From the 1993 to the 1996 World Rally Championship season Subaru ran one of the most iconic rally cars of all time. Known around the world as the “Impreza 555”, this car was developed and ran by the British Motorsport company Prodrive. Prodrive developed the car along with Subaru for the 1993 season where Ari Vatanen placed second overall in the car’s inaugural event in Finland. However the car wouldn’t win an event till the Corsica rally in 1994. The car’s greatest success came during the following year.
In 1995 star driver’s Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae battled it out the entire season, with an ending that will never be forgotten. At the second to last event in Catalunya Spain, Carlos and Colin were neck and neck, sitting in the 1st and 2nd position. Prodrive ordered Colin to back off and let Carlos win the event. Colin didn’t listen of course and ended up winning the event, or so he thought. While Colin was the fastest he also incurred a one minute time penalty due to his actions which handed the win to Carlos. Colin persevered though and rocketed to win the drivers and manufacturers’ championship at the final round in Great Britain. This was significant for a number of reason’s. For one, Colin was the first British WRC champion, and he was the youngest WRC champion at 25 years old.
The following 1996 season was not quite as glamorous but Subaru and Prodrive ended up walking away with another manufacturers’ championship. In 1997 new WRC regulations were put in place, and the Subaru WRC 555 would have its place in the history books. A car like this resonates in WRC fan minds, and created an iconic image for Subaru. The car was so iconic that Subaru created multiple special editions. Notably the Impreza Series Mcrae, the Prodrive P1, and the 22B STI. Who knows where the company would be today had it not been for the success of the WRC 555.
While there isn’t a huge wealth of information about this car in particular, it is believed to be an ex WRC car restored by Marek Kluszczyński of Poland. The attention to detail is intense, along with the way the car performs. I am sure legends like Colin McRae would be happy to see fans and supporters carrying on their love for the car, the sport, and the driver.