Purchase advice Subaru Impreza GT Turbo (1996 - 2000)

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Purchase advice Subaru Impreza GT Turbo (1996 - 2000)
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Whenever in the a uto motor und sport -editorial about the Subaru Impreza, a name is guaranteed to come up after a few moments: Colin McRae. No wonder, because it made the Subaru really known to us Europeans. 20 years ago, in 1995, he won the World Rally Championship with his Impreza II STi WRC.

Subaru Impreza GT Turbo came to Germany in 1996

A year later Subaru brought at least one sporty model of the Impreza on the market: the GT Turbo with the characteristic air scoop on the bonnet. Previously there was only the civilian version with boxer four-cylinder and 95 to 125 hp to buy. Too little for the ambitious sports driver.

The Subaru Impreza GT Turbo variant introduced in 1996 was just the thing: 211 hp were in the data sheet of the two-liter athlete. Under the hood a turbocharger snorted the four-cylinder named. By the way, in Japan this version was simply called “WRX”. It took the Impreza around six seconds to sprint to 100 km /h, the top speed of the all-wheel drive was 230 km /h - decent for the time.

We remember: at least BMW had nothing adequate in program; a 328i cost about the same, but was no match for the Impreza Turbo GT. And the M3? With 321 hp it was much more powerful, and with a base price of 88,000 DM it was almost 40,000 marks more expensive than the Impreza Turbo GT, which was available from us from 50,900 DM (model year 2000).

The facelift of the GT Turbo brings 7 HP

This made the Impreza GT Turbo an absolute bargain. In 1999 the output of the EJ20 unit was increased to 218 hp - in preparation for the turn of the millennium. It stayed with a very low compression of 8.0: 1, the boost pressure is 0.85 bar. In contrast to today's modern engines, the moderate, maximum available torque of 290 Nm was only available at 4,000 rpm.

Nonetheless, the 218 hp Subaru Impreza GT Turbo accelerates 0.3 seconds faster 100 km /h than the early version. The rally suitable all-wheel drive with viscous locking differential on the rear axle also plays a part in this. Interesting: Despite the complex drive and chassis construction, the GT Turbo weighed only 1,290 kilos in the Supertest -a comparably powerful Audi S3 with 210 hp weighed exactly 200 kg more.

Subaru Impreza GT Turbo in 8:37 min through the Green Hell

It was able to gain its weight advantage with one Equipped with an appropriate spoiler, Impreza converted into fast lap times: on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife it was only four seconds faster than the Audi S3 with a time of 8:37 minutes, at Hockenheim it was 1.5 seconds - an eternity for the 2, 6 km short course.

How can the difference be explained? Horst von Saurma, at the time the author of the sport auto super test, puts it this way: 'The narrow 205 tires quickly reach their performance limits due to the high shifts in wheel load, i.e. the body sway.' And at 20.8 kilometers the tires degrade more extreme than in Hockenheim - of course. Premature tire and brake wear is one of the few problems faced by the Japanese athlete. But in contrast to exotics like the Mazda RX-7, both the drive train and chassis of the Impreza Turbo GT are considered stable.

Series condition rarely, Tuning not a problem

The body has the typical defects of a 90s vehicle: rust on the wheel arches, puff pastry in the area of ​​the jack mount. Even the exhaust should be replaced after more than 15 years - at the latest when cracks appear on the welds.

Important: a check of the axle mounting points on the rear axle. Ideally, the trail is also measured before a possible purchase - many Imprezas have been abused quite hard. Many buyers also saw potential for improvement in the chassis, built in stiffer stabilizers, stiffer springs and shock absorbers.

The drive system also rarely resembles the absolute standard condition: larger turbochargers, different intercoolers, sharper camshafts are all okay as long as they are it wasn't overdone. Modifications of 280 to 300 hp are okay for the drive train, only the clutch and the synchronizer rings of the five-speed manual transmission can give up prematurely if handled improperly.

Little demand for Impreza GT Turbo, small supply

The spare parts situation for a car that is almost 20 years old is quite okay. Parts can be ordered through Subaru Germany. Most of them are also relatively cheap - unless it is about the drive unit. The cost of a turbo can easily run into the thousands if it breaks down. Tuners who specialize in turbo technology can help. They are cheaper than the original, but also no Subaru part.

The Subaru Impreza GT Turbo is available from 5,000 euros in state 4, for state 2 at least 10,000 euros are due. The market is limited and enthusiast vehicles rarely appear on the Internet. Demand is also quite low -the GT turbos are still affordable. Maybe also because many don't even have it on their screen and enter the abbreviations 'WRX' and 'STi' in the search mask. And who is to blame? Clearly: Colin.

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