Tag Archives: Banbury

Drive By Wire Safari – Subaru Impreza WRC99

In 1997 World Rally Car regulations were introduced for the World Rally Championship that were more liberal than the Group A regulations that had been mandated since 1986.

Subaru Impreza WRC99, Prodrive, Banbury,

Subaru with their partner Prodrive in the UK built for WRC evolutions of the 2 door Impreza before the model was replaced by the all new 4 door Impreza GD in 2001.

Subaru Impreza WRC99, Prodrive, Banbury,

The 1999 WRC evolution of the Impreza known as the WRC99 was the first rally car to compete on a World Rally with drive by wire throttle and steering wheel mounted paddle shift for the hydraulically actuated semi automatic transmission, technology that was imported from contemporary Formula One practice.

Subaru Impreza WRC99, Prodrive, Banbury,

Richard Burns was the only Subaru works driver to compete in all rounds of the 1999 World Rally Championship with a Impreza WRC99 and he recorded wins in Greece, Australian and Britain on his way to a second place finish in the 1999 WRC championship.

Subaru Impreza WRC99, Prodrive, Banbury,

Juha Kankkunen recorded two more wins in Argentina and Finland with the Impreza WRC99 to help Subaru finish second, just four points adrift of Toyota, in the 1999 World Rally Manufacturers championship.

Subaru Impreza WRC99, Prodrive, Banbury,

Richard Burns and Juha Kankkunen both used the Impreza WRC99 in the first three rounds of the 2000 World Rally Championship and signed the model off with a 1-2 finish on the Safari Rally Kenya with Richard and co driver Robert Reid ahead of Juha and his co driver Juha Repo.

Subaru Impreza WRC99, Prodrive, Banbury,

Richard scored 3 more victories with the newer Impreza WRC2000 and finished 2nd again in the World Rally Championship while Subaru with no additional victories dropped to third in the manufacturers championship.

Richards #3 Safari winning WRC99 is seen in these photographs at Prodrives Head Office in Banbury.

Thanks for joining me on this “Drive By Wire Safari” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a BRM Formula One car. Don’t forget to come back now !


Sick Bag Not Included – Prodrive P2

In 2006 David Richards tasked every department in the Prodrive Group with developing the Prodrive P2 into a fully functional concept car in order to demonstrate ” the perfect manifestation of what happens when our inspirational ideas combine with our innovative approach.”

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Development from designs by Peter Stevens, whose portfolio includes the Jaguar XJR 15 and McLaren F1, to fully functioning vehicle took just 9 (nine) months.

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Prodrive started by using a much modified All Wheel Drive Subaru R1 platform around which to build the P2.

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Under the hood lurks a 345 hp turbocharged Subaru flat four taken from the Subaru World Rally Championship (WRC) programme complete with Prodrives Anti Lag System (ALS) tuned for the road that minimises turbo lag by burning fuel in the exhaust system at low rpm which keeps the turbo turbine spinning at high speed. Such systems which increase the throttle response of turbocharged vehicles were banned from Formula One in 1981.

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The P2 also uses a modified version of the Subaru (WRC) drive train which features Prodrives ATD™ system which compares what the driver is expecting with what the vehicle is providing. The system modulates torque to individual wheels using a differential control system.

In a four wheel drive application such as the P2, if the car is understeering / pushing, then the system will deliver more torque to the back wheels, making it behave more like a rear wheel drive car; if the car is oversteering / loose then more torque will be delivered to the front wheels. ATD™ enables the car to be driven through corners at much higher speeds.

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When a well known large presenter of a well known motoring programme tried the P2 with the ATD™ switched on he apparently drove the P2 in such a tight circle at such high speeds he made himself ill and had to stop the car and open the door to spill his diced carrots and peas on the tarmac.

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With a power to weight ratio of 350 hp per tonne the P2 can reach 62 mph in 4 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph.

Prodrive estimated that it would have been able to retail the P2 for around £40,000 / $ 65,000 in 2006, but declined to manufacture the vehicle themselves.

Hope you have enjoyed the ride in today’s ATD™ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !