A little bit of an outstander in the line of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI S-models is the R205. Based on the third generation Impreza hatchback (also known as GR), the R205 is an STI complete car like all S-models, though it got a different naming. The reason for this is that the equipment and upgrades of the R205 did not live up to that of the S-models. All the models starting with an S, are seen as high end sedan or wagon models and as such, a hatchback did not fit well in this image according to the R205 development director. That is why an R is used instead of an S, with the R referring to “Road Sport” as specified in the official Subaru press release.
A R205 distinguished itself on the exterior with a new design front grille and the side garnish painted in a R205 unique black color. On the front and rear there were fitted STI under spoiler parts. Also on the rear was a large roof spoiler painted in a black color. In total four colors were available; Dark Gray Metallic, WR Blue Mica, Lightning Red and Satin White Pearl. The latter two were unique to the R205.
For the interior the difference with the regular WRX STI was a bit harder to spot. Subtle changes like the side sill plate with R205 written on it, a small numbered badge telling which number of the limited edition it is and optional Recaro seats told you this was a special version.
Most of the changes were made under the skin. The engine was not a special balanced and assembled STI unit, but nevertheless some significant changes were made to the intake, exhaust and turbo. It resulted in a power of 320 horsepower at 6400 rpm and a peak torque of 432 Nm at 4400 rpm.
Bigger Brembo brakes (6-pot on the front, 4-pot on the rear) were fitted in combination with cast aluminium 18″ STI wheels. Tyres were Potenza RE070 in 245/40 size. Many suspension components were upgraded with STI parts (front and rear struts and springs, rear suspension links, front tower bar and front stabilizer). The most interested was the addition of a Flexible Draw Stiffener which enhanced sharp cornering under large steering angles.
Sales started in January 2010, at a price of 4.7 Million Yen, around 1 Million Yen higher than the regular WRX STI. And it was limited to 400 units only, which made it more rare than the foregoing S203 and S204. The next S model after the R205 was going to be the S206 which was based on the third generation Impreza. Like the R205, be it that the S206 was based on the WRX STI sedan and got a built STI engine again.
Click on the picture below to see the R205 and other Impreza versions per year and detailed specifications such as weight, new price and equipment for each version in the Goo-net.com catalog.
Bonus pictures by Hiroyuki Ominato for Car Watch: