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Wednesday, 22 February, 2017 - 04:16 (UK)  

..:: The Subaru Impreza Story

1. The Subaru Impreza Story, as told by me
2. The History of the Subaru Impreza
3. Special Editions
4. Image Galleries
5. My 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX - Red Mica

..:: The History of the Subaru Impreza

Subaru is a subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries. Which was originally Nakajima Aircraft back in 1917. It's wasn't until 1954 before Fuji Heavy Industries took on the challenge of building a road car. The name of this car was the P-1 (Nothing like the modern Subaru Impreza P1) which stood for Prototype-1. This name was later changed to the Subaru 1500. And here the Subaru was born. The name Subaru Closely translates to reference the star cluster Pleiades, which is the same famous star cluster that we see make up the subaru logo today. over the decades Subaru continued to build motor cars and in 1972 made it's first 4WD car with the Subaru Leone 4WD Station Wagon. From that point onwards Subaru made something for a name for it's self in the 4WD motor car department, almost like a trade mark. Think Subaru, think All Wheel Drive. However it wasn't until 1992 that the Subaru Impreza was born. So let's pick up the story from there.


The Launch of the Subaru Impreza (Japan) The Subaru Impreza was developed after rule changes in the World Rally Championship (WRC) demanded a replacement to the Subaru Legacy which was previously used by Subaru in the WRC. The changes meant that a new smaller, lighter and faster car was required in order to compete in the WRC. So even from day one, the Subaru Impreza was developed for rallying.


The Subaru Impreza reached the UK. Initially the Subaru Impreza was available in both Front Wheel Drive (FWD) and All Wheel Drive (AWD) versions. However the FWD was soon dropped in preference of the trademark Subaru AWD system.


The Turbo Charged Impreza 2000 AWD reached the UK (Known as the Subaru Impreza WRX in Japan). Also in 2004, Subaru Technica International (STI) was born and we started seeing STI versions of the Subaru Impreza Turbo. The Subaru Impreza WRX STI meant much more than an extra badge on the body. The STI stood for a full upgrading of the Subaru Impreza Taking was was learned on the World Rally stages and incorporating developments into the road car. Many areas were upgraded for the Subaru Impreza STI versions. Engine, Suspension and overall performance and handling greatly improved over the standard car. Top speed was limited to 155mph and 0-62 came in at just 4.7seconds for the Impreza STI. These figures made the Subaru Impreza very sought after by the local boy racers. Albeit a bit more expensive than the your every day Peugeot 205 and Vauxhall Nova.


Subaru won the World Rally Championship in a 555 WRC Subaru Impreza driven by fellow Scotsman Colin McRae. A brilliant achievement for both driver and manufacturer. Driver Colin McRae for being the first ever British driver to win the WRC, and Subaru proved that the Impreza was a World Leading rally car. To mark the success of Subaru winning the WRC championship that year, a special edition Subaru Impreza was released in the form of the McRae Series Subaru Impreza.


Subaru took the manufacturer title for a second year in a row, and promptly released another special edition Impreza knows as the Subaru Impreza Catalunya.


Subaru won a hat-trick of manufacturer championships and celebrated once again by releasing a new special edition Impreza. The Subaru Impreza Terzo (Italian for 3rd). Only 333 Subaru Impreza Terzos were made, as a mark of the three championships won with the Subaru Impreza. 1997 also saw a few changes to the Impreza road car. Interior styling was updated including an exclusive MOMO racing steering wheel. Meanwhile STI versions were given an newly designed rear spoiler. In Japan a special 2-door coupe Subaru Impreza was released which was used as the 1998 WRC car.


The Subaru Impreza 22B. A label that often conjures up thoughts of what the ultimate Subaru Impreza might be. The 22B (Note: for the computer geeks out there, 22B in hex converts to 555 in decimal.) provided a 2.2l boxer engine, more hardcore styling all round including 2-doors instead of 4 and an adjustable rear wing made up just some of the key features of the 22B. Only 400 22B's were made in order to celebrate 40 years of Subaru and only 16 of those were destined for the UK. I've seen three in total!! UK versions also had tweaked gearing which was specifically optimised to UK roads. How cool is that!


To celebrate the new driver lineup of Richard Burns in the Subaru World Rally Team, Subaru decided it was once again time for a special edition. This time the RB5 named after Richard Burns. Sadly in November 2003 Richard Burns was diagnosed with a form of brain tumour and later died on the 25th November 2005 from his illness. This makes the RB5 all the more special now. Only 444 RB5's were made, with the option of the WR Sport pack.

