Quick Highlight – Subaru Impreza Gravel Express
Keep your miserable SUV, all aboard the Gravel Express!by Jonathan Lopez, on
I think at this point, Subaru is well established as one of the primary movers and shakers in the world of rough, rally-tough performance, mostly thanks to the turbocharged, all-four-driven, race-bred WRX. But while this mainstay of the import enthusiast culture first hit U.S. shores in the early 2000’s, older overseas slideways fans have known the joy of boosted Scoobys for much longer. Probably the most famous old school ‘Rex is the wide-hipped, be-winged 22B, a true icon in and of itself. But I’m not here to sing the praises of the 22B, at least not this time around. No, instead I want to raise awareness of something a little… weirder. Say hello to the Gravel Express, a JDM-special WRX rocking two-tone paint, a raised ride height, a giant bull bar on the nose, and a spare wheel on the hatch.
All you really need to know about this thing is right there in the name. Indeed, this odd Impreza is rocking WRX-levels of power from a carryover turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine and the traditional high-performance symmetrical AWD system. Unfortunately, Subaru axed the Gravel Express after just one generation, because apparently, this tasty slice of automotive awesomeness just didn’t sell as well as hoped. But the fact it was made at all is reason to celebrate, no?
On these shores, we got the much-less-interesting Impreza Outback Sport, which neglected boost in favor an all-atmosphere 2.2-liter four-cylinder, but the bones are pretty much the same. Your job, dear enthusiast, is to find an old Outback Sport, drop in a turbo 2.0-liter, lift it up, mount a bull bar up front, and put a spare wheel on the hatch. Once your task is complete, let the gravel be your guide…
Read our full review on the Subaru Impreza WRX.