• Jun 9th 2006 at 11:31AM
  • 11

Alright... so you've openly lusted after the performance envelopes of road-bound rally cars like the Subaru WRX STi and Mitsubishi EVO IX MR, but you can't get around their frump four-door roots, or their look-at-me aerodynamic addenda. So what's keeping the two firms from building a lighter, more lithesome coupe?  Mitsubishi has little excuse, as it already has the rumptastic (if overweight) Eclipse in its fold, a car that was once upon a time known for its turbocharged hooliganism.

Subaru, however, doesn't have the same luck-- the last time it did a two-door coupe, the interestingly-styled SVX, it was an overweight, slow-selling cruiser, not a true performance car. So while enthusiasts have waited around for some time for the boys and gals at Fuji Heavy to pack their winning mechanicals in something smaller and sexier, it's taken the WRC wizards at Prodrive to deliver.

Seen here is the P2, a car that's been hinted about for some time, and Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear is the first scribe we know of to drive it... as well as suffer its ill-effects.

Based on Subaru's diminutive R1 supermini, but packing the drivetrain from the WRX STi with a bigger turbo, and the attractively 'New Edge with chunk' styled P2 puts 345 brake horsepower worth of smack down. The net-net? 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds, and a top speed of 174 mph.

Better still, Clarkson figures, is the handling. The engineers at Prodrive have not only figured out some sort of indescribably complex anti-lag system for the turbocharger, they've gone and developed a driver-adjustable active center differential. While the latter trinket doesn't sound terribly different from a bog-standard STi's piece, the Subaru's is essentially a mechanical system, while the P2's is supervised and informed by all manner of sensors, including yaw, throttle position, and so on. The end result is a coupe that can be neatly tailored for the demands of the road and the driver-- safe as houses understeer, or tail-out antics. It all works so well that it makes Clarkson sick-- literally.

Sadly, according to JC, ProDrive has no plans to put the P2 into production. 

[Source: TopGear via YouTube]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      if they did produce it, that anti-lag system would make the car unsuitable according to the EPA, id imagine... so... make it a kit car, and it bypasses all that EPA stuff...

      and yea, the anti lag has been used in rally cars for a while, thats why they all seem to backfire during shifting and off throttle moments, they really are backfiring, on purpose!
      • 9 Years Ago
      no production! what! ... well it's not like us american's would get it anyways...
      • 9 Years Ago
      It reminds me of a Scion TC, cleaned up. I didn't like the TC's look, but I love this one. It's a shame on the quoted price(forgot the price, but not expensive) being mentioned when it won't be produced. I wouldn't mind picking one up.

      Why make such a nice affordable car and not make it available? Darn. The noises it makes are unforgettable.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Having an injector firing into the turbo has been done on the rally scene since the mid-80's. I'm sure it was probably done earlier somewhere else, but I remember old Quattro Coupes with that tech (race version).

      Obviously we have much better management now, so it would have to work better now.

      Too bad cars like this seldom make it to market. When you expose more people to a car that has handling like this - they learn about the joys of actually driving a car as opposed to just drag racing it.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Maybe if Americans would stop suing auto manufacturers when they can't drive them safely (who put the accelerator pedal next to the brake???) they'll let us have the cool cars the ROW gets. :-)
      • 9 Years Ago
      top gear forums


      cool car
      • 9 Years Ago
      That is one awesome sounding wastegate!
      • 9 Years Ago
      He's such a car guy he doesnt know the difference between a wastegate and a blow off valve... But then again, it is Britain, so maybe a blow off valve is called a waste gate there?
      • 9 Years Ago
      They didn't really go into how the anti-lag works but it's been used on Rally cars for years. The idea is to keep the boost pressure from dropping when your off the throttle. This is done either through severely retarding the ignition timing so that fuel gets dumped into the exhaust or just having a fuel injector in the exhaust manifold. This might explain why they're not going to produce the P2 - apparently WRC cars need to have their exhaust manifolds rebuilt pretty frequently. There was some talk of developing a closed loop anti-lag system where high pressure exhaust is reused later but I don't think anyone ever used it in WRC.

      There's a wikipedia article on Antilag:
      • 9 Years Ago
      Correction: Subaru offered the last generation Impreza as a coupe and a 4 door....
      • 9 Years Ago
      Saving that last sentence for the end is just plain wrong.

      Fassster: while the Impreza was available as a 2-door, it was no sleeker than the sedan.