1999 Also saw the release of another special edition. The Subaru Impreza P1, which like the Subaru Impreza 22B was a 2-door coupe model, and like the 22B it was only available in WR Blue. However unlike the 22B the Subaru Impreza P1 delivered a 276bhp out of the box, and supporting a whole load of new accessories such as 10-spoke OZ Titanium racing wheels, improved quick-shift gearbox, rear-wiper, new front wing/splitter, new fog lamps and a new exclusive rear wing. Unlike the Impreza 22B there were 1,000 P1's made. Despite this the Subaru Impreza P1 remains one of the most expensive Subaru Impreza's to buy today.



For eight years, the Subaru Impreza remained more or less unchanged (externally) until 2000 where Subaru decided to update the Impreza for the 21st century. This change was met with mixed views. The appropriately labeled Bug-eye version by critics, was just that. Bug-eyed! One can only guess it was Subaru's attempt to make the Impreza all cute and cuddly. But this didn't go down well with the fans. Many NewAge impreza's promptly had their headlights replaces with WRC look-alike HI-Definition (HiD) lamps or the more aggressive looking Morette cluster. What was in favour of the fans was the globalisation of the WRX name. Previously only used in Japan, the WRX badge was now stuck to any Impreza with a Turbo!


To celebrate Richard Burns's win in the WRC and the launch of the of the new model, Subaru decided to launch yet another special edition Impreza. This time the Subaru Impreza UK300. Once again just like the 22B and P1 the only colour available was WR Blue. The UK300 supported new prodrive styled spoilers of which the rear wing looked like was picked from bit of an airfix kit and not put together properly. Thankfully the front end was improved slightly, with the addition of improved HiD headlamps which made the car look slightly less like a bug. Yet no matter what they did, it was still going to be remembered as the Bug-Eyed version. 2001 also saw the arrival of the NewAge (Must stop calling it bug-eyed) Subaru Impreza WRX STI to the UK. Just like previous STI's, this was based on the WRX but tweaked a little by the Subaru Technica International (STI) team. If that wasn't enough there was also the option of a Prodrive Performance Pack (PPP). The Subaru Imrpeza WRX STI saw a few key changes over the standard Subaru Impreza WRX. This time, the addition of a 6-speed gearbox as opposed to the WRX 5-speed. Also a nice welcome was similar headlamps which were found on the UK300.


It didn't take long before Subaru had to give in to pressure from fans and go back to the drawing board (literally) to come up with a new style Subaru Impreza. So in 2002, Subaru announced yet another NewAge Impreza. The MY03. Main difference here was the front end. More or less everything else stayed the same, but those bug-eyed headlamps were out and replaced with slightly less ugly ones. Also a bigger bonnet scoop was included. Not to be outdone, the Subaru Impreza WRX power was increased by 10bhp. Not surprisingly many Bug-eyed Subaru Impreza's were made available on the 2nd hand market as many owners wanted to change their driveway accessory for the new style Subaru Impreza.

Although Turbo versions of the Subaru Impreza were available in Japan and Europe from more or less day one. The US favoured their muscle cars and not these Japanese breed of performance cars. Which meant the Subaru Impreza Turbo's never "officially" reached US soil until the 2002 model. Any previous Subaru Impreza's were Imports. Unfortunately for the US market the famous 2.0l boxer engine had to go. The fuel regulations in the US meant that the high performance expected from the Subaru Impreza could not be achieved from the 2.0l engine with US fuel. Instead, the Subaru Impreza was given a nice new 2.5l boxer engine for the US market, in order to keep the power and performance up.


Another Subaru WRC title win with Petter Solberg at the wheel. Once again sticking with tradition a new special edition was released, known as the Subaru Impreza WR1. I must admit the WR1 is one of my personal favourites, if only because of the unique Ice Blue colour. Only 500 WR1's were made, but Subaru decided to throw everything at it, including PPP and Driver Controlled Centre Diff (DCCD). The Subaru Impreza WRX STI also saw further improvements in 2004 with upgraded mechanics from the Japanese models. This new revised STI saw a new front diff, along with the DCCD system which was found on the WR1 and UK300 models. Nice!


Towards the end of 2005. Again just 2 years after the previous model was replaced, Subaru decided to release another new bodied Subaru Impreza, the MY06. This time with new crystal rear light cluster and yet another new front end. The jury is still out about whether or not it is a hit or a miss. I personally think it looks Awesome. Almost as though Subaru have forgotten the last 5 years and gone back to the aggressive styling of the original Subaru Impreza from the 90's! I admit, it did take a few days to get used to, but after you see past the SEAT grill and BMW headlamps you soon realise that this is the sort of car you want other people to see you in, in their rear view mirror. (Admittedly briefly as you scream past them shortly after words :) Sadly the MY06 marked the end for the traditional 2.0l boxer engine. Instead we saw the introduction of the 2.5l boxer engine into the Subaru Impreza. A sad end which seems to have gone relatively unnoticed. But then think of what they can do with that extra 500cubic centimetres of space. Mwaahaahaahaa!...


