Subaru Impreza WRX STI WR1
Cost new: £29,835. Value now: £19,995
Rare, riotous and in wonderful condition. Time to channel your inner Solberg.
There are almost as many Impreza special editions as there are days in the year, but the WR1 does deserve respect. This is one of just 500 UK cars built to commemorate Petter Solberg's 2003 World Rally Championship victory.
This particular example has covered just 28,000 miles and has clearly been dotingly looked after. The paint absolutely pings, the panels are in perfect condition with no bumps or creases, and there are no window rubber maladies.
There are a few very tiny stonechips and a very light scrape on the passenger's-side skirt, but that's it – and we had to search hard to find them, plus we're told they'll all be attended to before sale.
The gorgeous seven-spoke alloy wheels are devoid of any kerbing marks or corrosion, though there is some minor flaking to the logos on the wheel centres. The Brembo calipers could do with a little paint, but there's nothing to really concern you here. This Impreza wears Continental ContiSport Contacts at all four corners, and all have a good level of tread remaining.
Under the bonnet all the fluids are up to the maximum mark and none made a break for the border in our presence. The well-stamped service book points to regular fettling from Subaru main dealers and specialists, and there's a recent receipt for a thorough mechanical refresh at Roger Clark Motorsport. The £1090 bill included an oil and filter change, refreshes to the suspension and exhaust system.
The interior is near-perfect – if we're being really picky there are a few minor marks to the gearknob. That's it – and everything works as it should. We couldn't find any wear to the seat bolsters either.
On the road, performance is ballistic – as you'd imagine. There are no peculiar noises from the suspension and nor are there any dead zones or sloppiness in the steering. The brakes are sharp yet predictable, and the engine doesn't search for revs at idle. The gearbox moves through the forward ratios cleanly. The turbo kicks in when it should, thrusting you deeply into the driver's seat – it's hugely addictive fun.
It's a truly special car, this (see left), and one that's been lavished with love and attention. We are being very picky to find anything wrong with it at all, and as such represents one of the best of the breed.
Subaru IMPREZA WRX STI
On sale at Nick Johnson Motor Co: www.nickjohnsonmotorco.co.uk
Transmission AWD, 6-speed manual
Top speed 155mph
Choose your SUBARU IMPREZA WRX STI
The second-generation Impreza receives its first facelift in 2002 after the original's round headlights prove to be as popular as a skunk lap dance. Standard WRX STI chucks out 300bhp and 300lb-ft.
WR1 model arrives in 2004, boasting an extra 20bhp and 10lb-ft over standard STI. The 500 UK cars are sent to Prodrive for bespoke springs, Pirelli P-Zero Nero tyres, mesh grilles and Ice Blue paint. ECU and exhaust not homologated for EU so are added after registration.
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