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Subaru’s WRC Impreza rally car (2008): first pictures

Wed, 21 May 2008

By Nick Gibbs

First Official Pictures

21 May 2008 09:37

Subaru has surprised the rally world by announcing it will launch its new WRC Impreza at next week’s Acropolis Rally in Greece, two events earlier than expected.

The Prodrive-developed five-door WRC car, which is based on Subaru’s hatchback Impreza, uses the same 2.0-litre turbo engine that powered the old rally car, but does away with the traditional yellow lettering in favour of Subaru’s silver and white corporate logo. Hardcore fans panic not: the blue paintwork and iconic gold wheels stay.

More details will be announced at the launch on 28 May 2008, but the new car follows WRC homologation rules by producing a maximum 300bhp using an engine block taken from the road-going 2.0-litre STI sold in Japan. That’s almost exactly what the UK-sold 2.5-litre WRX STI makes, but the WRC car is 275kg lighter.

It also uses a standard road-car bodyshell, but incorporates a new bi-plane rear wing developed by Prodrive in Banbury, UK. However, unlike with previous Impreza WRC incarnations, the aerodynamics were developed without the help of McLaren F1 designer Peter Stevens.

The new car has been extensively tested in Sardinia by former Subaru rally driver Markko Martin, and was recently driven in Jordan by the current pairing of Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson. According to a spokesman, the success of the testing was a big reason the car’s launch was brought forward from the Finnish WRC round to Greece.

Click ‘Next’ to read more about the Subaru Impreza WRC

By Nick Gibbs