Spotted: Impreza 22B with 8200kms!

The Subaru Impreza 22B needs very little introduction. Being such a legendary performance icon most car enthusiasts will have likely heard of the 22B at some point.

For those who have been hiding under a rock, Subaru built just 424 examples of the 22B to celebrate its 40th year in the car business, taking the already fabulous STi Type R and fortifying it with muscular blistered arches covering bigger wheels, and opening up the flat four to 2.2-litres.

You can imagine how excited we were to spot this particular 22B at a dealer in Japan. On first impressions it looks like a pearler and the fact its covered 8200kms from new only adds to the excitement. As always a thorough inspection by our team in Japan will help verify the provenance and condition.

We’d anticipate there are very few examples in the World today that have covered less mileage so we suspect this will end up with a collector. Suffice to say we’d expect a serious price tag on this car.

Please drop us a line if you’re interested in this 22B.

 

The S series Impreza – Subaru’s finest hour?

The S series Subaru Impreza is somewhat unknown here in the UK. This is fairly understandable considering they were only produced in limited numbers exclusively for the Japanese domestic market.

Its perhaps surprising to think that the original S201 went on sale almost 17 years ago. Since then a further 6 generations have been released and the latest S208 due in 2018 is a testament to the success of this specialist model.

So what makes an S stand out from a standard STI from the same era? In short… its the more focused sibling. But we thought you’d appreciate a more detailed explaination of each generation so we did exactly that…

S201

  • Year: 2000
  • Production numbers: 300
  • Power output: 305PS (300bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,270kgs

The original S201 is a sight to behold, well perhaps not in the positive sense. Believe it or not the car below is as it left the production line back in 2000. With a bodykit that resembles a 90’s project car that went terribly wrong its difficult to fall in love with its looks. However with only 300 ever produced this is (along with the S207) the rarest of all S series Imprezas. What’s more its the lightest too. Does this make it the most desirable though?

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an S201.

S202

  • Year: 2002
  • Production numbers: 400
  • Power output: 320PS (316bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,330kgs

Coming in at 60kgs heavier than the previous S201 but boasting an extra 16bhp the S202 is often considered the sweet spot of the S-series Impreza. Although the ‘bug-eye’ experienced a lot of critics upon release its become far more popular in recent years. A limited 400 units produced only adds to the appeal.

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an S202.

S203

  • Year: 2004
  • Production numbers: 555
  • Power output: 320PS (316bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,445kgs

Although the S203 is received far better visually than previous models it loses on headline stats. At 555 produced its the second most available S-series. And with an extra 85kgs added to its kerb weight whilst retaining the same power output as the previous S202 its arguably starting to look softer.

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an S203.

S204

  • Year: 2005
  • Production numbers: 600
  • Power output: 320PS (316bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,450kgs

The Hawkeye is widely considered the best looking Impreza to date and has consequently received many admirers over the years. It doesn’t stop at the exterior either, the exclusive leather RECARO seats are a work of art which cost considerable money to replace. Although the S204 got heavier again (extra 5kgs) there were big improvements to the suspension set up which helped it corner at breakneck speeds whilst being extremely comfortable.

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an S204

R205

  • Year: 2010
  • Production numbers: 400
  • Power output: 320PS (316bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,470kgs

Exact reasons for the sudden name change are fairly unknown and we questioned its inclusion into this feature, however the R205 is still very much a performance enhanced STI produced in limited numbers which shares characteristics of the previous S204. What’s more its a cracking car to both drive and look at. Enhanced damping over the standard STI along with 6 pot front brakes and lightweight wheels should be enough to convince most that this is an Impreza that doesn’t mess around.

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an R205

S206

  • Year: 2011
  • Production numbers: 300 (100 NBR challenge packs)
  • Power output: 320PS (316bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,470kgs

2011 saw a revert back to the ‘S’ and Subaru did so with serious intent producing 300 cracking S206s. Of these were 100 that included the NBR challenge pack which essentially boasted a carbon fibre roof and rear wing along with a hand built engine. We’re super keen to bring one of these to the UK very soon!

