Prodrive Subaru: a gauntlet thrown
When Subaru launched their first mass produced Kei-car the 360 in 1958, little would the company’s sararimen have believed that half a century one they would preside over one of the true talismans of enthusiastic driving all over the world.
The 365 cc-engined, two stoke ‘ladybug’ became one of Japan’s most popular cars, even though it reportedly reached 50 mph in 37 seconds (the 1958 VW Beetle could do that in just over 14 seconds apparently). Funny to think that the current Impreza retains that sort of everyman appeal encoded into the ladybug, while running supercar-bothering performance stats.
The perennial popularity of the Impreza is to be honoured by UK based tuners Prodrive this spring, when they will be running the latest Prodrive Impreza WRC 2008 World Rally Car on the 2009 Scooby Sprint Championship. The first of five events is due to be held at Elvington airfield, in York on the 19th April.
Scooby Sprint is a one-make UK series for Subarus, allowing privateer road car owners to compete against the clock and pit themselves against the fastest and most advanced Subaru machinery on earth.
Amazingly, the Prodrive WRC won’t be the most powerful car there on paper, due to the WRC-regulation turbo-restrictor. According to the people running the event, there are have entries running more than 800 horse power.
Steve Smith, Prodrive car sales manager, said: “Scooby Sprint is a great concept. The Subaru community has been a fervent supporter of Prodrive and rallying for nearly two decades so it’s great to be able to show our thanks to them by competing with one of our latest specification Impreza World Rally Cars. We are fully aware that there are some very highly tuned Imprezas out there and we know every one of them will be aiming to beat us. But let’s be clear, we are not coming along for the ride.”
So the gauntlet has been thrown down by the Prodrive performance wizards to every Subaru owner to ever gun a throttle. Best leave the 360 at home then….
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