Decoding Subaru Impreza WRX and STI Applied Model Codes

If you’ve ever heard anyone refer to their Impreza WRX as a “GC8”, “GDB”, or “GRB”, then you’ve heard it. If you’ve ever heard people talk about their Nissan 240SX or Silvia as an S13, S14, or S15 then you’ve heard it. If you’ve ever heard them refer to their Honda Civic as an “EF” or “EG hatch”, then you’ve heard it. If you’ve heard BMW 3-series owners saying “E30” or “E92” then you’ve heard it. They’re referring to the first two letters of the applied model code. Decoding Subaru Impreza WRX and STI Applied Model Codes

If you’ve ever heard anyone refer to their Impreza WRX as a “GC8”, “GDB”, or “GRB”, then you’ve heard it. If you’ve ever heard people talk about their Nissan 240SX or Silvia as an S13, S14, or S15 then you’ve heard it. If you’ve ever heard them refer to their Honda Civic as an “EF” or “EG hatch”, then you’ve heard it. If you’ve heard BMW 3-series owners saying “E30” or “E92” then you’ve heard it. They’re referring to the first two letters of the applied model code.

The Applied Model (also called a Chassis Code) is a 7-digit code number that is used by Subaru to identify a car’s specification, but unlike the Chassis Number or VIN, this does not uniquely identify an individual car. Almost all Subaru cars have the Applied Model stamped on a metal plate that can be found riveted to the top of the near-side strut tower, although some cars have the plate in one of the front door frames.

Location of the Subaru Applied Model plate
Location of the Subaru Applied Model plate

The information encoded within the Applied Model number contains details of the vehicle’s model, body type, engine type, gearbox, trim-level and period of production.

Applied Model Decoder
Applied Model Decoder

Each letter in the applied model designates a code:

Code Description
series Model in the Subaru lineup, e.g. Impreza, Legacy, Forrester
body style body style describes coupe, sedan, wagon, hatchback
engine engine type
model year the production year and month
# of doors number of doors
trim specific equipment package and accessories
transmission transmission type, e.g. manual or automatic and number of speeds

Series Code

The Series code is the first letter, it tells you which model in the Subaru lineup it belongs to:

Code Model
A Leone/Loyale
B Legacy
C SVX
G Impreza, XV, Outback Sport
F Domingo
K Justy/Rex/Vivio/Sambar (Before 1998)
N Trezia
R Pleo, R1, R2, Stella
S Forester
T Sambar (After 1998)
V WRX
W Tribeca/Ascent
Y Exiga
Z BRZ

Thus, the Impreza WRX starts with ‘G’.

Body Style code

The second letter is the Body style code, it’ll tell you if the vehicle is a sedan, coupe, wagon, etc.

Code Body style
A, C, E, V sedan
M coupe
F 5-door wagon
H, R 5-door hatchback

Applied Model Code

The Applied model is the first-two letters combined, it is what people commonly refer to when trying to casually designate their vehicle:

Years Code Model
1992 - 2000 GC sedan
1992 - 2000 GM coupe
1992 - 2000 GF wagon
2001 - 2007 GD sedan
2001 - 2007 GG wagon
2007 - 2014 GH WRX hatchback
2007 - 2014 GR WRX STI hatchback
2007 - 2014 GE WRX sedan
2007 - 2014 GV WRX STI sedan
2015 - 2021 VA WRX & WRX STI sedan

Engine code

The 3rd-letter in the applied model code. For the WRX STI platform, the EJ207 was mostly commonly used in Japan, while the US got the EJ257.

Code Description
8, B EJ207 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) Turbo is a IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
A EJ205 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models
6, F EJ257 - 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48

Model Year

The 4th letter in the code, the model year is the date of production, often times these start the year prior to the marketed year. This is because production of a vehicle starts early, and sales follow.

A is the first year of the generation, B the second, etc. When the model changes generation, (e.g. Mean Eye to Bugeye), this letter is reset back to ‘A’.

Number of Doors

The 5th letter is the number of doors on the vehicle. Simply put, the coupe has a code of 2, sedan 4, and wagon & hatch 5.

Trim Code

The 6th-letter is the trim code, which tells you which marketing package, equipment and accessories are included in the vehicle. This list is incomplete, if you know any others, please let us know.

Code Name
7 type RA
8 WRX
D STI Type R & Type RA
E STI

Transmission Code

The 7th-letter is the transmission code, tells you if its a manual or automatic.

Code Transmission type
D 5MT
4, P E-4AT
H 6MT

Examples

In the examples below, I didn’t include the number of doors, trim, or transmission codes. Putting this all together, we can see a list of significant applied models:

