Otto is back with another version of my favorite hatchback Subie, and I’m nothing but smiles.
If the WRX STi is a modified Impreza (which it is), then the R205 is a modified WRX STi. It’s a tuner of a tuner. Subaru Tecnica International took their world-famous pocket-rocket and upped the ante in just about every aspect, some visible and some not. While most of their focus went towards the car’s handling and steering, a little increase in power never hurt anyone either. And if people criticized the standard hatch for looking too tame, the R205 gets a slew of exterior modifications to cement the Subie’s boy racer credentials. With a production run of only 400 and limited to Japan only - the Japanese like to keep their best cars to themselves, don’t they? - very few are lucky enough to be able to drive, own, or even wave hello to this ultimate manifestation of the hatchback STi.
Possibilities are infinite in the diecast realm, though, and nobody understands this better than Otto. Forbidden fruit no more, they said, and they wasted no time making sure JDM fans could get their R205 fix. It is shown here in both its available colorways, WR Blue Mica and Satin White Pearl, the same two colors Otto offered on their version of the standard STi that released only a few months prior. However, the shades are noticeably different on the blue ones; the R205 is painted in a richer blue tone that looks gorgeous but is actually less accurate to the real color.
Up front, the R205 receives a blacked-out grille, foglight delete, and front splitter to differentiate it from a normal ‘Rex. More importantly, the wheels and brakes have been upgraded. Here, we see the racier 12-spoke gunmetal wheels and, behind them, larger, slotted rotors gripped by silver calipers, that make the standard STi’s setup look rather pedestrian. Like it or not, the trend of blacking out car parts continues on the fender badges and roof spoiler. The rear diffuser looks like an afterthought, but I love the edge that it adds. In addition to some extra silver trim, the interior also has a set of Recaro buckets to keep you in place under hard cornering, which the R205 specializes at. Finally, ‘R205’ badges, front and rear, are for the newbies who can’t pick up the subtle visual differences.
For most, this might seem like a redundant and lazy reissue of an existing casting that is worth skipping over, but Otto did a thorough job making the necessary updates, practically reinventing this hot hatch in the process. I thought their standard STi model was a little - dare I say - boring, but this…this is exciting. In particular, I was pleased to see that they followed through with the brakes. It’s the little details that count. I wish they expanded the color palette a little more to give us some variety (this is a car that looks amazing in Dark Grey Metallic!), but that’s not my choice to make. What is, however, is opting for both of them, to which I gave a resounding YES, because this is a car that I love dearly. But, if you’re going to choose only one of Otto’s Subies, the R205 in blue is dynamite.