Litchfield Impreza

Tuning specialist turns Subaru into a rocket

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

As focused, fierce and well engineered as an RS Porsche, this lighter and more powerful Impreza is an immensely quick and compelling machine. At £33,995, it offers tremendous pace, and being a five-door hatch means it’s practical, too. The Spec C is highly strung, but if ever a car has captured the spirit of the legendary Lancia Delta Integrale – only with a massive increase in  performance – this is it. 

Here’s a recipe for the ultimate Impreza: take a lightweight Japan-only model built for motorsport homologation purposes, and make it faster and fiercer than any version officially available here.

What do you get? UK-based tuning company Litchfield’s STi Spec C Sport. Power comes from a high-revving, turbocharged 2.0-litre flat four, instead of the UK STi’s 2.5-litre powerplant, while 

the chassis is sharpened to improve the handling. 

Highlights include a low-friction turbo for faster responses, and a mechanical limited-slip differential for the rear axle. The car also gets a high-flow steering pump, plus thinner glass, a lightweight 

battery and an aluminium bonnet to reduce weight by 30kg.

Litchfield sells Spec Cs in various states of tune, and the Sport model we drove is the hottest version, with 350bhp. 

It also has a sports exhaust for improved engine breathing and an awesome soundtrack. Finally, Litchfield fits two-way adjustable suspension and new anti-roll bars for increased road-holding and more incisive handling.

The results are sensational. The Spec C’s smaller 2.0-litre engine revs more freely than that of the UK car, and it’s much more potent, too. The steering has more weight and feel, and the firm 

suspension means its pace along a bumpy B-road is ballistic. 

Litchfield hasn’t upgraded the brakes, but the standard Brembos are adequate for road use. If you want to do trackdays, the firmcan fit a bigger Alcon front brake kit developed for its ultimate 

creation: the monstrous 400bhp, £40,000 Spec C-based Type 20.

Most Popular

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5
MG 7 - side

New 2022 MG7 could be a cut-price Audi A5

The new MG7 saloon has been teased ahead of its August reveal
8 Aug 2022
“Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars are just too similar”
Opinion - VW and Skoda

“Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda cars are just too similar”

Mike Rutherford thinks Volkswagen, SEAT and Skoda need to target different audiences if they are to be successful in the future
7 Aug 2022
New 2025 Land Rover Discovery set for luxury reinvention
Land Rover Discovery - front (watermarked)

New 2025 Land Rover Discovery set for luxury reinvention

The Land Rover Discovery nameplate could spawn a family of models like the Defender
4 Aug 2022