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2004 Subaru Impreza Review
  • Aggressive Looks, Performance, Handling, All Wheel Drive, Bang for Buck
  • Fuel Economy, Sound Levels, Very Heavy Race Clutch, Requires a bit of know how, Can attract unwanted attention

by Joel B

The cold morning air was cut by the rumbling sound of the boxer engine winding around the mountainous roads of the western suburbs of Brisbane. The FZ semi slicks stuck to the tarmac coupled with the precision of the Brembo four pot brakes holding back the horsepower with a balanced force.

Flexing with the contour of the road, the HR springs sat the car on track paired with the STI struts, and with the addition of a bump steer reduction and roll centre adjustment kit, steering was precise.

This is THE571, a 2004 WRX STI Spec C. The model made famous by WRC World Champion Peter Solberg; A Subaru icon. This fine example however has not been set up for rally. This one was for track racing and street driving, though subtle hints of its rallying roots remain present.

The 2003 to 2005 GDB Model Subaru WRX STI was one of the bestselling models of the STI series, after Its massive success within the WRC against its rival the Mitsubishi Evolution. It’s incredibly popular ‘Blob Eye’ appearance has created a favourite within the performance automotive community for its reliability, power, availability of customizing parts and price.

At only around AUD$25000, you could be in a sedan that will scare most of the powerful European cars on the street; this example went toe to toe with the mighty C63 AMG Mercedes and sat side by side with the $130,000 machine.

In the 11 years since is birth, the571 has undergone several alterations to take it far from when Subaru first rolled the small sedan off the production line. The HKS carbon fibre rear diffuser guides wind with precision; providing downforce and style to the rear end of the car. Red rear lamps and a carbon accented wing set the rear off, with the rally inspired roof vane diffuser and the shiny, throaty Magnaflow 3 inch turbo-back exhaust complementing the finer details.

Tuned to just over 200Kw, the factory forged EJ207 block handles 20psi from the IHI VF39 Turbo with ease. Air is inducted through a Process West CAI, compressed and cooled through the Massive 685 x 285 x 100mm bar & plate Process West Front Mount Intercooler that menaces the front of the car. To help set the front off, a carbon fibre front lip with STI badge has been fitted. The Power is handled with a Stage 1 Exedy racing pressure plate and clutch pad with an sti braided clutch line for accurate shifting easily handling the power output.

This car is not for economical at heart however. With the concentration of the build behind performance, the fuel consumption can see around 9-10 Litres per kilometre with the foot down. Out of this performance, the little Japanese sedan still proudly fights toe to toe with its bigger brother competition and comes out unscathed.

Even as it ages, at its years in the WRC fade away with the wind. This Japanese warrior still fights on harder than ever. Leaving a mark on automotive history as the “rowdy boxer that could..”

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2004 Subaru Impreza Review Review
  • 7.5
  • 8
  • 6.5
  • 7
  • 8
  • 8
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