The Elusive Type R STI - Imported by B-Pro Auto
Updated: Jun 8, 2019
The world’s greatest Subaru, okay, it’s not a 22B, but it’s close! Behold the (take a deep breath before you try to say this out loud) Version 6 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type R. The difference's between a normal GC8 and this Type R are both subtle and significant. The biggest difference being the amount of doors, the Type R being a coupe, and a regular GC8 being a sedan. Other differences are the Type R having DCCD, and an intercooler sprayer. Having a two door STI is pretty special, I really only see a handful of other ones actually driving around here, and when I encounter a GC8 sedan on the street, I definitely feel like a high-roller.
This car has been in Canada since early 2015, and I have been the only Canadian owner since then. Since so many people ask me about the import process, I’ll explain a little bit. The car was imported through Brian at B-Pro Auto here in Calgary, Alberta. When I tell people I really didn’t do anything to get the car here, they don’t believe me, so I will explain a little bit. I gave Brian at B-Pro a deposit, and told him my budget and what I wanted. From there he would send me links to vehicles that were up for auction in Japan, if I liked the vehicle I would give him the go-ahead to bid on it. I waited a while for the right vehicle to pop-up, so you may have to be patient if you’re looking for something specific. Anyway, This Type R STI came up in auction, I gave Brian the go-ahead to bid on it and boom, I won.
From there I sent the remainder of money I owed for the car, and signed a couple papers and that was it. I waited a while for the vehicle to get shipped from a port in Japan to Vancouver, when the vehicle got to Canada I signed a couple more forms for customs, paid for shipping (rail) from Vancouver to Calgary, a couple weeks later I was driving the elusive two-door STI. So, when I say I didn’t do a whole lot to get this car here, I really do mean it; it was probably the most hassle-free process I could imagine, I have had a tougher time buying a car locally off kijiji.
Let me tell you about the car now. First off, it’s a two-door Subaru, so it is automatically pretty cool. Before I owned this car I owned a 2004 Audi S4, I thought I was downgrading coming into the Subaru, I have never been more wrong. Sure, the interior wasn’t as luxurious as the German money pig, but the Subaru is a better car in every way. In-fact, I would argue that this is the most capable JDM car in stock form that you could buy.
The car even blew some of the R35 GTR guys away. Now you’re probably thinking “What about a Supra? Skyline? Evo?” I can tell you first hand that this car has outperformed all of those cars, even lightly modified versions of those cars. Not a lot of people who I have driven around with believe me that the car is bone stock, but the look on their faces after I show them the engine bay is usually priceless.
I have kept the car completely stock over almost five years of ownership, maybe because I wanted to preserve it, or maybe because I am too broke to afford the mods I want, regardless, this car is way too fun in stock form. On the track? It is dominant. I have done one track day at Castrol Raceway, near Edmonton, and I can honestly say that day could have easily been the best day of my life. The photo below is from my track day, at the point where I was able to pass a 997 Turbo, before that I had passed a modified Integra Type R, a nicely modified Audi S4, an R34 GTR and well, I could go on. This is the little stock Subaru that could.
Not only is this car fun on the pavement, it is also a blast in the snow. Being a Type R model, this car has the power to control how much power goes to the rear wheels, thanks to DCCD. Having it all the way back = slips and slides in the snow, having it all full lock = unstoppable.
I could not think of a better bang-for-buck daily driver.
I have daily driven the car in all sorts of weather, from +30 Celsius to -30, done many highway trips, been on the track, have done countless amounts of, umm, "spirited driving" and despite all this, the car has never skipped a beat. The amount of compliments I get on this car are unreal, and there is not a doubt in my mind I will be importing another car through B-Pro in the future, if the experience from start to finish is even half as good as this one, I will consider it a success.