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Subaru Impreza (2007): first official pictures

Tue, 03 Apr 2007 00:00:00 -0700

By Liz Turner

First Official Pictures

03 April 2007 06:30

Subaru Impreza: the lowdown

The Subaru Impreza is about to lose some of its quirkiness; it's always been a slightly odd proposition, standing out from the hatchback norm with those gawky saloon dimensions - but now it's following the European trend for more practical hatchbacks. These are the official pictures of the new Impreza and WRX to be launched at the New York Motor Show this week. Opinions are already fiercely divided about its looks (more sophisticated or dull? More European or too much like a Mazda 3?). The US market will be offered a normally aspirated 2.5i and turbocharged WRX available as a five-door hatchback or a North America-only four-door. In the UK, the engines at launch in autumn ’07 will be a naturally aspirated 1.5- and a 2.0-litre turbo. And a range-topping 2.5 turbo STi is expected in spring 2008. The WRX is expected to cost around $25,000 in the States, although that will swell to around £20k in the UK.

Subaru promises all the driving thrills we’d expect from an Impreza - with a little more polish. The 2.5 flat-four engines have been carried over from the previous generation, but modified torque curves are designed to deliver the goods earlier while improving driveability and fuel economy. The normally aspirated 2.5 achieves this thanks to a new intake port and a redesigned cat system; it delivers 170bhp at 6000rpm and 170lb ft at 4000rpm. The WRX motor gains a new intake manifold, intercooler and turbo. It serves up 224bhp at 5200rpm and 226lb ft at 2800rpm (down from 3600rpm). As the vehicle is now 50lb lighter, we should expect improved performance, too.


By Liz Turner