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Thread: 1993 Subaru Impreza WRX Type RA Review & Driving Impressions

  1. #1

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    Default 1993 Subaru Impreza WRX Type RA Review & Driving Impressions

    Hey guys I just picked her up on Monday May 15th so I'll give you my driving impressions and overall opinion of this car.

    I don't know where to start, except to say Subaru really got this car right in every single aspect and I give it a 5/5 in any category imaginable.
    I just feel so lucky and proud to have found this car.

    With their major screwups with the last 2 versions of WRX & STi they really need to go back to the drawing board and look at the car that made them who they are today. I doubt it will happen but that would be the ideal outcome of this post

    Until Subaru I really didn't think it was possible to have a practical everyday driver with such hardcore performance while still keeping the occupants comfortable! In fact this car puts a lot of family sedans to shame in the ride quality and comfort category which I was really surprised at.

    To be honest I didn't know what to expect in some aspects before getting this car especially how hardcore and streetable it would be for daily driving.
    Even though this car was the hardcore WRX designed for entry into motorsports it is designed so well and tough it makes an excellent daily driver as well.

    Maybe I'm biased because I used to love Subaru (in the past few years their actions have been really disappointed I'm calling myself a huge fan of their past cars until ~2006) but this is really the perfect car that can satisfy a family of 4 or the best ricers in the entire country.

    Driving Impressions
    This car feels very solid, nimble, agile and basically like it is ready for anything on the road or other drivers can throw at it. The ride is very quiet, smooth and comfortable which is surprising for such a hardcore car, but make no mistake when you push it, the car responds instantly as you'd expect.

    The road noise is basically non-existent and there are absolutely no squeeks or rattles, the car just feels extremely solid and well-built.

    If this car had made it to the North American market back in 1993, I think Subaru would be far ahead of the pack in this market by now.

    Handling
    The handling is just right in this car and my wife even says she feels like it is firmly planted as if it's on rails no matter what driving condition it is in.

    Even when you push it around the corner it feels as if you could induce oversteer quite easily and it never feels as if it's out of control or that it is nearing the limit of grip.

    Performance
    After civicless drove the car a few times, let's just say there is no reason to question the 0-100 times of ~4.6 seconds that our friends at Type-RA club swear by.

    Keeping in mind that this has the low-gear ratio transmission compared to the normal WRX, this car is fairly high revving and always on-boost which is exactly what our British friends told me as well. The car also has amazing neck-snapping performance in any gear, even 5th gear! It doesn't take the car long to hit peak boost around 4500 RPM and by that time you're sucked back into your seat.

    A very cool feature this car has is the intercooler waterspray (normal WRX does not have this), which we never saw in the USDM STi until 2004 and that no USDM WRX has to this day. For those that don't know the intercooler waterspray is a button that sprays cool water onto the intercooler to increase performance especially on hot days. I've heard of people using a methanol mixture but before trying it I'd want to ask the Subaru experts if it's safe to use.


    Reliability
    This is a 15 year old car and it runs like new although it definitely appears to have been well maintained. When we dropped the oil it came out very clean with no sludge or shavings at all.

    The car just feels very tough and well built and I can't find any faults or problems with this car because the boxer engine is known to be very solid as long as it is properly maintained. I've seen a lot of WRX's including non Type RA's with well over 250 K on them so that should be a good indication of the long-term reliability and considering the car is already 15 years old.

    Safety
    This is where you really get a lot more value out of this car because it is a 4-door with the standard side impact beams and everything about this car feels solid.

    The AWD definitely keeps the car under control in any situation, even the unexpected so you can avoid the accident in the first place, which is what Subaru has been trying to explain to us Westerners for years now.

    One notable feature I've never seen in an older vehicle is that the front sidemarkers actually flash when you signal which is very impressive for a 15-year old car!

    Obviously Subaru kept safety in mind with this car and it feels that way. Actually the owners manual even shows you not what to do, such as sticking your head out of the window etc... lol (literally maybe I should scan the pics)

    Comfort
    A lot of people gave me the impression that this car is way too hardcore to be comfortable for any kind of rides, but I will say compared to any Honda, this car is more comfortable and rides a lot more smoother with absolutely no chassis noise or flex.

    The racing style bucket seats are a little hard to get in and out of, but they grip your body really well and even for longer drives you don't get a sore back. When you move the front seats all the way back you can't even reach the pedals and I'm fairly tall so I was surprised that this car has more than enough space for me to comfortable in.

    Even the backseats are roomier than you'd expect and they are almost just as comfortable.

    Cons with this car
    I'm not sure if it's a con but every Volkswagon Golf, Honda Ricer and BMW Ricers (yes they do exist too) all want to race me.
    So do those redneck Ford & Dodge trucks with the racing stripes and giant exhaust.