Code Years Description Engine Note
GC8A 1992/05 - 1993/08 1st generation WRX STI sedan EJ20G 3 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in early GC8 models Mitsubishi TD05H Version 1
GC8B 1993/05 - 1994/09 WRX STi Version sedan EJ20G 3 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in early GC8 models Mitsubishi TD05H
GC8C 1994/06 - 1996/08 WRX STi Version I or II sedan EJ20G 3 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in early GC8 models Mitsubishi TD05H
GC8D 1996/04 - 1997/07 WRX STi Version III sedan EJ20K 2 2.0ℓ turbo in WRX STi Version III & IV models V.III: IHI VF23, V.IV IHI VF24
GC8E 1997/04 - 1998/07 WRX STi Version IV coupe/sedan EJ20K 2 2.0ℓ turbo in WRX STi Version III & IV models V.III: IHI VF23, V.IV IHI VF24
GC8E2SD* 1998/03 - 1998/08 22B STi Version EJ22G 1 2.2ℓ turbo 22B STi Version *Wide bodied, 22B limited edition
GC8F* 1998/04 - 1999/07 WRX STi Version V coupe/sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) *Minor change Introduced the EJ207 engine Introduce the signature large double-wing
GC8G 1999/04 - 2000/07 WRX STi Version VI coupe/sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GC8G4DD 1998/01 Impreza WRX Type RA STi Version 6 EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) A favorite GC8 sedan, The Type RA was a 4dr race-ready and last best version of the GC8 chassis
GC8G2FD 1999/11 - 2000/08 Impreza WRX STi Type R Version 6 Limited EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) A favorite GC8 coupe, the Type R STi Version 6 Limited
GDAA* 2000/02 - 2001/08 "New Age"/"Bugeye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models Model change * (First WRX model available in the US)
GDBA 2000/02 - 2001/08 JDM "New Age" "Bugeye" WRX STi sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US
GDAB 2001/06 - 2002/10 "Bugeye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models
GDBB 2001/06 - 2002/10 JDM "Bugeye" WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US
GDBB4FH 2002 JDM "Bugeye" WRX STi Type RA Spec C sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) The most raw race-ready form of the Bugeye
GDBB4FH 2002 JDM "Bugeye" WRX STi S202 EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) The highest end of the Bugeyes, in Yellow
GDAC* 2002/09 - 2003/07 "Blob Eye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models * (Minor change: introduces the Blob Eye)
GDBC 2002/09 - 2003/07 JDM "Blob Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US
GD6C* 2002/09 - 2003/07 USDM "Blob Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48 * (First WRX STi Version available in the US)
GDAD 2003/06 - 2004/05 "Blob Eye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models
GDBD 2003/06 - 2004/05 JDM "Blob Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US
GD6D 2003/06 - 2004/05 USDM "Blob Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GDAE 2004/04 - 2005/05 "Blob Eye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models
GDBE* 2004/04 - 2005/05 "Blob Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US * (Switched to the 5x114.3 PCD, small rear over-fenders) * This is the best Blob Eye, IMHO
GDBE4FH 2004 - 2005 "Blob Eye" WRX STi Version Spec C EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US * This is the latest Spec C version of the blob eye
GDBE4FH 2004 - 2005 "Blob Eye" WRX STi Version Spec C Type RA EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US * This is the latest Spec C Type RA version of the blob eye
GDBE4EH 2005 "Blob Eye" WRX STi S203 EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) The famed S203
GD6E* 2004/04 - 2005/05 "Blob Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48 * (Switched to the 5x114.3 PCD, small rear over-fenders) * This is the best blob-eye to get in the States
GDAF* 2005/04 - 2006/06 "Hawk Eye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models * (Minor change)
GDBF 2005/04 - 2006/06 "Hawk Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Not available in the US
GD6F* 2005/04 - 2006/06 "Hawk Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GDAG 2006/04 - 2007/04 "Hawk Eye" WRX sedan EJ205 8 2.0ℓ turbo WRX in all 1999-2005 models
GDBG 2006/04 - 2007/04 JDM "Hawk Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GD6G 2006/04 - 2007/04 USDM "Hawk Eye" WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GDBG4LH 2007 JDM "Hawk Eye" WRX STi Spec C RA-R EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) The famed final best version of the Hawk Eye Not available in the US
GH8A 2007/03 - 2014/04 (JDM "S-GT") (USDM "WRX") hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) * (Model change: introduces the "Stink Eye" Impreza)
GRBA* 2007/ 03 - 2008/ 06 JDM WRX STI hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) * (Model change: introduces the "Stink Eye" WRX)
GRFA 2007/ 03 - 2008/ 06 USDM WRX STI hatchback EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GRBB 2008/07 - 2009/06 JDM WRX STI hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GHB 2008/ 07 - 2009/ 06 (JDM "S-GT") (USDM "WRX") hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GRFB 2008/07 - 2009/06 USDM WRX STI hatchback EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GE 2008+ WRX Sedan sedan ?
GRBC* 2009/07 - 2010/03 JDM WRX STI hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Minor change
GRFC* 2009/07 - 2010/03 USDM WRX STI hatchback EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48 Minor change
GVBC 2009/07 - 2010/03 JDM WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA) Re-introduces the WRX STI sedan model
GVFC 2009/07 - 2010/03 USDM WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48 Re-introduces the WRX STI sedan model
GRBD 2010/04 - 2013/06 JDM WRX STI hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GRFD 2010/04 - 2013/06 USDM WRX STI hatchback EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GVBD 2010/04 - 2013/06 JDM WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GVFD 2010/04 - 2013/06 USDM WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GRBE 2013/06 - 2014/04 JDM WRX STI hatchback EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GRFE 2013/06 - 2014/04 USDM WRX STI hatchback EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
GVBE 2013/06 - 2014/04 JDM WRX STI sedan EJ207 28 2.0ℓ turbo WRX STi in all late WRX STi models (GC8, GDB) IHI VF28 or IHI VF29 (STi V.6 Type R & Type RA)
GVFE 2013/06 - 2014/04 USDM WRX STI sedan EJ257 14 2.5ℓ turbo in USDM WRX STi IHI VF48
VA 2015 - 2021 WRX STI sedan (Subaru dropped the "Impreza" name) FA20D, EJ207, EJ257 Model change. "Evo Eye" WRX Drops the hatchback Drops the "Impreza" name WRX Moves to the FA20D engine (EJ207 & EJ257 continues in STI)

Can you find your applied model code? Are we missing your trim code? Shoot us an email or find us as @brz_typeRA on Instagram.