By the time 2003 rolled around, the Subaru WRX was already in its second generation of development. In the prior season, the factory had the foresight and good fortune to hire Norwegian driver Petter Solberg to compete in the World Rally Championship. Finishing second overall that year, he really had the bit in his teeth for 2003.
A quick visit to YouTube will afford you with a plethora of incredible videos of Solberg hurling the Subaru around hairpin turns, drifting sideways under full throttle, and literally flying over hills. Not just a little daylight under the wheels but flying! The films are a testament to the astonishing ability of the Norwegian to squeeze the last ounce of performance from a remarkable little car.
Solberg continued on with the Subaru works team until 2009, when he decided to form his own team after Subaru's withdrawal from the WRC left him without a ride. He reprised his World Championship again in 2015 in the FIA European Rallycross Championship, and continues to compete piloting Citroen rally cars.
Our Diecast Legends (Minichamps) WRX STI is a delightful tribute to Solberg and his 2003 championship. The model is remarkably accurate, and depicts the car as it appeared in the Rallye de France, held on the island of Corsica. The distincltive Subaru blue paintwork is excellent, decal application flawless, and the opening hood and spring-loaded doors are tightly fitted. The interior is fully detailed, with a complex roll cage, fire extinguishers, detailed dash and seat harnesses. The engine bay is packed with hoses, intercoolers, and radiators, although it is our opinion that the model presents itself best buttoned up.
What sets this model apart is the limited number of pieces in the edition; 250. The model is supplied with a beveled black wooden base, affixed to which is a Solberg hand-signed plaque, commemorating his '03 championship. Not pictured is a fitted clear plastic cover that completes the presentation. There are only 250 individuals world-wide who own this special out of production memorial to Petter Solberg's remarkable racing achievement. Will you be one of them?