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A Peek in the Performance Attic - Part One



Wheelbase: 2,520 mm (99.2 in)
Overall length: 4,365 mm (171.9 in)
Width: 1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height: 1,170 mm (46.1 in)
Track, front/rear: 1,480 mm (58.3 in)/ 1,500 mm (59.1 in)
Ground clearance: 140 mm (5.5 in)
Curb weight: 1,270 kg (2,800 lb)
Fuel capacity: 60 liters (15.9 gal)
Code: EJ22
Manufacturer: Subaru
Location: front
Alignment: longitudinal
Cylinder block: aluminum alloy, closed deck
Pistons forged, molybdenum coated, low friction
Configuration: horizontally opposed 4-cylinder, DOHC, 16-valve, turbocharged, intercooled
Displacement: 2,212 cc (134.98 cu in)
Bore x stroke: 96.90 mm x 75.00 mm (3.81 in x 2.95 in)
Compression: 8.0:1
Cylinder heads: aluminum alloy
Fuel system: electronic multipoint fuel injection
Turbocharger: IHI RHF 5HB
Intercooler: air-to-air with auto water-spray system
Horsepower: 276 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 268 lb-ft @ 3,200 rpm
Specific output: 124.8 hp/liter (2.04 hp/cu in)
0-100 km/h: 5.30 sec
1/4-mile: 13.60 sec
Top speed: 248 km/h (154 mph)
Configuration: all-wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed manual, shot-peened gears, short-throw shifter
Clutch: sintered twin clutch with ceramic disc
Differentials: Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD); rear viscous limited-slip differential
First: 3.083
Second: 2.062
Third: 1.545
Fourth: 1.152
Fifth: 0.825
Reverse:  3.415
Final Drive: 4.444
Front suspension: Bilstein inverted strut, Eibach coil springs, carbon strut tower bar, aluminum lower arms
Rear suspension: Bilstein inverted strut, Eibach coil springs
Brakes: 4-wheel ventilated disc, 4-piston calipers front/2-piston calipers rear
Brake disc size, front/rear: 406.4 mm (16.0 in)/ 381 mm (15.0)
Steering: rack-and-pinion, super-quick power-steering gear box (13:1) with power-steering fluid cooler
Steering turns lock-to-lock: 3.2
Wheels: 8.5 x 17 BBS alloy and carbon center caps front and rear
Tires: 235/40 ZR17 Pirelli P Zero front and rear
Model code: GC8E2SD

Based on the domestic Japanese 1998 Impreza WRX STi Type R version 4 Coupe, the 22B featured a hand-built wide body. Its standard wheel arches were cut out and replaced by housings that added 80 mm (3.15 in) to WRX body width. Other external features included a blue pearlescent paint replicating that of the World Rally car, functional hood scoop, water injectors to cool the intercooler, and a tall, adjustable wing on the trunk lid.



The engine was a bored-out version (2.2 liter) of the standard 2.0-liter WRX horizontally opposed four-cylinder with an intercooled turbocharger. The added displacement contributed significantly to mid-range torque, making the torque curve almost flat from approximately 3,200 rpm up to 6,000 rpm. In published driving impressions, journalists puzzled over the car’s actual power output. Some claimed that it had up to 350 and even 380 horsepower, where Subaru published horsepower at 276. This was the contemporary cut-off for horsepower by “gentlemen’s agreement” among the Japanese manufacturers.


All-wheel drive with a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) was the foundation for the drivetrain. The performance-oriented drivetrain and chassis components included inverted Bilstein struts, Enkei springs, BBS wheels, ventilated brakes (16" front and 15" rear), and viscous limited-slip rear differential. The close-ratio five-speed manual transmission was operated by a twin-plate, ceramic-and-metal competition clutch. All 22B models were right-hand drive.




The 22B was configured for serious driving. Journalists wrote of it being brutally fast, and its firm suspension along with AWD grip enabled lateral acceleration measured at 0.96 g by a Car and Driver test. Even now, few performance cars are capable of that type of cornering.



Smooth shifting via the competition clutch demanded full concentration. This was not the kind of car for commuting in heavy traffic. Most writers indicated the driving experience was intense.


The WRX 22B STi drove and rode like a Subaru rally car, as it was intended to do. Each one of the limited-edition cars was a little different, and they remain extremely desirable today.




The 22B in SOA’s attic was one of three WRX vehicles brought to the United States to help prepare for the launch of the 2002 WRX. The three were circulated among key members of the automotive press to generate interest in the WRX, which was not available at that time in the North American market. Positive responses from enthusiasts prompted SOA to proceed with safety and emissions certification.


The next issue of Drive Performance will feature another performance vehicle stored in the attic. See the Subaru production vehicles stored in the attic at


More Subaru performance vehicles in the attic can be found here, continuing in Version 4.1.



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