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 Subaru Impreza




Subaru Impreza Story
An Introduction to the Subaru Impreza


History of the Impreza
A complete History of Subaru and the Impreza


Special Editions
All the UK special edition Impreza's listed here


My 2001 Impreza WRX
My own 2001 Impreza WRX in Red Mica


Project PPP
Upgraded my WRX with PPP saving nearly £1,200!


Scooby @ Lochindorb
Photo gallery of the car at Lochindorb Jan08


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MY08 Impreza (Gallery)
MY06 Impreza (Gallery)
MY03 Impreza (Gallery)

 

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..:: 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.

1992

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.

1993

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.

1994

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.

1995

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.

1996

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.

1997

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.

1998

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!

1999

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.

       

2000

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!

2001

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.

2002

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.

2004

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!

2005

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!...

2006

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!

       

2007

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...

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Video: Porsche 911 GT3 vs Ferrari 458 Speciale vs McLaren 650S
It's a three-way supercar showdown at Castle Combe race circuit as Ferrari squares up against Porsche and McLaren

Ferrari?s brilliant 458 Speciale takes on McLaren?s potent 650S and the well-proven Porsche 911 GT3. Which will come out on top at Castle Combe? Steve Sutcliffe referees.

Toyota sells off part of its Tesla stake
Toyota sells off part of its Tesla stake Japanese manufacturer follows Daimler by offloading a portion of its interest in Elon Musk's electric vehicle company

Toyota has sold part of its interest in Tesla, just days after Daimler cashed-in its shares in the US electric vehicle manufacturer.

The relationship between Toyota and Tesla dates back to 2010 and was originally proposed by Akio Toyoda, president and chief executive of the Japanese car giant.

Toyota and Tesla have collaborated on joint-development of the RAV4 electric SUV, which was only sold in selected urban areas in the United States.

Underpinned by a Tesla-designed battery and electric powertrain, the front-wheel-drive RAV4 EV developed from a pipe dream to a reality in just 22 months. The SUV was first revealed in 2012, and roughly 2600 examples have been produced over three years.

But that project is now winding down, and Toyota is putting more emphasis on fuel cell electric vehicles for the future.

No specifics of the sale have been released by Toyota, which is reported to have held a stake of about 2.4 per cent in Tesla. However, the Japanese company has left the door open for potential new technical collaborations in the future.

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Porsche to take on Tesla with electric version of all-new model
Porsche to take on Tesla with electric version of all-new model Secret new mid-sized electric car to go up against Californian company's highly rated Model S

Porsche is plotting a surprise entry into the electric car ranks with an all-new mid-sized liftback that aims to compete with the Tesla Model S.

Currently in the formative stages of development at Porsche?s Weissach R&D centre in Germany, the secret five-door is planned to form part of a new dedicated fifth model range set to slot into the German car maker?s line-up beneath the Panamera, according to German media reports citing comments made by Porsche?s outspoken chairman, Matthias Müller.

While conventional combustion engine versions of the new mid-sized Porsche model are set to take on established luxury class rivals such as the BMW 5-series, an advanced battery-powered variant is tasked with challenging the Model S on both performance and range in what has developed into an increasingly important global market for electric cars in recent years.

Details of Porsche?s first-ever series production electric car remain shrouded in secrecy, though Autocar understands it has been conceived around a second-generation version of the MSB platform that currently underpins the Panamera.

Set to employ a greater percentage of lightweight, hot-formed, high-strength steel and aluminium than today?s structure, it will boast a shorter wheelbase than that of the Panamera and aim to provide the new car with a kerb weight under the Model S?s 2190kg.

Power for the new five-seat Porsche is planned to come from a state-of-the-art synchronous electric motor. It is likely to provide a similar output to the unit used by the Model S ? which offers 416bhp and 443lb ft in its most powerful guise ? in a bid to endow the new Porsche electric car with class-leading performance.

