PH has featured countless Imprezas over the years – but never one with a flat-six…
By Matt Bird / Friday, 27 October 2023 / Loading comments
Frankenstein cars are cool. Taking one thing (usually a massive engine) and making it work somewhere it was never meant to (usually a small car) have made for legendary build threads over the years. People have put M5 V10s in 1 Series, Cosworth YBs in Escorts, VR6s in old Golfs and so on. Some make so much sense it’s a wonder manufacturers didn’t make them, while others are so mad it’s almost unbelievable anyone ever thought of them. Frankencars is a lovely little sub-niche of loving four wheels, and here’s a new one for you: the flat-six Subaru Impreza.
Yes, seriously. Much more interesting than the Sport Mobility concept shown at Tokyo. The really spicy Imprezas engines have ended up in unlikely places over the years (think Forester STI), and Subaru got more use than anybody expected out of its 3.0-litre flat-six (B9 Tribeca, anyone?), but never has its small saloon and biggest (we think) engine ever met before. Here with a turbocharger for good measure. You’ll want to hear more about this. Like all the best ideas, the 3.0-litre Impreza – sounds good, right? – was a very simple one. PHer Tom bought a 2.0-litre GX with a blown engine, had the H6 motor spare, and didn’t think too much more about it. The EZ30R-engined small Subaru was going to happen.
Which would have been cool on its own, if lacking much of a performance advantage over a 2.0-litre flat-four turbo. The 3.0-litre has a tiny bit extra power, yes, but weighs more and lacks forced induction torque. So Tom added some, in the form of a GT3076 turbo. Alongside a few other goodies – a list that includes (but is not limited to) larger injectors, a custom turbo manifold, a three-inch turbo back exhaust and a Tial wastegate – that means this relatively unassuming Impreza makes 370hp at 7psi of boost. While presumably sounding like nothing else in the process.
Additionally, the 3.0 benefits from some WRX chassis upgrades, OZ Superleggera wheels and a Haltech ECU to get an engine never designed for the Impreza working with a standard dash. This isn’t a show-spec Subaru, but the big six doesn’t look as crammed in as might be expected. What this does seem, however, is hugely entertaining.
There are a couple of niggles to address that are mentioned in the advert. And we all know there’s an element of risk-taking when buying someone else’s project, especially such a rare groove swap. There will surely be issues to resolve and things to learn as more time is spent with the car. Hopefully, they’ll all seem worthwhile to be left with what must be a unique, and very interesting, Subaru Impreza.
The flat-six is being sold to free up some time and money for other projects in Tom’s possession. It’s never going to be concourse (the Legacy engine in there rather puts paid to any originality points), which means the next owner is free to take this on as they wish. It could be made even more powerful, even more focused – or even more subtle, if you prefer. Whatever you want, basically, safe in the knowledge yours is a Subaru like no other. A halloween treat with a trick under the bonnet scoop, then – yours for £6,500.
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