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an S206

S207

  • Year: 2015
  • Production numbers: 400
  • Power output: 328PS (323bhp)
  • Kerb weight: 1,510kgs

Claimed by Subaru to be… “The World’s most enjoyable vehicle”… the S207 was certainly enjoyed by the press. After 5 generations the power was upped by 7bhp to 323bhp but it came at the cost of an increase of 40kgs over the previous S206. The NBR challenge pack remained on a further limited number to attract the most hardcore Impreza fans.

Drop us a line if you’re looking for an S207

S208

  • Year: 2018
  • Production numbers: 450
  • Power output: TBC
  • Kerb weight: TBC

There’s a huge amount of buzz surrounding the highly anticipated S208. Lighter and more power all 450 units will sport a carbon fibre roof and expected to produce in the realms of 350bhp.

 

So what’s the future of the S-series Impreza? Will this hugely successful model be here for a further 17 years? The latest concept images hint at what’s on the horizon for Subaru. But are these sleek lines showcasing the all new Subaru Impreza or are we about to experience something completely different?

 

Spotted: Nissan Silvia Tommy Kaira

Well, there’s a first time for everything and this Nissan Silvia Tommy Kaira is the first we’ve seen or in fact heard of. We even questioned its authenticity at first but with a quick internet search there appears to be more than one in existence. Although an accurate specification is yet to be verified its powered by the turbo charged CA18DET. Unlike many of the Tommy Kaira cars its appearance is very low key which should appeal to a far wider audience. Subtle details such as the quirky steering wheel insert help make it a pretty cool car.

Priced at nearly 1.8 mill JPY (Just over £12,000 GBP at today’s exchange rate) it doesn’t seem completely unreasonable considering its rarity and the fact its only covered 43,000kms (26,000 miles).

Drop us a line for more info or to arrange an inspection with our team in Japan.

 

Spotted: Mazda RX7 Spirit R

Over the past 12 months the Mazda RX7 has received a serious upturn in appreciation. So much so that we now have more orders for series 8 RX7s than we’ve ever experienced in 16 years of importing cars from Japan. So why the sudden spike in interest you may ask? Our answer would be that its long overdue. For years the RX7 has been feared through stories of immeasurable unreliability to a point where onlookers would be forgiven to think they blow up every 1000 miles. In reality the rotary engine requires maintenance and respect like any other engine but it rewards the driver with a beautifully unique and involving driving experience.

The series 8 has unquestionably received the greatest interest and consequently we’ve seen values rise. However this model, the Spirit R, is the flagship RX7. Lightweight RECARO seats, BBS wheels, BILSTEIN dampers and larger brakes certainly help it stand out from the crowd. And with only 1000 units released by Mazda its reasonable to think these fetch a fair bit more too.

Although this particular example is being offered at a shade under 7 mill JPY (£47,000 GBP at today’s exchange rate) it has only covered 4000kms from new and appears on first impressions to be in superb condition. A proper in the flesh inspection would be required by our team in Japan to confirm this though…

 

Spotted: Active Red R34 GTR

We recently sourced a gorgeous Active Red R34 GTR V-spec for a customer using our Personal import service. If you haven’t seen it already you can find it here Redzilla: The Perfect GTR?

We mentioned how difficult it is to find Active Red (AR2) R34 GTRs being released in very few numbers but then a week later we spot this one at a well known dealer in Japan! Although this is a base grade R34 GTR rather than the V-spec we sourced last month its still super rare and jaw dropping to look at!

With no recorded accident history and 73,000kms it looks like a pretty decent example. However without question its a car that needs an inspection before parting with your hard earned cash.

Its stated to have a number of NISMO parts fitted so we’d be very interested to have a look at this GTR ourselves. With no price indicated as yet, this would be the first question we’d ask before making the trip to inspect.