Towards the end of 2006. Subaru / Prodrive announced the realease of a new Special Edition Impreza. Sadly without recent success in the WRC. This time the special edition was to celebrate the life of previous Subaru WRC Champion Richard Burns who sadly died 12 months previously due to a brain tumour. The New Special Edition Subaru Impreza was to be named the RB320. That's 320bhp and a limited number of 320 to be produced. Essentially the RB320 is a 2006 model Subaru Impeza WRX STi PPP with just abotu ever add on you can think of, along with bespoke prodrive/blitsen dampers, exclusive obsidian black paint work, black alloys and full dront grill set. All in all making the RB320 very exclusive and ver agressive looking with only small markings on the passenger, drivers doors and boot lid of a small orange RB320 logo. The rest of the car is very much black in respect for the late Richard Burns. A true trubite to a great champion!



I have yet to come up with a word that describes Subaru in 2007. At the time of writing Subaru had recently announced the drascically redesigned 2008 model of the Subaru Impreza (You can see some photos here) Make your own mind up about what you think of it. My initial thoughts are yuk.. And I have to say my thoughts are still more or less the same. The car does NOT look agressive as it shoudl and just looks like any other family hatchback on the road. a fair pecentage of the Impreza's appeal has always been it's agressive shape and styling. Even teh bugeye version admitedly wasn't welcomed by many had the trademark styling that for every other angle you knew it was an Impreza and more importantly a car to be reckoned with!. This new one doesn't do much for me I'm afraid. Doesn't excite me when I see pictures of it like previous styles. The same recipie is still there usign the same 2.5l boxer engine from teh MY06 models, a new intercooler has been shoved in. Power remains teh same at 225ps for the WRX model, awd as standard of course :). However the tyres are narrower than previous versions. Also it's worth noting that at time of writing there are no plans for a WRX version or saloon version for the UK. Instead we'll have the basic models then a jump up to the STi's I see this as a mistake as the WRX hits a just about affordable market for most peopel who cant afford te £25k price of the STi. However somethign new for the MY08 Impreza will be the introduction of a 170bhp Diesel Impreza. Thats right diesel. Should be interesting...Watch this space...



..:: Featured Motoring News feed

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2017 Range Rover Velar - first official pictures of new SUV
2017 Range Rover Velar confirmed to sit between Evoque and Sport Porsche Macan rival is Land Rover?s most road-biased model and will sit between the Evoque and Sport; on sale this year

The Range Rover Velar has been confirmed by Land Rover as the latest addition to its line-up, with the brand revealing the first image of the model.

It will sit between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport in the brand?s line-up and introduce an all-new interior design language for the firm.

As the fourth model in the line-up, the mid-sized SUV is described by Range Rover as ?filling the white space between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport?. It is a vital price point for Range Rover, plugging the gap between the £40,000 Evoque and £80,000 Sport and challenging important rivals such as the Porsche Macan and BMW X6.

The first image of the Velar shows a familiar design language, as seen on the existing Range Rover models, but with far smoother lines than previously. Whereas current models have numerous angular lines at the rear end, the Velar has a continuous sweep from the sides to the rear of the bodywork, creating a sleek, sporty silhouette.

A circling line of chrome further accentuates this continuation and the relatively small rear window further enhances the coupé-like styling, making the model less boxy than the current Range Rovers.

A panoramic sunroof also suggests an airy cabin and a glimpse of the infotainment system, showing two screens ? one wide and central and one behind the wheel ? closely reflects the interior shown on Jaguar?s all-electric I-Pace SUV seen at the LA motor show in November last year.

Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern said: ?We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover. It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand.?

The Velar is set to be the most on-road-focused model yet produced by Land Rover. The company has described it as ?refined for every occasion and terrain? and said it ?uses unique sustainable materials and advanced engineering to continue Land Rover?s drive to go Above and Beyond?, referring to the company?s advertising tagline.

The name ?Velar? comes from the original Range Rover prototypes from 1969. It was used by development engineers to hide the identity of the 26 pre-production Range Rovers and is derived from the Latin ?velaris?, meaning to veil or cover.

