1997 Subaru Impreza 22B-STI Prototype Up for Auction

A special Subaru Impreza has just surfaced via Bonhams Cars and is slated for auction later this month. The vehicle in question is the 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B-STI Prototype — once displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997 and owned by Prodrive‘s technical director David Lapwort, given to him as a gift for his role in designing the championship-winning widebody rally car.

After years of trial and error, the Subaru Impreza would eventually become cemented in rally racing history when it earned an outright victory in the World Championship in 1995. The brand also went on to claim the Manufacturer’s title the same year and again in ‘96 and ‘97.

The Impreza offered is a significant one, as it was built to commemorate Subaru’s 40th anniversary and its third consecutive manufacturer’s title in the World Rally Championship. Other aspects that make it a stand-out example include the fact that it’s serial number 000 out of 400 and has less than 50 miles on the odometer from new — as it was kept in a personal collection for 20 years prior to current ownership.

Technical aspects of the prototype include a 2,212cc turbocharged flat 4-cylinder engine, electronic fuel injection and 276bhp at 6,000rpms at the behest of a 5-speed manual transmission. Additionally, the all-wheel drive vehicle features 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes for ultimate performance control.

This particular vehicle has been highly sought after since its release, which saw all 400 editions sold out after just two days. The reason for this might largely be due to the fact that chassis 061819 was Subaru’s first, road legal, wide-bodied, turbocharged, carbon copy of their very own World Rally winning race car for the public — making it a significantly collectible offering.

Finished in Subaru’s iconic Sonic Blue Mica over a black and blue interior, the only interior color combo offered for all 22Bs, the 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B-STI prototype represents an extremely rare example of a very special car and is expected to sell for as much as $550,000 USD.

Interested parties can visit Bonhams Cars’ official site for more information on the vehicle or to bid during the auction, which begins August 18.

In other automotive news, see how Chris Gibbs uses his 1992 Range Rover for commuting and communicating.
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