May 17, 2021

1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STi sells for more than $400,000

With 40,000km on the odometer, car number 156 of 400 built has found a new home.

A rare 1998 Subaru Impreza with 40,000km on the clock has sold for an astonishing AUD$402,000 (US$312,555).

Number 156 of just 400 Subaru Impreza 22B STi models built recently went under the hammer on US-based online auction site, Bring A Trailer.

Located in the United States, the World Rally Blue example was imported into the US in 2020 under that country’s ‘show and display’ exemption.

The 22B STi was built in limited numbers to commemorate Subaru’s third straight World Rally Championship victory, as well as the Japanese company’s 40th anniversary.

Powered by a bespoke 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine (bored out from the WRX’s regular 2.0-litre unit) the 22B officially made 206kW and 363Nm.

Drive is sent to all four wheels via a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission with a driver-adjustable electronically-locking centre differential. The sprint from 0-100km/h was said to take just 4.7 seconds.

Other touches that distinguished the 22B from regular WRX models included a vented aluminium bonnet featuring a larger bonnet scoop, flared wheel arches that added around 80mm of width, and an adjustable rear wing.

Additional equipment included STi-branded fog light covers, power-folding side mirrors, a rear window wiper, 17-inch gold BBS alloys housing red STi brake calipers, and a Prodrive-tuned suspension with factory Bilstein shock absorbers.

Inside, the 22B is equipped with Recaro seats finished in black cloth with blue inserts and contrast red stitching. Creature comforts include automatic climate control and power windows, while the 22B’s provenance is proudly displayed with a commemorative plaque confirming this car is number 156.

Australia received just five examples of the 22B back in the day, with Subaru asking for an eye-watering $125,000 each (in 1998 dollars) – a hefty premium over the regular Subaru WRX, which was priced at around $40,000.

Values of the rare 22B have been climbing in recent years, with one example listed for over AUD$500,000 in the UK last year. That car had just 434km on the odometer, however, adding ‘as-new’ credibility to its provenance. Well-used examples can change hands for around AUD$200,000.

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