Though we never received them Stateside, the Subaru S204 was one of the hotter Imprezas available in the mid-2000s, and one of the rarer ones, too: only 600 of these beautiful cars were ever produced.
Essentially, the S204 was built upon the already potent STI, but received a twin scroll ball-bearing turbo, sports ECU, sports catalyzer, titanium sports muffler, silicon air intake duct, air cooled engine oil cooler, high strength casting pistons, STI large size intercooler, harder engine mounts and balanced engine internals.
These upgrades made for 320 horsepower and 319 lb-ft of torque (made at just 4,400 rpm), and as evidenced by the above footage, a fairly broad powerband for a 2.0-liter engine. It was far from a dragster though. Built for backroads like the ones Keiichi Tsuchiya is familiar with, the S204 benefits from Yamaha-built dampers, stiffer springs, better bushings, 21mm anti-roll bars, and the eye-catching 18×8.5″ BBS alloy wheels.
Though Tsuchiya’s weapons of choice in these forays tend to drive the rear wheels alone, he does have a way of manhandling anything that doesn’t turn in quite like he’d like. The S204, nimble as it is, doesn’t have the knife-edge handing the Drift King prefers. It’s a little reluctant to turn in in the slower sections, and shows a reassuring, manageable level of push in the faster sections, where it’s frighteningly quick—kudos in part to that phenomenal motor. Tsuchiya’s right foot does a great job of trimming the line—whether he’s lifting gently or dabbing the brake—but it’s hard to get around the front axle which limits his progress. Nevertheless, he always employs an aggressive, forceful, and dramatic driving style, and so, even when hampered with understeer, his moves are always spectacular.