4 Things That Make the Subaru 2.5RS the Ultimate JDM Machine

The Impreza line is perhaps Subaru’s greatest achievement in their 60-year history. Because the Impreza was an extremely versatile “economy” car, it allowed them to compete with companies like Toyota and Honda. Just like many other Japanese economy cars, the Impreza was eventually offered in a performance model. In 1998 Subaru created the Impreza 2.5RS, which introduced them to the high-performance car market in America.

Today in 2016 the 2.5RS has this weird cult following and Subaru fans across the globe praise it. Is the 2.5RS as good as Subaru fans claim? Here are four good reasons to get your hands on a Subaru 2.5RS today.

4. They’re Unique

How often to do you see a Subaru 2.5RS rolling around town? Probably not very often unless you live in Colorado or Flagstaff, Arizona. This is because Subaru only produced the 2.5RS from 1998 – 2001, and only produced 14,000+ of them. This makes them rarer than some Ferrari. Come to think of it, I probably see more supercars than 2.5RSs where I live.


Unlike most “rare” cars, the 2.5RS doesn’t really get treated like one, it’s a cheap daily driver that most owners treat like as such. Failing to keep up on maintenance and in general poor automotive treatment is a common occurrence for most Subaru 2.5RSs, forcing them to become rarer by the day.

On top of them becoming rarer every single day, Subaru hasn’t produced an AWD performance coupe since the 2.5RS. Now Subaru only produces sedans and wagons (excluding the BRZ), for some people a 2-door is the only way a performance car should be.

3. The Rally Heritage

What’s the first image that pops in your head, when you think about rally racing? More than likely an image of a Subaru flying through the air popped into your head. The GC Impreza is what put Subaru on the radar of professional motorsports, and it helped define, and shape the brand into what it is today.


It’s pretty easy to tell that the Subaru 2.5RS is part of a rally bred family. Huge lights tucked inside the bumper for night driving, a big hood scoop to help keep the engine cool when driving spiritedly, and the massive mouth. All of these features are inspired by Subaru’s rally racing success. Although the Subaru 2.5RS didn’t get the crazy wide-body that the Impreza 22B got, there are a few after-market companies helping 2.5RS owners to fix that.

In the Rally Cross community, the 2.5RS is one of the best cars you can race with. I’m talking autocross that’s on dirt, not the Red Bull rally cross that has become insanely popular in the past few years. Most people in Rally Cross drive an Impreza of some kind, but the fastest and best racers often use the 2.5RS platform for their race machine.

2. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive

Subaru is pretty well-known for their all-wheel-drive, every Subaru on the market today is AWD excluding the BRZ. Subaru developed a system that would help its rally success of the 90’s, they called it “Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive”. All it really is, is a system that splits the torque nearly perfectly between the front and rear axles, helping it corner and handle like a rear wheel drive car.

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The standard AWD system before it would cause the car to understeer a lot. This caused by to much drive power going to the front wheels. Symmetrical AWD fixed this by being dynamic throughout a turn. Today in 2016 all AWD systems work this way, but back then it was pretty crazy.


They integrated this system into the Subaru 2.5RS, making it handle like a true sports car, and still be able to get you home through snow, mud, rain, and whatever else the world throws at you. Regardless of the awesome handling that the symmetrical AWD system gives the 2.5RS, have you seen how crazy AWD launches are? A Subaru can launch as hard as a RWD car on drag slicks.

1. Subarus are like Legos

The 2.5L engine that the 2.5RS are equipped with is by no means a bad engine, but it’s naturally aspirated which limits its power output to 165 hp. But, almost all Subaru drivetrain parts are interchangeable, which means dropping in a motor from a newer WRX/STi is nearly as simple as bolting it in. Ask any Subaru owner, you can drop a 2016 STi engine in any Impreza with minimal work. I wish I could drop an SRT8 engine in my XJ Cherokee with minimal work.

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This also applies to the transmission, center differential, front differential, and rear differential. Making it a breeze to take your Subaru 2.5RS from 165 hp to 300+ hp, really stepping up the performance of this little rally machine. This also makes it way easier to upgrade brakes and suspension which can get very costly in the aftermarket. STi brakes/suspension are a direct bolt in for the 2.5RS. You can literally take an STi and put 90% of its parts onto your 2.5RS for less than $5k.

Later 2.5RS Models

The entire article I refer to the 2.5RS in the GC8 chassis. This is because the 2.5RS in the later Impreza chassis isn’t nearly as cool. Why is this? Because when the later Impreza came around, so did the WRX. Considering used WRXs aren’t much more than the 2.5RS, it really makes more sense to just get a WRX.

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I suppose this whole article is really based more around the GC8 chassis and not the 2.5RS itself. Either way, if you want a newer Impreza just get a WRX. It’s much better equipped from the factory than a comparable 2.5RS.


