Subaru of America has announced it is bringing back the iconic blue and gold livery for its 2019 motorsport season.
Made famous by Subaru’s rally success in the 1990s and 2000s – and by the likes of Colin McRae, Petter Solberg, and Chris Atkinson – the blue and gold has become instantly recognisable as a Subaru staple.
In addition, Subaru announced its US-based motorsport activities will all come under the Subaru Motorsports banner, a new branding exercise to bring rally, rallycross, record attempts, off-road racing, and circuit racing under the same ‘brand’.
The ‘new’ livery is primarily influenced by the later versions of the design, after sponsorship from British American Tobacco brand State Express 555 was dropped due to tobacco ad bans.
Subaru continued to use the theme of the original 555 design, replacing the logo with its own stars and ‘sweeps’.
Though Subaru hasn’t contested the World Rally Championship for more than a decade after dropping out once the 2008 season had wrapped up, Subaru still competes in lower-tier events.
The car pictured with the new livery is a WRX STI open class rally car with which Subaru Rally Team USA contests the American Rally Association.
For 2018 the car was based on the original road car, and heavily modified so that the turbocharged 2.0-litre flat four puts out about 246kW and 569Nm via a Sadev 6-speed sequential ‘box.
Little of the original car is left once the interior has been stripped and fitted with a cage and racing seats, while the chassis and suspension is all refitted with custom rally-spec equipment from Reiger and Vermont SportsCar.
Subaru America marketing VP Alan Bethke says the blue and gold livery is an integral part of Subaru’s motorsporting identity.
“These colours are part of our brand’s history, and beloved by our enthusiasts,” Bethke says.
“For a generation of rally fans, Subaru is synonymous with blue cars, gold wheels and the iconic star cluster.
“This new design pays tribute to that heritage, while looking ahead to future success under the Subaru Motorsports name.”
Subaru says the new livery will debut at the 100 Acre Rally in Missouri over March 15 and 16.