Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

The legendary Subaru Impreza GC8 has gone down in rally history as one of the most iconic vehicles to ever hit the dirt. Before 1993, the world was ignorant to it’s true talents and had no idea how successful this car would become. Since it’s introduction in 1993, the GC8 has undergone immense changes, modifications and challenges, as the entire world became aware of Subaru’s true potential.

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

The Subaru Impreza was introduced to rally racing in 1993 as a replacement for the mid-size Legacy as their flagship rally car. This new Impreza, built on the GC8 chassis was smaller, therefore more agile in the rallies. British motorsport company Prodrive, whom was teamed up with Subaru helped to build these cars for FIA Group A rallying, boosting the power from the 300 of the Legacy to 320-330BHP.

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

To pilot these Impreza’s, Subaru hired the now legendary Colin McRae, Group B champion Ari Vatanen, and Carlo Sainz who brought the Impreza 555 to it’s first victory at the 1994 Acropolis Rally in Greece. The combination of McRae and the Impreza proved to be a perfect pairing as McRae won not only the Driver’s Championship, but also won the Constructor’s Title for Subaru for three consecutive years (1995, 1996, 1997) The Impreza 555 proved itself to be a spectacular rally car, bringing wins in Acropolis, New Zealand, and Great Britain in 94, Monte Carlo, Portuagal, Catalunya, Sweden, and Australia in 95’, and Greece, Italy, and Catalunya in 96’.

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

The next year, Subaru introduced the new WRC97 Impreza, which instead of the previous sedan body style, opted for the coupe which featured a shorter length and wider body than the Impreza 555. This car also featured modified camshafts, cylinder ports, and combustion chambers. Every year afterward until 2000, the WRC Impreza’s would receive new modification’s. The WRC98 received an electronic throttle, and computer controlled active differentials front, rear, and center, but unfortunately mechanical problems arose and took the Subaru World Rally Team out of contention for the 98’ season. In 99’ the Impreza obtained a drive-by-wire throttle system along with a hydraulic actuated, electronically controlled semi-automatic transmission that would allow the car to be shifted faster via the new paddle shifters. Sadly for Subaru, technical issues arose again this year causing the team to struggle until the 7th round of the championship. This technology would go on to be used in all World Rally Cars until 2011, when the FIA banned semi-auto transmissions from use. For the final evolution of the GC8 in the WRC, Prodrive went all out, redesigning a majority of the mechanical and electronic components of the car during a 10-month development period.

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

The coupe Impreza also proved it’s rally prowess, winning in Kenya, France, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Great Britain, Monte Carlo, and Indonesia with drivers Colin McRae, Piero Liatti, and Kenneth Eriksson in 1997. In 98’ unfortunately, Subaru did not do as well as their previous season, only winning in Portugal, France, and New Zealand. Luckily, Subaru did better the next year with Richard Burns and Juha Kankkunen, winning in Great Britain, Australia, Argentina, Finland, and Greece. In the final year for the GC8 Impreza in the WRC, Burns would go on on to win in Kenya, Portugal, Argentina, and Great Britain.

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

As you can see from the staggering amount of wins (30 to be exact), the GC8 Impreza was a wildly exceptional rally car and has an everlasting reputation of rally prowess, especially with McRae behind the wheel.

Blue and Gold: The History of the GC8 Impreza in Rallying #BlogPost - Blog

I leave you now with some photos and videos of these amazing cars (which is a personal favorite of mine). Hope you enjoyed. As always, Have a good one!