahrain Raid Xtreme. They also build lightweight carbon composite CFRP components for customers with expensive supercars. Most importantly, though, they are known for their relationship with Subaru that began in 1990, in which Prodrive was tasked to support the Subaru World Rally Team that fought hard for the World Rally Championship. Starting with a Subaru Legacy initially with minor wins, the team eventually chose the Impreza 22b as the main runner, which won the 1995 WRC driven by Colin McRae, in 2001 by Richard Burns and 2003 by Peter Solberg. Subaru owes a lot to Prodrive at this period since the engineers helped the development of the race cars as the time went on. After Subaru’s withdrawal from WRC, Prodrive built rallycross cars based on Mini Countryman, which won its debut race driven by Liam Doran. Prodrive also helped the development of many more race cars such as 911 SC RS and Aston DBR9. Lastly, they also built their own original prototype car named P2 which was based on the Subaru R1 kei car and featured a WRX STi boxer engine that produced 345 hp and was featured in an episode of Top Gear as well. So, with a CV full of success, Prodrive revisited their renowned championship winner two decades later with the new P25. Let’s take a look!

The P25 retains the iconic wing of the 22b, but adds to the spice with a meaner set of rims.

A Look at the Prodrive P25

The Prodrive P25 made its debut at 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed and immediately stole the show. More than two decades after the introduction of the original Subaru Impreza 22b, Prodrive demonstrated a vision of the same blue speed demon with the technology of the present day. In core, however, it is still the same except with less weight, better aerodynamics and of course, more power. As four-wheel drive is a heavy drivetrain, Prodrive did not shy away from shedding every possible weight they laid their hands on. As a result, the usage of carbon composite parts reduced its weight to below 1200 kg and limited-slip differential and adjustable active centre differential deliver power to all four wheels seamlessly while the adjustable Bilstein dampers provide maximum grip on the tarmac. The P25 is also fitted with AP racing brakes made up of 380mm front vented discs with six pistons and 350mm rear vented discs with four pistons providing immense stopping power akin to a true race car. The power? Well, that’s the piece de resistance. The P25 is fitted with a 2.5L flat-4 boxer engine producing over 400 hp and 600 nm of torque, mated to a six-speed semi-auto transmission. Combined with turbo anti-lag and launch control from WRC technology, the P25 can accelerate from 0 to 60 in under 3.5 seconds to a limited top speed of 241 km/h (150 mph).

The P25 blessed the keen ears at last years’ Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The changes weren’t only on exterior or performance wise, however. Prodrive also gave significant attention to the interior, which is a blend of modern alcantara and carbon trim mixed with the simplicity and raw racing pedigree of the original WRC racer Impreza, creating an experience inviting the driver to go for a fast ride. An infotainment screen tells you where to go and two back seats can carry your pals or family, but there is also an option to remove them if you have neither of those, or simply too keen to shed all the weight and go on a track day.

The interior is adorned with alcantara and a whiff of the original 22b.

Prodriver Chairman David Richards stated: “The iconic blue Subarus bring back memories of an extraordinary era of the WRC and it was the Impreza 22B that brought this rally car performance to the road. By reimagining this car using the latest technologies and materials the Prodrive P25 pays homage to its roots and there will be little else able to match its performance on the open road. I therefore believe we have achieved our vision of creating our own modern interpretation of the most iconic Subaru Impreza ever.” P25 shows how Prodrive values their heritage and perfectly pays homage to one of the most successful WRC campaigns ever, and while it comes with a hefty MSRP price tag of £460,000, only 25 will be made, which immediately makes it a worthy model of its price.