The Reader: James Phipps
The Car: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX
The Mileage: 86,010km
The Ownership period: 18 months
This feature was originally published in MOTOR’s July 2018 issue
Why Subaru out of any hot hatch?
When I was 13 my grandpa bought a bug-eye for my grandma and I used to love the feel of the seats, especially when it started up in the garage, and loved that sound. I’m a Subaru man through and through.
This is a WRX you don't see every day...
I had my heart set on a hatch. I thought that because they don’t make another model of [this shape], and just the way it sits on the road, the big fat wheel arches, and an all-round balanced car in my eyes.
What have you done to it?
Performance-wise nothing, it’s all cosmetic. So I put the STI wing on it and front splitter lip. I changed the gear knob to an STI one and also put in a short shifter. At this stage I don’t want to do anything too crazy because I want it to have driveability.
MOTOR feature: WRX Celebration - The Third Generation
Are you tempted by more power?
I don’t want to go crazy. But doing the exhaust with people I want means driveability will be fine. There will be a little increase in power and note.
Where's the best place you've taken it to?
To Falls Creek. I was just laughing myself sick. It was exciting, I’d never driven a car with that much power, and then pushing those limits a little bit on the way to the snow was great fun. As we started going up to the top it started getting a little bit wetter and it didn’t slip. I was feeling like ‘this is what driving’s about’.
If you had to stray from Subaru, where would you look?
I’m a big fan of the hatchbacks and I’d love the Audi RS3 Sportback. That or a nice Golf R, [it’s] a bit more subtle, but definitely an RS3 is the pick of the bunch. I’d just have to get my boss to add a couple more zeroes to my paycheque.