Our favourite cars of 2023: Prodrive P25

Prodrive P25 favourite cars 2023 Illya Verpraet

Driving the Prodrive P25 at fewer than nine tenths is pointless, reckons Illya Verpraet

The Prodrive P25 shouldn’t really appeal to me. As a reminder, it’s a reinterpretation of a 1997 WRC Subaru Impreza, but with 2023 components, technology and know-how.

Crucially, it doesn’t require an engineering team to run it and you can – well, could – use it on the road. It does come at a price: more than £550,000.

I guess it’s aimed at the person who loved WRC in the ’90s, has come into some money over the past 25 years and now wants to relive that time.

That is very much not me: I was five at the time and I generally think Subaru Imprezas are a bit naff. I harbour no nostalgia whatsoever for Colin McRae and Richard Burns.

But I love a unique driving experience, and flinging the P25 around a damp Anglesey circuit was exactly that.

Driving it below nine-tenths is pointless, other than to get to a location where you can drive it flat out, so you need to be on a circuit or a closed road.

Prodrive P25 powersliding – rear

On a track, I’m generally a very smooth driver – gently pouring the car in to corners and not upsetting the balance, but the P25 awakened a latent rally driver in me.

It soon became clear that the P25 loves to rotate into corners off the power, with the beautifully light yet communicative steering talking you through every degree of rotation.

Then there’s a moment, and a choice. With its four-wheel drive and complicated diffs, it’s never going to settle into a gentle powerslide, so you need to either gather it up and be on your way or Commit. With a capital C.

Treat the throttle pedal like an on/off switch and the P25 doesn’t spin or even take on more angle.

It maintains the angle and drives forwards like nothing else. Track edge getting a bit too close? Power off, then power on again. The way this unliveried rally car four-wheel drifts its way around a circuit boggles the mind.

It’s driving, but it has very little in common with what you did on your driving test. It’s its own unique experience and that’s what makes the Prodrive P25 so intoxicating.

Source: Autocar

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