If you’re looking for an awesome daily driver, weekend toy, track car, or anything in between, the Subaru 2.5RS is happily up for the task. It’s got style, heritage, incredible all-wheel drive, and is easy to make go faster than your dad’s Corvette.

Top 5 JDM Icon Cars That You Need To Own Before You Die

The internet has caused a massive sensation for tuner cars. Once teenagers loved American made sports cars, now they love “JDM” sports cars. With all the different brands and different models out there, which JDM cars are the best? Well, here are five examples of awesome Japanese engineering.

5. Nissan 300ZX TT


Nissan made the 2nd generation 300ZX from 1989 – 2000 and came with the 3.0L V6 VG30DE and a twin turbo variant. The 300ZX featured a host of performance upgrades over the previous generation; dual overhead cams, variable valve timing, and the optional “Super HICAS” four-wheel steering system. The twin turbo variant produced 300 horsepower, which gave the 300ZX a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds, putting it in the same league as the Mitsubishi 3000GT. Z32s are often called one the top ten best-looking cars ever produced because they looked so advanced for their time.

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Z32s are often called one the top ten best-looking cars ever produced because they looked so advanced for their time. Even to this day in could probably blend in with brand new 2017 model cars. Unfortunately, Z32s are becoming harder to find, so now is the time to scoop one up before they all disappear, or become expensive.

4. Toyota Supra MK4


Toyota made the 4th generation Supra from 1992 – 2002 and designed it to compete with high-end sports cars. The Supra came with, the 3.0L inline-6 2JZ-GE, and a twin turbo variant. The twin turbo models had an astounding 320 horsepower, which rocketed the Supra from 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in an impressive 13.1 seconds. The twin turbos were sequential, and not parallel, meaning that a small turbo creates boost for low rpm power, and a big turbo creates boost at high rpms. The Toyota Supra has become an internet icon over the past 10 years, and videos of 1000+ horsepower Supras are all over the internet. Whether for the better or worse, the Toyota Supra has forever changed the “JDM” scene as we know it.

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The Toyota Supra has become an internet icon over the past 10 years, and videos of 1000+ horsepower Supras are all over the internet. Whether for the better or worse, the Toyota Supra has forever changed the “JDM” scene as we know it. Good MK4 Supras are almost always $20,000+, and they’re rising in price every day. Get one while you still can!

3. Subaru Impreza 2.5RS


The Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, although very similar to a stock Impreza, it managed to become a worldwide rally icon. Subaru made the 2.5RS from 1998 – 2001 and only produced around 14,000 units, making them rarer than a Ferrari 360. The 2.5RS had a power output of 165 horsepower, which really isn’t a lot. But, thanks to motor import laws and that there are WRXs lying around, it has become extremely easy to swap a much more powerful motor into a 2.5rs.

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Not only can you swap a more powerful WRX or STi engine in. You can swap things such as suspension, brakes and steering from later WRX and STi models into the 2.5RS chassis. The 2.5RS is a relatively cheap, but it’s a little hard to find. If you’re looking for a performance car on the cheap, this car should definitely be on your list.

2. Nissan Skyline R32


Nissan debuted the R32 in 1989 and made it available as a 2-door and 4-door, and used several versions of the RB series engine. Most models came with the “HICAS” system, just like the 300ZX. Nissan’s target for the R32 was the Porsche 959. Part of its large success was from it dominating the Japanese and the Australian Touring Car Championship, and it was so good that it won almost every race from 1989 to 1997.

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The Australian press nicknamed it “Godzilla” because it was an automotive monster from Japan. The GT-R has become a legendary car and is used for all things motoring. Due to America’s import laws, the R32 can now be easily imported since it’s now 25 years old. So now is the time to import one if you want to own one the most iconic JDM cars of all time.

1. Acura NSX


Honda/Acura made the NSX from 1990 – 2005 and they changed the world of modern supercars as we know it. It was the first production car to use an all-aluminum monocoque body, making it lightweight. Powering the NSX is a 270 horsepower 3.0L VTEC engine which screamed to 8,000 rpms and propelled the NSX from 0-60 in 5 seconds. A more powerful, 3.2L VTEC engine was available in 1997 and increased horsepower to 290.

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The NSX is lightweight, powerful, handles amazing and has all the reliability of a Honda. The NSX has often been called the “God Father” of supercars. Unfortunately, the NSX has become extremely sought after for their greatness, and they sell insanely quick.


All 5 of these cars have become icons for the ’90s kids, and all of them are awesome. The 300ZX has a timeless design, the Supra is just a beast, the Subaru 2.5RS can be turned into a rally machine, the R32 is one of the most iconic JDM cars ever, and the NSX is the world’s first reliable supercar. These cars are what we think represent JDM, what’s your opinion? Let us know what you think in the comments below!