Subaru has announced that its EJ20 2.0-litre flat-four engine is to be discontinued. Having made a debut in 1989’s Legacy RS, the EJ20 helped to shape the brand’s performance reputation. It’s since seen service in all manner of Subarus over the last three decades, in both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged form.
Highlights include the Impreza 2000 Turbo – the car that cemented Britain’s love of Turbo Subarus – as well as myriad Legacies and Foresters. The 2.0 litre lump has also seen use in various Subaru rally and touring cars.
Characterised by its distinctive burble – owing to its unique 1-3-2-4 firing order and unequal length manifolds – the EJ20 will have one last horaah in the WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition. The run-out special will feature bespoke engine dressing, BBS wheels and an estimated power figure of 280-300bhp. The model will be a Japanese domestic market special, so those in the UK wanting to celebrate the EJ20 will need to hunt through the second-hand ads instead for a pre-2006 model. The WRX STI made its UK bow in 2017, also named the Final Edition, but that used a 2.5-litre motor.
Various causes are cited for the EJ20’s death, chief among which are its thirst and emissions. As pollution standards tighten, the unit isn’t viable to make compliant, putting an end to three successful decades.