    I find it kind of annoying and amusing but there's seriously no point in wasting my gas or energy on these kinds of drivers but it is very amusing especially when I see the ricers. Now I understand what Skyline owners are complaining about lol


    Conclusion

    I think I've covered it all but if anyone has questions about this car feel free to ask.

    This car is very rare so realistically you won't likely find a Type RA like this but you can find the somewhat comparable stock WRX, but Type RA's are nearly impossible. I watched the auctions for months and my car is the only one to come through without any accident history. Since these cars were designed for entry into motorsports you won't be surprised to see most have higher mileage and have had at least several panels repaired and replaced

    I love this car so much I doubt I could ever sell it because of its heritage, this is Version 1 WRX Type RA and it's heritage makes it a real classic and keeper in my books and likely for any real Subaru Impreza fan.

    I can't wait to be able to import Version II Subaru Impreza WRX STi Type RA with the DCCD in just 2 more years

    Long Live GC8!
    Last edited by jdmvip; 05-20-2008 at 01:26 PM.

  2. #2

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    thats some wright up mate. ..what did i tell you , always on boost and loads off leg room ...

    just blow the VW, fords, dodges, porsche boxsters skylines ect ect ect into the weeds.. just make sure you windows down so you can wave bye bye .
    thay will soon leave you alone lol what do you think there going to do your driveing what? the only version1 wrxRA in canada (how cool is that) just wait people will start staring at you aswell lol

    am glad you got you dream and hope she brings you/famliy years off joy.
    look after her and drive safe

  3. #3

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    Thanks wrxtypeRA for your comments.
    You were bang on about the always on boost and leg room and everything else.

    I'm not worried about other drivers but there are a lot of people with strange taste in the area I live, people with cars that can't handle or accelerate well are always trying to challenge cars they have no chance with lol

    I'm really lucky and proud to have my dream car and I'm sure she'll bring the family years of joy.

    I'm going to do the transmission and differential fluids later this week.

    I just have to sort out a few things but other than that she is perfect just like your car came in.

    I'll definitely drive safe, I don't want anything happening to this car!

  4. #4

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    Just an update, we're still having a blast with this car and it's running very nice and strong still. No one can believe how smooth and refined it is, it's seriously smoother running than any Honda or Toyota I've ever been in.

    The turbo wine is amazing in this car and I swear it starts spooling even at 2200 RPM in fifth gear sometimes. The whine of the turbo can be heard for blocks too lol. It's not overly loud but my wife kind of describes the sound of the turbo spooling as being similar to an airplane take off

    The suspension is harsher than I realized, you get used to it but then again you can't have razor sharp handling and a smooth ride. It isn't too harsh but you can really feel the larger bumps or almost anything on the road, but in some ways it smooths them out especially over speed bumps and train tracks surprisingly.

    We're going to be adding an exhaust soon and maybe some other nice little upgrades. I'll save the hardcore ones if I can find a second Type RA as a project/track car.
    Last edited by jdmvip; 07-03-2008 at 11:39 AM.

  5. #5

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    all you need is a panel filter ,and a full decated exhaust,
    thats should see a nice 260/265 bhp or there abouts..spool up on the turbo will come in sooner with the decat downpipe aswell..thats when you scooby will let out its true sound/roar/thundering flat4 rumble

  6. #6

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    Cool wrxtypeRA, what do you mean by panel filter though?

    Hmmm, decat exhaust does sound interesting and my wife does want more rumble and turbo sound

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmvip View Post
    Cool wrxtypeRA, what do you mean by panel filter though?

    Hmmm, decat exhaust does sound interesting and my wife does want more rumble and turbo sound
    panel filter.. same style thats in you airfilterbox (but get a green cotton/K&N)
    dont get a Induction kit (you know the cone style one)..

    iff the wife wants a we bit more rumble then thats asking for a blitz nur spec exhaust (very loude but not cheep)..

    not sure iff these guys ship to canada but it might be worth a look to get a idea. thay make top class exhaust iff not better than all the big names.

    http://www.haywardandscott.com/

    i had the 2.5"open neck downpipe, 2.5" center section and the jap angled back box what a sound came of her after that)

  8. #8

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    Actually I found the K&N Part Number.

    Thanks for the suggestions too here is the part number for Version 1 Subaru Impreza WRX for K&N:

    33-2031-2
    http://www.knfilters.com/air_filter/subaru_impreza.aspx

  9. #9

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    thats the 1

  10. #10

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    Pretty handy.
    There's so many things I need to with this car still but I'm enjoying all of it

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