Its certainly a rare car with only 41 Active Red R34 GTRs produced for the Japanese domestic market so drop us a line if you’re interested…

 

 

Spotted: Honda NSX-R

It doesn’t take a genius to guess why we felt the need to share this 90’s supercar we spotted at a dealer in Japan. This 1996 Honda NSX-R appears on first glance to be nothing short of top notch.

With 1 owner from new and only 18,000kms (11k miles) on the clock it has the foundations of a genuine collector’s example. Number 471 of only 483 exclusively produced for the Japanese domestic market theres thought to be far fewer remaining today.

Obviously much will come down to our team’s inspection in Japan but its certainly making a great first impression!

However with a price tag of 24 mill JPY (£162,000 GBP at today’s exchange rate) very few will be in the market for such a car.


Redzilla – The perfect GTR?

Occasionally a car comes along that’s impossible to ignore. This is most definitely one of those occasions. Is it the rare Active Red body colour, the plethora of quality Japanese upgrades or quite simply the GTR badge? The answer is possibly down to the individual but we’d hazard a guess its all the above and more.

Firstly lets put the rarity of this GTR into context. From the 11,577* R34 GTRs ever produced there were only 61 Active Red (AR2)* V-specs released in Japan, which made it the rarest bar Lightning Yellow (44)*. That’s nearly 5 times less than Midnight Purple II (282)* and less than half that of Midnight Purple III (132)*

Suffice to say we had to react quickly to secure this stunning example when it came up in Japan. Its very rare to see one in this colour but its even rarer to find one in good condition and as well set up.

Quite possibly the most sought after addition to any R34 GTR is the NISMO option aerokit. In our opinion this really does transform the look of the R34 into something far more suitably aggressive.

Running close to 550bhp through a set of TRUST T517 turbos and supporting HKS mods we’d consider it close to perfect power for UK fast road use. And what better way to stop this bright red bullet than with a set of Endless brakes all round.

Further improvements have been made to the handling through TEIN HA suspension, IKEYA Formula and CUSCO components as well as a set of wide RAYS TE37s and Bridgestone Potenzas.

*Numbers courtesy of GTR Registry

Spotted: R32 GTR with 4,800kms

Have you ever wondered what a brand new Nissan Skyline R32 GTR looks like? Well this stunning 1 owner example we spotted at a dealers in Japan is as close as it gets. With a mere 4,800kms (3,000 miles) on the clock it has averaged under 200kms per annum. From the immaculate bodywork and engine bay to the time capsule interior its most likely seen the light of day on very few occasions.

Definitely one for the collector its unlikely we’ll see this GTR thrown around Suzuka anytime soon especially with a price tag of 10 mill JPY (£69,000 GBP or $90,000 USD at today’s exchange rate).

Would you lock this GTR away or drive as it was intended?

 

Electrification for all Honda cars by 2019 in Europe.

Keeping up with the times Honda have unveiled their innovative Urban EV Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show which focuses on electric power this year. Honda’s concept has been received well regarding it’s looks with many suggesting the design nods back to the original Civic.

Honda insists that this car will become a reality based on the concept by 2019. However this isn’t the biggest news as Honda’s CEO, Takahiro Hachigo announced that Honda’s entire range of cars will be electrified by 2019! Honda feels that Europe’s pace of electrification is more intense than other parts of the world so this will be the initial focus.

Its encouraging to see Honda thinking out loud about the inevitable electrified future of cars. As a manufacturer they have built a successful reputation of doing things differently. To survive as a giant in the automotive industry they have to move forward.

Although this will be a big leap in a new direction is there a danger of all EV’s becoming the same? Could they lose the character that the combustion engine has provided all these years? Will Petrolhead’s become Electrichead’s?

Honda is a brand that Petrolhead’s love due to the good old days of screaming VTEC’s, 9000rpm’s and an exciting, raw, involving driving experience.

How will Honda replace this nostalgia in an electric world?