BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine

The Subaru Impreza 22B prototype from the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show is up for auction

… and the estimate is absolutely huge. Bonhams reckons this 49-mile minter could fetch £430,000

Published: 07 Aug 2023

It’s not all that often that interesting prototypes come up for sale on the open market. They’re usually worked to death by manufacturers and then crushed for legal reasons or to protect trade secrets. 

And yet, not only did this 1997 Subaru Impreza 22B STI prototype survive for over two decades, it also remained in absolute mint condition. Seriously, this is essentially a brand-new 22B. Its odometer shows it has covered just 49 miles in its lifetime, and we’re told that it has never been registered for road use.

Advertisement - Page continues below

That’s because this was the first prototype of the magical 276bhp, 2.2-litre turbo 22B, with the plaque inside showing it as number 000 of 400. Oh, and this was the exact car that was on display at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show. 

Apparently, there were five 22B prototypes in total which were gifted to members of Subaru’s WRC team, including Colin McRae and Nicky Grist.

This car (chassis 061819) was given to David Lapworth of Prodrive, with other previous owners being listed as Subaru of Japan, Prodrive of England and an unnamed private collector in Japan. 

Advertisement - Page continues below

So, with just 70km on the clock and the rather unique history of this car, you’d expect it to fetch a pretty penny right? Well, it’s more than you’re thinking. In fact, auctioneer Bonhams has stuck an estimate of £354,000 - £433,000 on the special Subie. Yikes.

Subaru Impreza 22B STI prototype Top Gear

Top Gear

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

More from Top Gear

See more on Subaru

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine