1997 Subaru Impreza WRX – Today’s tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Subaru Impreza TT Subaru Impreza TT

A 2lt turbo-four with all-wheel drive and rally pedigree to boot, this looks a lot of car for the money

The GC8 WRX was the first model released in the WRX lineage, proven over the years with success on the world rally stage; this car brought many of those innovations to the road with layman affordability.

Born out of the 90s WRC era where the Legacy RS turbo forged Subaru’s rally identity at the hands of Ari Vatanen and Colin Mcrae, that same recipe arrived in the WRX with AWD and a 2lt turbocharged four-cylinder EJ20.

The WRX was an instant hit with modifiers around the globe, subsequently, finding a visually untampered GC8 in this day in age is darn near impossible.

Whilst initially released globally in 1992 (In Australia, the first WRXs arrived in early 1994), the WRX was facelifted in 1997 with a host of beneficial upgrades, headlined by a smaller less laggy turbo (no dip in the claimed 155kW power output), and interior niceties such as race-style bucket seats and a three-spoke Nardi steering wheel.

Currently, first-gen WRXs command wildly varied prices, anywhere between $5k up to $25+ for a most pristine example we have seen.

Naturally, most of the offers at the lower end of that scale are hacked up and have seen better days.

This 1997 GC8 WRX looks like a unicorn in what appears as factory condition; standard Subaru wheels and an interior with no visible tears. Though no odometer reading is listed in the ad, it can be clearly seen in the interior photo. At 206,790kms shown when photographed, mileage is rather par for the course and, if anything, is on the low side in WRX kilometres. It’s not uncommon to find same year examples for a higher asking price with the odo well north of 250,000kms.

The owner states they have owned this car for the past 17 years. It’s in visually unaltered condition with all the books, serviced only at Subaru dealers or specialists.

The car is fitted with adjustable coilover suspension, a turbo-back exhaust and OEM wheels from a second-generation WRX.

Listed at a pocket change $5000, this turbo-four rally-bred machine could be a heyday time-capsule of 90s manufactured sports sedans. You can check out the full listing here.

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