Autocar has previously reported that the five-seater will be closely related to the Jaguar F-Pace, with which it shares Jaguar Land Rover?s IQ platform. All Velars will have four-wheel drive and be built alongside the Range Rover Sport and F-Pace in the aluminium body and assembly plant in Solihull, West Midlands.

It will be launched with the Ford-built V6s currently used in the range but they will be replaced later by Ingenium in-line six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. A plug-in hybrid based on the 295bhp four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine is also expected.

The model extends the ?Luxury? pillar of Land Rover?s three-pronged vehicle strategy, alongside the other Range Rover models. The ?Leisure? pillar includes the Discovery and Discovery Sport and the ?Dual-purpose? pillar will remain dormant until the next Defender arrives in 2019

Jaguar I-Pace's cockpit sets template for Jaguars and Land Rovers

Based on the official image in this story, the cockpit design seen in the Jaguar I-Pace will be closely replicated in the Velar.

The I-Pace, which is a template for the future of Jaguar Land Rover interiors, uses three display screens. The primary interface is a 12.0in TFT touchscreen, while infotainment and climate functions are adjusted on a secondary 5.5in screen controlled by two rotary dials. Instrumentation is presented on a configurable 12.0in virtual cluster augmented by a colour head-up display.

The system has been built in-house and is based on the same technology used in the InControl Touch Pro system. Other existing tech, including wi-fi hotspots and the ability to use apps from a connected smartphone or tablet, will also feature in the Velar.

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 heads trio of special models
GT C Roadster Edition 50

Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50
AMG has revealed three new limited volume edition models; set to make public debut at Geneva motor show in March

The Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster Edition 50 is one of three new limited-edition models from the performance division set for imminent production.

Set to make an appearance at the Geneva motor show in early March, the line-up also includes the C63 Cabriolet and C63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition as well as the C43 4Matic Coupe and C43 4Matic Cabriolet Night Edition.

All feature unique colour and trim combinations along with individual design touches and an extended range of standard equipment over their standard siblings.

The rear-wheel drive GT C Roadster Edition 50, like the earlier GT C Edition 50, will be produced in a limited run of 500 in celebration of AMG?s 50thanniversary.

It comes with the standard GT C Roadster?s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine, delivering 549bhp, and can be ordered in one of two unique paint finishes: grey magno or design cashmere white. The new soft top also receives darkened chromed exterior elements as well as darkened forged alloy wheels.

Inside, there is a combination of black and silver leather for the seats and centre console together with touches from AMG?s existing Interior Night Package, with the steering wheel spokes, shift paddles and door sill panels in black. The contrasting colour theme is continued with silver seat belts and black chrome trim elements.  The head rests are also embossed with the words ?GT Edition 50?.

The rear-wheel drive C63 Cabriolet and C63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition are even more exclusive, with AMG confirming plans for a limited run of no more than 150.

Retaining the standard C63?s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 with either 460bhp or 503bhp, the open top duo feature a fabric hood in blue ? a colour that is also found within the front bumper, wheel caps on the standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels and within the rear diffuser. Two exterior paint finishes are offered: design cashmere white magno and design selenite grey magno.

The third of AMG?s new limited volume edition models, the four-wheel drive C43 4Matic Coupe and C43 4Matic Cabriolet Night Edition, are distinguished by a number of altered exterior elements, including a black diamond themed grille as well as black trim strips on the front splitter, side sills and rear valence panel. They also receive standard matt black 19-inch alloy wheels with high-gloss rim flanges.

The C43 4Matic Coupe and C43 4Matic Cabriolet Night Edition are both powered by AMG?s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine producing the same 362bhp as the standard C43 4Matic Coupe and Cabriolet.

The three new AMG Edition models can be ordered from 6 March, 2017. The C63 Cabriolet and C63 S Cabriolet Ocean Blue Edition, as well as the C43 4Matic Coupe and C43 4Maric Cabriolet Night Edition are planned for delivery in June, with the GT C Roadster Edition 50 set to follow in July. No prices have yet been announced. 

2017 Hyundai i30 Wagon revealed ahead of Geneva
2017 Hyundai i30 Wagon revealed ahead of Geneva Estate version of Hyundai?s five-door hatch comes with a choice of three petrol and one diesel engine

The 2017 Hyundai i30 Wagon will make its debut at the Geneva motor show next month.

The estate version of Hyundai?s five-door i30 is a rival to the Ford Focus estate and Volkswagen Golf estate. It enters the market with one of the most spacious cabins in its class.


With the rear seats up, it can swallow 602 litres of luggage and with them down that number grows to 1650 litres. This beats the Focus and Golf estates by 134 and 30 litres respectively. It?s also 309 litres more than the five-door hatch offers.

