Mods and Consequences
Subaru Impreza Turbo
‘If you’re planning to go crazy with upgrades, you don’t start with a UK car’
The first Impreza Turbos were sold in Japan in 1992, with official UK imports starting two years later. Over the next six years there were many special editions and minor upgrades but all were two- or fourdoor saloons, or five-door estates, with permanent four-wheel drive, powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre twin-cam turbo petrol engine.
A massive network of specialists has built up to support these cars, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to upgrades. But if you want to keep reliability with your performance you need to be very careful.
There’s so much you can do to your Scooby that we can only scratch the surface here. If you want to explore further, immerse yourself in one of the clubs because anything you’re thinking of doing will have been attempted by someone already.
‘ What you want to do with your car has a big impact on which model you start with,’ says Scooby expert Simon Lines. ‘UK cars are more insurance-friendly, and have better corrosion protection and slightly higher gearing for more relaxed cruising. But they’re heavier, have less power and generally a weaker engine block. JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) editions have an aluminium bonnet and more power, so they’re better suited to upgrades. So if you’re planning to go crazy you don’t start with a UK car.
‘The difference between good and bad Imprezas is massive but even a ropey one will feel awesome if you’ve not driven one before. The key thing is not to undertake any upgrades on a whim – you really have to do your research.’
More crucial advice comes from serial Impreza owner John England: ‘Tell your insurer everything and make sure that your policy is like for like replacement. It’s not unusual for someone to spend £30,000 on their Impreza but for it to be worth just half that. In the event of a total loss you really want to be paid what your car owes you.’