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A homage to homologation

2 months ago

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Henry Catchpole | Journalist


9 February 2024

Normally you’d look for the smoothest, flattest piece of asphalt for this procedure, but in the P25 it doesn’t seem such an issue. Check the slightly retro digital display is showing a big, bright N for neutral, then take your left foot off the surprisingly light clutch pedal – it’s fly-by-wire – and apply it instead to the brake. If you want, you can scroll through the screens to see exactly how much pressure you’re applying to the pedal, the figures flickering up and down with every twitch of your tensed leg muscles.

The best bit comes next. Hook your fingers behind the big, single, carbon paddle on the right side of the steering wheel and pull it towards you. After a pause, while it registers that you want to do a launch and it needs to manage the clutch itself, this elicits the most wonderful, deep, metallic CLUNK from the dog gears and the figure ‘1’ appears on the dash.

To those hearing it for the first time it might cause consternation, followed by grubby knees as you get out and kneel down on the ground to peer under the car to see what’s fallen out. But to others it will be the defining sound of this car: a short, brutal noise that yells motorsport and acts like a siren call to every octane-riddled goosebump on my body. It’s what separates this from any other Subaru Impreza road car I’ve driven.

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