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 |  Jul 19 2011, 8:45 PM

If you can wrap your head around that breathlessly exciting headline, then you can begin to understand the significance of a £49,995 Subaru taking on the likes of Ariel, Lexus, and Nissan’s GTR—and destroying them.

The Cosworth Impreza STI CS400 devastated the competition at the 1.2-mile Cholmondeley sprint circuit for the annual Pageant Of Power, with former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins behind the wheel. The 400-horsepower STI recorded a time of 66.08 seconds with an average speed of 65.45mph, which was enough to beat the Ariel Atom V8, the Lexus LF-A, and the Ford Focus RS500 in the wet.

“Ours was not only the fastest hatchback, but also the quickest vehicle in any class when the circuit was wet, which speaks volumes for its capabilities,” said Kenyon Neads, marketing director for Subaru UK. ”It was no surprise the Subaru stand in the paddock was a hive of activity throughout the weekend.”

In fact, the little Cossie (sounds strange to call it that when it’s not a Ford) was only beaten by the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Performante, a car that, Subaru is quick to remind you, costs almost 4 times as much.

But you’ll be hard-pressed to find either one on the streets: given Subaru’s grand tradition of super-exclusive, limited-edition STI versions for the British market, all examples are most likely accounted for already. Hell, it will probably be easier to find the Performante Stateside than a Cosworth-edition anything.