The i30 Wagon has been designed with a slanting roof to create a coupé-like silhouette. The car?s nose remains unchanged from its hatch sibling but the rear, which extends back an extra 245mm, gets a slightly different design with the number plate located on the tailgate as opposed to the bumper.

Inside, the dashboard and seats are identical to the hatch, meaning there?s either a 5in or 8in touchscreen, which comes available with Apple Carplay, Android Auto connectivity, as well as optional wireless charging for smartphones and Bluetooth.


Powering the estate will be a choice of four turbocharged engines. The entry unit is a 1.0-litre T-GDI three-cylinder petrol that produces 118bhp and above this is a 1.4-litre four-pot that produces 138bhp.

The diesel line-up consists of three versions of the same 1.6-litre unit that produce 94bhp, 108bhp or 131bhp.


Hyundai claims that the i30 Wagon comes with the most driver assist safety programmes in its class. It gets adaptive cruise control that can brake or accelerate the vehicle at speeds of up to 112mph, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keeping assist technology.

There?s also rear cross traffic alert, blind spot detection and Hyundai?s first driver attention monitoring system, which alerts the driver to take a break if lane crossing is noticed.

Cars with optional full LED headlights get high beam assist technology to dip and raise beams around oncoming traffic too.

The i30 Wagon?s structure is more rigid due to 53% of it being made of advanced high-strength steel. Hyundai has sharpened the new i30?s steering by 10% in a bid to make the car more responsive, and the car?s development was focused in Europe with high-speed testing taking place on the Nürburgring.

Price and on sale date

Sales for the i30 five-door hatch kick-off in March. The Wagon will likely follow later in the year, with prices expected to start close to £2000 higher than the hatch, which will sell from £16,995.

New Ford Fiesta ST to be revealed this Friday
2017 Ford Fiesta ST New video reveals first images of 2017 Ford Fiesta ST; full reveal due February 24

The next-generation Ford Fiesta ST will be revealed on Friday, an official video from the car maker has confirmed.

On sale in 2018, the car isn?t dramatically different in looks to the new Fiesta, but does show extra bodykit, new alloy wheels and a large rear wing.

The video shows a five-door version, confirming that the front-wheel-drive car will follow the trend of the current model by offering both three-door and five-door versions.

While the current ST uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, it is likely the new model will adopt the 1.5-litre Ecoboost three-cylinder unit announced in the Fiesta. Existing power of 197bhp and a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec is also expected to improve. Fuel economy will also drop from the 148g/km CO2 of its predecessor.

Rivalling the Peugeot 208 GTi, Renault Clio Sport and upcoming Toyota Yaris GRMN, which is due at Geneva motor show, the Fiesta ST is expected to cost slightly more than the outgoing model, priced from £18,145.

The standard Ford Fiesta was revealed in November last year, and includes a Fiesta Active model which addresses the current crossover trend with SUV styling.


Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0 MultiAir Super 2017 review
Alfa Romeo Giulia Petrol Giulia will be a niche choice for buyers, but it's an excellent one if you won't do enough miles to justify a diesel We've already been impressed with the Alfa Romeo Giulia abroad. Faced with the steepest of challenges - that of taking on the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class at their own game, Alfa has shown that its new Giulia is capable of running with the very best when it comes to the way it drives. Of course, for D-segment saloons the big market is company car drivers, which means diesel power. And sure enough, that's where Alfa expects 80% of Giulia sales to go. Still, for the predicted 20% who choose petrol, and for those who shy away from the full-fat 503bhp Quadrifoglio version, this 197bhp option is the only remaining choice - for now at least, because a warm 276bhp petrol Veloce model is coming in April.While this Giulia misses out on some of the visual frills of the Quadrifoglio - including that car's auto-extending front splitter and bonnet vents - it is nonetheless an aggressive-looking machine. Certainly, it's got the individuality which someone who's spent years drifting between the German premium brands might be looking for, that is, if they can't be persuaded by the Jaguar XE first.On paper, too, this petrol version of the Giulia would seem to be a good bet, especially if you won't be doing the high mileage needed to justify a diesel. CO2 emissions are rated at a modest 138g/km (only slightly behind the 134g/km of BMW's 320i SE) - equating to 24% BIK in 2016/17 - while fuel economy of just under 48mpg shouldn't see you visiting the pumps too often.Our car, like the vast majority of Giulias in the UK, is in Super specification. One up from entry-level Giulia trim, it gets you 17in alloys, part-leather seats, and paddle shifts for its automatic gearbox - because remember, the Giulia will only be available in automatic form in this country.


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