Subaru has a history of incredible vehicles. From their little 360 in 1958 to the E-RA STI, Subaru produces cars that are great off-road, excellent in gas mileage, and known for their modification capabilities. It’s nearly impossible to pick just ten of the best cars Subaru has ever produced, but we’ve scoured the lineup to find some of the most iconic Subaru’s.
While it would be easy to say that the WRX STI takes the cake, some special editions are far more remarkable than the standard STI. Furthermore, not every entry is a sports car, as some models have a history of greatness off-track and off-road. One model even struggled to choose between off-road and track tuning, so it embodies both. Take a journey through Subaru’s outstanding lineup to find the ten best cars Subaru has ever produced.
10 2020 Travis Pastrana’s Gymkhana WRX STIE
Ken Block and Travis Pastrana man the wheel of the Gymkhana WRXs, and the 11-time event draws hundreds of millions of views. For the 2020 model, a Subaru WRX STI once again took center stage. It had a 2.3L four-cylinder boxer engine with a boost of 50 PSI and delivered 862 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.
Until this event, Ken Block was the lead man behind the Gymkhana events, but he handed over the reins to Travis Pastrana. Subaru has designed a unique STD in collaboration with Vermont Sports. Vermont Sports helped tune parts such as the suspension, differentials, handbrakes and gear shifters. It is also filled with carbon fiber to reduce weight to 2623 lbs!
9 1996 Impreza Series McRae
When Subaru are won first rally with Collin McRae behind the wheel, the brand decided to commemorate the event with a limited production of the Impreza Series McRae. Only 200 copies of the special edition were produced and these were only available in the UK. Japan also had some similar special editions.
The Series McRae came with the famous EJ20 boxer engine, which produced 207 horsepower. Addicted to the boxer was a five-speed manual, full-time AWD with a sticky differential lock. In addition, the Series McRae also had Recaro seats with open headrest, a staple for Subaru.
8 1998 Impreza 22B STic
Another uber-rare Subaru is the 22B STI. The 22B STI was the 40th anniversary special edition, of which only 400 were made. If one goes up for auction, they go for six figures.
The 22B STI had a boxer engine that produced 276 horsepower. Like other STDs of the era, it has a five-speed manual transmission and can hit 60s in just 5 seconds with a top speed of 157 MPH. Depending on who you ask, the 22B sold out between 30 minutes and 48 hours, but either way, its popularity remains at an all-time high.
7 2000 Impreza P1
Another exclusive to British Subaru is the Impreza P1, which stands for Prodrive One. Only 1000 of these beauties exist, and they got a big boost in power over stock Imprezas. In fact, it reached 276 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, all in an aggressive package.
The Impreza P1 was unique in that it had AWD, but it was not symmetrical. Instead, the P1 uses a 60/40 split with a front-wheel-heavy layout. It came in World Rally Blue paint and was a two-door, giving it an authentic rally feel. Using the 276 horsepower, the P1 reached 60 in 4.8 seconds and was able to hit a top speed of 155 MPH.
6 1997 SVX
Subaru only launched an exclusive sports car with the SVX. The SVX was ahead of its time with a window-in-window feature that many didn’t appreciate until recently. It had a wedge-shaped design, a 3.3L boxer six that produced 230 hp but was limited thanks to the four-speed automatic.
The SVX hit 60 in 7.3 seconds using the boxer six and a top speed of 143 MPH. It also came in both FWD and AWD, with the latter setting a trend that follows today.
5 2019 WRX STI S209
It started to feel like the US would never get a dedicated S-line WRX STI. That is, until 2019, when Subaru de S209 especially for the US market for the first time in its history. The S209 STI came with the 2.5L EJ25 turbo boxer four that delivers 341 horsepower and a maximum boost of 18 psi.
In addition to the power boost, Subaru installed Bilstein dampers and Stiller springs for track-focused suspension. It also has a wider body than a standard STI, and special badging distinguishes the S209 from the RA and regular STI. Only 200 of these bad guys exist and we’d love to get our hands on one.
4 1984 Brat
With the popularity of the El Camino, Subaru decided to enter the light truck game with the Subaru Brat. The original engine was seriously underpowered, but a turbocharged version allowed the brat to hit 95 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque. Subaru’s Brat broke the import regulations by installing two jump seats in the bed, which allowed a passenger car to be designated.
The Brat was also unique for full-time 4WD use and with an incredibly lightweight body at just 2,200 lbs. It came in a four-speed manual transmission, and while the Baja was a spiritual successor, the only way to go is a return to the Brat.
3 2021 BRZ GT300
Wanting to get into the Super GT game in Japan, Subaru decided the BRZ was the perfect platform for the job. Subaru significantly increased performance, rework of the famous EJ20 engine to unleash more power than ever before, all while meeting the demands of GT racing versus WRC racing. Thus the BRZ GT300 was born.
The specs for the new GT300 are hard to pin down, but the previous BRZ GT300 was rated at about 300 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The BRZ GT300 finally won a championship in 2021 with its improved BRZ GT300.
2 2019 Outback 3.6R
Subaru’s Outback is a rock solid performer with years of reliable performance. It’s one of the best-selling models in Subaru’s lineup, and the 3.6R boosted performance with a 3.6L boxer six under the hood that produces 256 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque.
With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the updated Outback styling, and new luxuries like heated seats and rear-view cameras, you’d be hard pressed to find a better crossover. The Outback 3.6R is great for off-road or slick rides.
1 2005 Forester STIE
STI wasn’t just for sedans and hatches, but also for crossovers, and the Forester STI proved that high-performance crossovers work. The Forester STI had a 2.5L turbo boxer four that delivered 265 horsepower and 278 lb-ft of torque and came with an upgraded six-speed manual transmission.
To get the most out of it, the Forester STI could hit 60 in just 5.2 seconds, had a top speed of 131 MPH and has one of the most aggressive designs for an SUV or crossover. It’s a shame STI didn’t get its way with more of Subaru’s vehicles.
Here’s how the 2022 Subaru WRX compares to its rivals
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