In the Driver’s Seat: Henry Catchpole on the Prodrive P25

Henry Catchpole ProDrive front action

Back in 1997, Prodrive built the first Subaru Impreza of the World Rally Car era, a set of regulations that took over from Group A in the World Rally Championship. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the WRC97 that Colin McRae, Piero Liatti, and Kenneth Eriksson all drove to the 1997 Manufacturers’ title, the same company in Banbury produced what it claims is a road-going version of a WRC Impreza. It’s called the P25.

Some have suggested that the P25 is a restomod of a 22B (or P1), but although it looks very similar, it is quite a different car under the skin. In fact, the skin itself is different, because almost all the P25’s bodywork is made of carbon fiber. In its lightest, pared-back track spec, it weighs just 1150 kg (2535 pounds). The EJ25 engine is also substantially upgraded and produces 450 bhp (444 hp) and 442 lb-ft of torque, meaning a 0-to-60-mph time of under 3 seconds. Sport Plus mode also brings Anti-Lag to the party, which does nothing for fuel economy and everything for response and entertainment.

Henry Catchpole ProDrive interior

There is a bespoke suspension, a new interior by Callum Designs (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), AP Racing pedals and brakes, a choice of seats, and a hydraulic handbrake in addition to the electric parking brake. But perhaps the centerpiece of the whole car is the gearbox: a Prodrive six-speed sequential with helical cut dog gears. It’s operated by a single paddle that you pull toward you to change up and push away to change down. There is also a fly-by-wire clutch that you don’t need to touch at all when you engage the rather spectacular launch control.

Henry Catchpole ProDrive garage

Sadly, only 25 P25s are being produced, and each starts at £552,000. The P25 also won’t be for everyone, as it is undoubtedly a pretty focused and at times raw experience. But it is also hugely involving and exciting, and it lives up to those claims of being a WRC car for the road.

As with the other, very different rally restomod that Henry Catchpole drove earlier this year, the Kimera EVO37, the world is a slightly brighter place for the P25’s existence. Even better, there is a suggestion floating around that this could be just the start for a new road-car arm of Prodrive, so watch this space. We’re hoping for an older, four-door Impreza next, with a manual transmission and unequal-length headers.

And we’d love to be able to take it to a track …




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