The 22B Rally Car 1999 Impreza STI marked a performance pinnacle for the turbo Subaru lineup at the end of an era. Timed with Subaru’s withdrawal from Group A rallying, the 22B coupe distilled the marque’s hard-won rally learnings and homologation DNA into an instant collectible – only 400 were ever built.
Let’s examine why this rare, pumped-up Impreza coupe carrying battle-tested rally parts stood distinct even among subsequent WRX STI legends. For many Subaru fans, the 22B STI remains the defining aspirational model of the brand’s motorsport legacy.
22B Rally Car In WRC Insights Distilled
Subaru took advantage of looser homologation requirements, allowing substantial changes over production cars. Engineers leveraged this freedom to hone the Impreza into a dominant Group A rally star, winning multiple championships from 1995-1997.
While WRC rules narrowed modifications, Subaru channeled its grassroots rally expertise into the limited 22B STI coupe project. Fitted with a 2.2-liter semi-closed deck EJ22 engine producing nearly 400 horsepower mated to a close-ratio 6-speed manual, the 22B packed serious turbocharged muscle honed under competition duress.
Homologation Upgrades Throughout
Drawing from the Impreza WRC parts shelf, the 22B STI coupe bristled with homologation special upgrades:
Stronger semi-closed block EJ22G engine with forged internals
Twin-plate ceramic clutch transmitting power to all four wheels
Close-ratio gearbox matched to suspension for fast transitions
Improved steering rack with quicker response
Upgraded brakes from the WRC Impreza model at each corner
Bilstein shocks tuned for road and track excellence
Subaru left no component untouched maximizing the 22B STI’s performance.
22B Rally Car Aggressive Widebody Styling
Not just a mechanical upgrade, the 22B STI wore its motorsport allegiance proudly. Flared fenders stretched wide over gold 17-inch BBS wheels that evoked Subaru’s WRC racers. A huge functional rear wing, hood scoop, and adjusted aero produced serious downforce above 100 mph.
Blue and cherry red paint schemes commemorated Subaru’s racing colors. Inside, Recaro buckets and Momo steering wheel enhanced the cockpit’s racy feel. The 22B STI looked every bit the road-going rally champion Subaru intended.
Instant Legend, Overnight Rarity
The ultra-limited 22B STI sold out instantly in Japan, with many buyers purchasing as an investment given Subaru’s impending exit from WRC racing. Just 16 examples officially reached North America through Motorex, further cementing its unattainable status. Values skyrocketed, with mint 22B STIs commanding over $400,000 at auction today.
As one of the capstone models of Subaru’s rally achievements translated into a street car, the well-named 22B preserves an engineering and cultural legacy for collectors, investors, and die-hard enthusiasts alike.