This is a genuine JDM Impreza WRX Type RA, which at the time was Subaru’s homologation special, targeted at motorsport buyers wanting a lightweight out of the box ready, Group A qualifying rally car. One of only 370 produced by Subaru for its model year (MY96) and only for the Japanese Domestic Market, these cars are getting extremely rare now and to find one in such superb and original condition (even down to the original “pea shooter” exhaust), makes it a real collectors car!
The car was imported from Japan in 2007, but first registered in December 1995. The vehicle identification plate identifies this car as fitted with the legendary closed deck EJ20 engine producing 256 bhp, a close ratio gearbox, quick steering rack, no sound deadening, no fog lights, light weight bonnet, intercooler water spray, 5Th injector and improved valvetrain, raising the rev limit to 7,500 rpm. It does however, come with optional factory fitted air conditioning and a rear deck STI spoiler, as well as period correct and super lightweight Advan RG1 racing wheels. As to be expected from what is essentially a road going Group A rally car, the drive is not for the faint hearted! It is raw, visceral, incredibly involving and with endless grip. In addition, the combination of its short ratio gearbox box, power and light weight body, makes it as fast as it is furious!
The Feather White bodywork is excellent condition with no rust or dents (bar one barely visible dent on the rear passenger door) and features a lightweight aluminium bonnet, the correct black door handles and driver’s side roof mounted aerial. With its focus on lightweight, the Type RA was not fitted with either fog lamps or a rear spoiler. However, the rear deck high level STI spoiler fitted to this car was a factory option, which we think really adds to the car’s looks.
The interior in grey and black cloth is very smart and clean. There is no wear to the seat bolsters and all carpets and door cards are also clean and unmarked, as is the factory correct Nardi Steering wheel. All Type RAs, had reduced cabin sound deadening and manual window winders replaced electric windows, all in the pursuit of weight loss. This car however, was fitted with air conditioning as an optional extra. In addition, an aftermarket radio/cd player has been fitted, along with a weighted racing gear knob. Finally, the car also features a fully functioning alarm and immobiliser.
The Type RA is fitted with the legendary EJ20 closed deck engine, much favoured by Subaru enthusiasts and tuners for having more structural strength than later open deck engines and therefore able to handle reliably, much higher power increases. For this model year, it produced 256 bhp and 227 ft/lbs of torque and as with all Type RAs, came fitted with an intercooler water spray and 5th injector. In addition, the intercooler was painted black, to further aid with heat dissipation.
Along with a quick steering rack, the Type RA was also fitted with a stronger and closer ratio gear box, than that fitted to the standard WRX STi from the same era, minimising turbo lag as well as helping keep the turbo “on boost” when changing gear. This results in a consistent “on boost” power range from just under 3000 rpm, all the way through to the 7,500 rpm red line and incredible in gear acceleration.
Finally, whilst featuring the standard light weight front suspension lower control arms, this car also features non original factory, but genuine JDM aftermarket KYB Super Circuit shocks and Tein springs all round. In addition, the four wheel drive system is factory fitted with viscous front and centre LSDs and a plated rear limited LSD.
Please also note that the all important cam belt change was carried out by a Subaru main dealer in September 2021.
The car is fitted with super lightweight Advan RG1 16 inch racing wheels which although not factory, are JDM and period correct. All 4 tyres wear Toyo Proxies TR1s showing little wear. The spare is a space saver. The brakes are discs all round with standard Type RA callipers and are also in excellent operational condition.
As can be seen from the photos, the underside is very clean and in excellent condition. Sub frames, suspension, brakes and transmission componentry show no signs of corrosion, as do the underside floor pans. All wheel arches are spotless. In addition, there is no evidence of post factory welding.
Overall the condition of the underside is testament to how well this car has been looked after from new and especially during its time in the UK, where road salting plays havoc with the undersides of cars, poorly looked after.
Finally, it’s nice to see a Subaru with its original factory centre de-cat pea-shooter exhaust.
According to the V5C, the car was declared manufactured in 1995 and first registered on 01/12/95. The car was imported from Japan and registered in the UK on 18/12/2007.
The car does not come with any of its Japanese history or export documentation. However, as part of it’s UK registration process the car was MOT’d on 14/12/2007 (just ahead of its UK registration). At that time, the speedometer was recalibrated to register miles as opposed to kilometres, as is the requirement in Japan.
The MOT mileage was recorded at 76,621, this would have been in kilometres (equivalent to 46,610 miles). All subsequent UK mileage has been in measured in miles, albeit, starting from a base figure of 76,621.
Included in the documented history photos is a Total Car Check report, evidencing all of the MOTs logged for the car since its arrival in the UK. The odometer currently reads 91,944, which based on the above, means the car has done an additional 15,323 UK miles. This puts the total mileage at just 61,993 (46,610 + 15,323), which looking at the car’s overall condition, both inside and out, is believed to be genuine.
The current owner acquired the car on 16 March 2016, has used it only sparingly since, maintained it fastidiously and always kept it garaged.
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