- Written by webmin
Funny how these things go. The first-generation Subaru Impreza WRX, the rally-homologation sensation that we suspect will be a shoo-in collector favorite in a couple of decades’ time, was barely modeled in small-scale in its own lifetime; only an obscure Hungarian outfit, Metchy, deigned to commit it to tooling. (All of the CM’s rally variants came much later.) The highly regarded second-generation car, sold from 2002-2007 in this country, had literally dozens of toymakers falling all over themselves to make them – Tomica, Muscle Machines, AutoArt, Gulliver/Carisma, Maisto, Malibu International, Kentoys/Boley, Welly, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, CM’s – all sedans, not a wagon in the bunch, and all done when that model was contemporary. With the third-generation WRX, the bell curve has flattened: Tomica and one other dime-store brand have done hatchback models, but that’s about it.
Yet the 2011 WRX is different enough, apparently, that models of the mid-life refresh are appearing. The first of these, seen above, is a promotional piece done by Subaru itself, through a Chinese subcontractor. (Remember 1:25 scale promotional models in the ’50s and ’60s? Models like this are their spiritual successor, despite not being molded entirely of plastic or given away at American dealerships.) Available in black, gray or white, this Japan-only promo features soft tires on prototypically correct smoke-chromed wheels, separate headlamp lenses, matte black paint around the window glazing, good chassis detail, those nicely integrated flares, and more. Paintwork and tampos, including a crisp Subaru/Pleiades constellation badge in the grille, register perfectly. Alas, finding one will be a trick unless you’ve got a friend in Japan to scour the online auction sites, ’cause these ain’t coming to the U.S. in bulk.
Also coming later this year: a 2011 WRX by Tomica. Prototype models are silver and sport the sought-after “wide wheel” package (with a thin chrome lip and deep-inset wheel hub); no news yet on opening features or indeed whether this will be part of Tomica’s North American model mix; it will likely be sold side-by-side with their current ’08 WRX hatchback, at least for a while.