Some cars wow the motoring world upon their release, causing a ripple of appreciation for their design, engineering progress and beauty.
This is not one of those cars.
The second generation Subaru Impreza had a lot to live up to. The original was the WRC poster car for a generation, and whilst it may have been a fairly boring Japanese box underneath, turbo-charged engines and all-wheel-drive turned the first generation Impreza (in WRX/STI form at least) into a cult car overnight.
By 2000 though it was time for the difficult sequel, and with the motoring world eagerly expecting something spectacular Subaru launched…. this.
It’s safe to say that the second generation Impreza was not positively received. It was a slightly better car in every respect than the original though, and it still found buyers thanks to its rally pedigree. A much needed facelift in 2004 and again in 2006 lessened the aesthetic stupidity, but the damage was done, ushering in a long decline in Europe that sadly for Subaru shows no sign of abating.
As a result the second generation Impreza is now worth about £50, meaning you can pick up a car with genuine rally pedigree that will beat pretty much anything away from the lights for next-to-nothing. Unfortunately this means the WRX has become the favoured tool of the Donuts-in-a-Parking-Lot-Pikey, ruining Cars & Coffee meets for everyone else the world over.
Which is a shame, because catastrophically ugly though the second generation Impreza WRX is, it’s still a fantastic performance car. It’s just you can’t drive one without wearing a paper bag over your head.
We’ll settle for this one then, a rather delightful Model Team style replica from previous bloggee Alexander Paschoaletto. Alex has captured the second-gen Impreza’s, er… ‘unique’ look brilliantly, and he’s included a detailed engine and interior accessible via an opening hood and four opening doors.
There are lots more images of Alexander’s 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX STI to see on both Flickr and MOCpages – Click the links above to do some donuts in a McDonald’s car park.