‘The Subaru 22B Will Leave BMW M3 Owners Cowering In Their Garages’

Somehow — and don't ask me how — John Davis and the crew from MotorWeek once managed to get their hands on what is arguably the baddest production Subaru of all time, the Impreza 22Bi STi. Get ready to be blown away.


That's an impressive get, considering that the right-hand-drive, 350 horsepower 22B was never sold on our shores. I won't even ask about the bribes and blackmail that must have gone into making this test happen, but I'm glad it worked out the way it did.

While it may have looked like an Impreza coupe with a bodykit and gold wheels, the 22B was a nearly $50,000 street legal race monster with a flat-4 "that will flatten the average V8," Davis says.

Even with a failing clutch (Gee, I wonder how that happened, guys) the mean little Subie still managed a sub-14 second quarter mile time and had a very impressive showing at the track. Davis calls it "a real supercar" and compares it to both Porsche and Ferrari.

Sadly, North American Subaru fans had to make do with the lesser 2.5 RS. But MotorWeek meets a cadre of owners who knew how to turn their cars into hot rods.

If you're down with the WRX and STI scene today, meet your ancestors.

MotorWeek Theater is our showcase of some of our favorite classic reviews from public television's finest motoring program. How does this video only have 32,444 views? It's the car you'll want to twenty-two-be!


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I don't care if anyone believes me but I drove this car at the Motor Press Guild's Ride and Drive event in 1999 at Willow Springs raceway. First time driving a RHD car for me that was a manual and I kept trying to shift with my right hand. I was working for a press fleet management company at the time and they let me have a go. I remember it being the quickest car I had driven by a longshot. The story they told us was that this car was like #13 out of the run and was unlucky in Japan or something so it was used as a press fleet car. No idea if that's true but whatever.