HOLY GRAIL — THE 22B
Only to be whispered about in hushed tones, the 22B is the king of all that is burbling and blue. Just 424 of these widebodied coupés were built as a one- off in 1998 to celebrate Subaru’s 40th birthday as well as back-to-back WRC Constructors’ titles in 1995, ’96, and ’97. Only three made it to New Zealand new, and we were lucky we got those, with the entire production having been sold from the factory within 24 hours of Subaru’s announcement of production. Apart from the scooped bonnet, rally-spec bumpers, huge rear wing, and fenders that widened the car by three inches, the main action occurred under the bonnet. The 22 represents the engine type and size, which was a specially built EJ22 flat-four engine, a 2.2-litre version of the normal cars’ EJ20. With some work on the bore, along with forged pistons and a bigger turbo and intercooler set-up, the 22B put out 208kw as standard and made it to 100kph from a standstill in less than five seconds. These are still impressive times compared with modern-day performance cars 20 years down the track. Prices for the 22B have inevitably stayed pretty steady throughout the years, with the latest sale recorded being that of an Aussie 555-liveried car that changed hands for over A$380K.