The STI S209 is the first S-car to escape Japan-here's a look at its predecessors.
Okay, we're already lying to you. The STI 22B isn't an S-car by name-but it might as well be known as S-prime, or S-car ground zero. Built to commemorate Subaru's three consecutive World Rally Constructor's Championships in 1995, 1996, and 1997, the Impreza-based 22B sports a turbocharged 2.2-liter flat-four beneath its stubby hood. In keeping with the so-called "gentleman's agreement" between car manufacturers in Japan at the time, the 22B's engine is capped to just 276 horsepower. (No automaker could, under this arrangement, offer any more horsepower than that.) Just as we find in today's S209, the 22B's intercooler features a water sprayer, while the body sprouts oh-so-good fender box flares, and the chassis is completely retuned. Only 400 22Bs were made. A fun fact: "22B" is hexadecimal (a positional numerical system) for "555," which also happens to be a cigarette brand that sponsored Subaru at the time. The brand's backing and livery is where Subaru's now-famous World-Rally Blue color sprang from; you'll recognize World Rally Blue-it's been available on practically every STI product Subaru's offered since.