2023-11-27 2006 Impreza WRX Signed by Two Beloved Champions Is Up for Sale - autoevolution

2006 Impreza WRX Signed by Two Beloved Champions Is Up for Sale

There are more than 200 versions of the Subaru Impreza. While some are very expensive, others are just mundane, cheap transportation devices for their users. But, on the other hand, this one has a chance of becoming a six-figure vehicle since it has two particular signatures.
2006 Impreza WRX STI 13 photos
Photo: fidodidoh on Bring a Trailer/autoevolution
2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Developed to compete in the World Rally Championship, the Impreza was a blast to drive and a pain for the owner's wallet. Still, it brought joy to its drivers every time they started the engine. The neck-snapping acceleration and its handling were astonishing for a vehicle of its price. Its symmetrical all-wheel drive system did wonders on slippery surfaces. It bent the physics rules in a way that just a few other vehicles could do.

With this version of the WRX STI, Travis Pastrana smashed its competition, winning four championships in the Rally America between 2005 and 2009. Overall, Subaru holds the record for most rally wins with 67 first places, making it the most successful car in the event's history. That's more than twice that of all its competitors combined. Mitsubishi has 13 victories, Ford 8, and Hyundai 3.

Pastrana is the American driver with the most wins, 19, followed by Ken Block with 16 wins. Still, the credits for the most successful rally driver of the event is the British David Higgins, with 26 first places.

The car that you see here is a second-generation Impreza, which was introduced on the market in 2000. When the car was unveiled, the fans were in shock. Its ugly headlights, also known as bug-eye, were far from attractive. Fortunately, Subaru realized its design flaw, and the design team reshaped the entire front fascia. Thus, in 2002, the refreshed Impreza came with new headlamps; that was the blob-eye. But wait, there's more! We don't know if the automaker liked the new nickname or not, and in 2005 the Impreza got a second facelift. This time fans named it hawk-eye. That was better.

2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Photo: fidodidoh on Bring a Trailer
This model came out from the Japanese factory in 2006 and, according to its VIN, was made for the U.S. market, and it's the WRX STI type, which was the most powerful one. Its turbocharged flat-four engine produced 300 hp (304 PS) and 300 lb-ft (406 Nm) of torque. Its 0 to 100 kph (0-62 mph) declared by the manufacturer is 5.4 seconds, which is no slouch, especially for a car from 2006. Its speedometer is dialed up to 160 mph (257 kph), which is slightly optimistic, but the car could go up to 148 mph (238 kph). Moreover, its price when new was around $32,000, which was cheaper than the Mustang GT.

The 2006 Impreza WRX STI features more than just a powerful engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Its all-wheel drive system is enhanced by a Driver Controlled Center Differential. This allows the driver to send more or less torque to the front or rear axle, thus improving the car's handling. In addition, it features front and rear limited slip differentials. Thanks to this setup, the car could tackle race tracks and rally stages with the same ease other cars are crawling in a parking lot.

Inside, the WRX STI features sports seats at the front with integrated headrests. While these are not the most comfortable in the world, they really hold their occupants in place during high-speed cornering maneuvers. But the Impreza offers some basic features such as air-conditioning, a sound system, central locking, and power windows on all four. In addition, it can seat four inside without any problems. That was the beauty of an Impreza WRX STI; it could be a family sedan or a fierce contender on a track or a rally stage. The same car.

In the last year, there were many Impreza WRXs sold for $30,000 or less. But you have to keep in mind that those cars were not STIs. They had five-speed manuals and 60 ponies less under the hood. So, these versions don't pop up too often on the market. That's why when they show up, prices are higher than that. So maybe this car won't get into the six-figure range this time, but give it a few years and will get there.

2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
Photo: fidodidoh on Bring a Trailer
But the car that you see here is even more interesting. While it's a stock 2006 Impreza WRX STI with 117,000 miles (188,300 km) on the clock, it has something special on the dashboard. It is signed by Travis Pastrana and Ken Block. The seller doesn't know exactly how those signatures ended up there. Still, nevertheless, those are authentic and add value to the vehicle.

There may be other WRS STIs on the market with similar specs or fewer miles on the clock. But not that many have those athletes' names on the dash. So it doesn't even matter that there is a ding on the left-rear fender, or that this exact vehicle was recalled several times for airbag, or had some other mechanical problems in its past. Since all those insignificant problems can be fixed, these two signatures make this particular example unique.

So, if you want to have this vehicle, you have enough time to talk to your bank since the auction will end on March 18. However, if you want to see the car in person, you should make a trip to Irvine, California, where it is located. The car comes with a clean Carfax report and a clean title in the seller's name.
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About the author: Tudor Serban
Tudor Serban profile photo

Tudor started his automotive career in 1996, writing for a magazine while working on his journalism degree. From Pikes Peaks to the Moroccan desert to the Laguna Seca, he's seen and done it all.
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