Monday, October 19, 2015

Hyper Blue = Higgins Blue

A few weeks ago I picked up a 2016 WRX STI Series.HyperBlue.  The color is undoubtedly unique for a Subaru, but many others have pointed out how similar it is to Ford's Grabber Blue or Volvo's Polestar Blue.  Regardless of the comparisons, I think there's another link that might be a little more significant to a recent achievement.


Like the dozens of "special edition" Imprezas that Subaru made in the 90s to commemorate their success in the World Rally Championship, I think this "Hyper Blue" is more of a "Higgins Blue"... as in Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins.  He just reeled in a Perfect Season in the 2015 Rally America Championship, a feat which has not been seen since John Buffum did it in 1987.  The Hyper Blue color on these 700 WRX STIs and 500 BRZs (also to be a regular color on the '16 Crosstrek) is spot-on to the blue used on the #75 WRX STI that has made it to the top of the podium for all 8 events. 

When the new 2015 WRX STI was unveiled at the 2014 NY Auto Show, they showcased a "Launch Edition" model limited to 1000 units.  While it celebrated Subaru's rally heritage in the iconic World Rally Blue paired with Gold BBS Wheels, it also marked the last time Subaru would release a vehicle donning this traditional rally livery.  At the time, I was personally a bit saddened to see Subaru buttoning up this look for good.  However, after seeing what these new cars are capable of and the achievements they have made, it's clear that they're not attempting to rest on their laurels from nearly 20 years ago.

Spearheading the latest chapter in Subaru's rally racing heritage is David Higgins alongside his codriver Craig Drew.  They have stood atop podiums for several years now, backed by their Vermont Sportscar-prepared WRX STI and the excellent team that built it.  For the 2015 Rally America Series, they were going in with a completely new car.  To finish all 8 races with 1st Place finishes isn't only unheard of, but it's also an extraordinary feat considering the circumstances of working with an unproven car.  From unexpected snowy and icy conditions in Missouri to World-Class lineups fighting for the win in New England, SRT USA didn't just beat the odds in a brand new car... they managed to shake off every possible threat to this perfect season that came their way.  This success came in the way of a Subaru that didn't look a whole lot like the car that McRae, Burns, or Solberg claimed victory in.  This is a new era for Subaru... and at the front of it is Higgins Blue.

Sure the Series.HyperBlue car was released before ever knowing if this milestone could be reached, but David Higgins has seen so much success with this car and this team.  This bright blue, gray, and white livery has certainly made a name for itself with SRT USA and everyone involved with it.  In the same way that owners of WRXs with World Rally Blue can identify with the success of rally championships back then, I am proud to pilot my Higgins Blue WRX STI that identify's with the current and future success that David Higgins, Craig Drew, and their devoted team achieve with each race.  I wouldn't be surprised if the number "75" ends up somewhere on my car to further celebrate this team!  Still, it'd be nice if "#HigginsBlue" caught on with the other 699 owners of WRX STIs.  It's a Celebration car in my books!

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