Impreza 22B Tribute by Launsport, Japan
One of the last built - Show Condition.
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Subaru produced their limited edition 22B wide body coupe version of the WRX STI between March and August 1998. The 22B was used to commemorate both Subaru's 40th anniversary as well as the third consecutive manufacturer's title for Subaru in the FIA World Rally Championship. All 413 Japanese cars sold immediately and of these, only 24 units were produced for export markets: 16 for the UK, 5 for Australia and 3 prototypes. Approximately 50 of the Japanese cars were imported privately into the UK. There are currently only 51 original 22Bs on DVLA's records. Today the 22B sits as the undisputed icon of all classic imprezas and is a car that invokes a special nostalgia when spotted by Japanese car & WRC rally enthusiasts. Whenever we are in the vicinity of this particular Launsport 22B Tribute, it never fails to excite with it's styling and purposefulness. If only there was space, this is one we'd be very tempted to keep for ourselves since the chances of ever having another like it are zero. We're quite certain there isn't another Launsport 22B tribute in Europe; they're that rare. Original factory produced 22B's now not far off £130,000 in value for the best examples. The best of the 2 door coupes continue to rise in value strongly too. Launsport creates a handful of these22B replicas each year for Japanese clients who want a unique classic Impreza 22B replica, which can be used daily without fear of losing value, whilst not being too valuable to enjoy as intended. Launsport are Japan's premier Subaru rally-styling specialist, well known for high quality workmanship & attention to details. The base car they created this 22B replica from begun as a low mileage standard STi Version 6 Type R V-Limited; the highest spec. and most desirable of all the 2 door coupes bar the 22B. Their conversion consists of perfectly reproduced rear quarter panels, front fenders, front & rear bumpers and side skirts together with bonnet ducts, driving light covers, 22B emblem, pink Subaru badge, etc. Launsport's kit is made from original molds & are as true to form as the original items. Indeed, nowadays as Subaru no longer make or supply spare parts for 22B's, their products are used as replacement parts for original cars in Japan, such is the quality of re-production. Launsport use their own high-quality bodywork facilities. Combined with considerable experience in creating rally replica Subarus, the results are clearly stunning from any viewpoint.
Performance wise, there's very little difference between a factory original 22B and this Launsport Impreza 22B Tribute. The main difference would be the original's 2,212cc engine with forged pistons & larger turbo & intercooler against the Sti 6 V-Limited's blue-printed 2.0 unit. Power wise, there's no difference since they both make 280 bhp in keeping with Japan's gentleman's agreement of the 1990's. Torque maps are slightly different, as to be expected from different capacities, but in driving both back-to back, there would be no performance deficit at all. The close ratio box with adjustable central differential is same for both, suspension, brakes, etc. are the same too. The original donor STi Version 6 Type R V-Limited is distinguishable from it's original roof vent, crystal headlights, light green tint on windows & updated red and white rear lights, plus the blue V-Limited front seats. These work well on a 22B tribute, as the usual red & black STi seats wouldn't sit right, for example.
The Launsport 22B Tribute is a very close replica in terms of dimensions, to the original factory produced 22B.The conversion was modelled on an original 22B, whilst being engineered with Launsport's extensive rallying experience in Japan to fit perfectly and offer a durable, robust conversion.
The interior is slightly different, since the 22B uses the older STi 3's dashboard and differen (but same coloured)t front seat trim. The rear wing on the 22B is adjustable and the Sti 6's isn't - original 22B's didn't come with a rally styled roof vent as standard, which the V-Limited Sti 6 did - from factory. The privacy (rear) glass is same as on a factory 22B. The interior is also of a more modern design than previous versions, with white faced instruments as standard, updated air conditioning control & a Momo SRS steering wheel. Note that creature comforts are included such as A/C, electric colour coded mirrors with electric retract mode, rear wiper, central locking, power windows, power steering, optional fitted floor mats, privacy glass in the rear and more. This car also includes original option centre dash Lamco gauges, a Carrozzeria FH-580 200W head unit and uprated Alpine speakers.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The engine is a red top EJ20K unit - factory blue-printed & endowed with stronger internals with a higher 8,000 rpm rev limit. As standard there are Auto & manual controls for water jets to the intercooler. The steering rack is quick geared for less turns from lock to lock, as engineered by Subaru Technica International. 4-Piston signature front brake calipers give excellent braking performance, as required of car with this level of performance & cornering ability. The gearbox is a close-ratio unit with an adjustable centre differential, geared for maximum speed of 155 mph at the red line. The electronically adjustable centre differential allows any range between a fully locked (For very slippery conditions such as snow) all the way to 70% rear and 30% front bias allowing under-steer to be dialed out and for power oversteer to be supplied as required.