The electric motor will draw energy from a yet-to-be-specified battery. Likely to use a lithium-ion process, it is expected to be developed in partnership with Audi, which is currently in the throes of finalising its first-ever electric car, the R8 e-Tron. It is planned to provide the new car with an all-electric range of more than 250 miles.

Porsche has gained electric car expertise through the development of a number of prototypes in recent years, including the Boxster E ? an all-electric version of the second-generation Boxster that used a 121bhp electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

The new Porsche model forms part of a two-pronged attack being readied by Volkswagen-owned companies against Tesla, whose solid sales growth in recent years has led many established car makers to fast track plans for their own battery-powered models.

While Porsche is targeting the Model S, Audi is set to challenge the soon-to-be-introduced Model X with an electric variant of its future range-topping Q8 SUV.

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How Caterham F1?s meltdown might benefit other Formula 1 teams
How Caterham F1?s meltdown might benefit other Formula 1 teams As public arguments over who owns what relating to Caterham F1 continue to rage, the team stands to miss out on valuable prize money

The demise of the Caterham F1 team has been taking place in recent days, with a very public slanging match over who owns what.

This occurred after an administrator was appointed for the Caterham Sports Ltd company, which provided various services for the franchise-holder, Malaysia-based 1MRT.

The administrator has since been throwing his weight around, refusing to allow the cars to leave the premises and locking out the staff. It is not clear whether the company in administration actually owns the cars or the factory, but the administrator is acting as though it does.

The bottom line is that Caterham will almost certainly not be seen in Texas next week for the United States Grand Prix. The team?s entry will not be written off immediately, however, as the various agreements that exist in F1 allow a team to miss three races in a single season if it cannot be avoided.

The franchise-holding company is still solvent so there is no reason for the rights and benefits to disappear immediately. However, if the franchise is to have any value at all, someone needs to submit an entry for next year in the next few weeks. It is unlikely that anyone will be a position to do that, or would be willing to pay the entry fees involved without being certain of being able to field a team.

If the team does not go to the last three races it gives up the chance to receive $90 million over the course of the next two seasons, which would be payable if the team could finish tenth in this year?s constructors' championship. To do that, Caterham would need to one tenth-place finish (as long as Sauber did not do the same or better).

A ninth place would move Caterham ahead of Marussia and up to ninth in the constructors' standings. This is not likely to happen, but in a race such as the Brazilian Grand Prix there is often a high attrition rate, so anything is possible.

In order for that to happen, however, it needs to be established who owns 1MRT and who owns the cars. It would then require the cars and a team to run them to be sent to Austin.

The closure of the team is obviously a disaster for the staff at Leafield and for the team?s suppliers, but it could end up being good news for the rest of the F1 world. While it is not good to lose a team, it does mean that only ten teams are left. As only ten teams are paid prize money, under the existing agreements, this means that no-one is going to miss out.

The prize fund is based on the performance of a team, with the amount of money on offer being somewhere between $100 million for the world champions to around $45 million to the tenth-placed team. There are additional bonuses for the three teams that have won the most number of races in the last four years, which are currently Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, but the Maranello team will soon drop out of that clique and be replaced by Mercedes.

If there is no 11th team then there is no longer any need for some of the back markers to try too hard. The money will come whether one finishes a minute behind the winner, or two laps down. While the racers would prefer to be fighting for success, this is a useful thing in the battle to survive.

This will be true in 2015 and 2016 because any new team needs to race for two years to be eligible for the various prize funds, which means that the top ten will continue to the same until the end of the 2017 season.

There might be a need to invest more in 2017 in order to stay in the top ten that year but it still means that the back end of the grid has a chance to breathe and not have to keep up with the F1 spending that has been seen in recent years.

It may not be the racing attitude, but a number of the teams in F1 are barely surviving at the moment and so it will be a pragmatic decision rather than something to be desired.

Why Porsche?s 918 Spyder has earned its five-star rating
Why Porsche?s 918 has earned its five-star rating On paper, Porsche's hypercar doesn't look capable of matching the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, but on track it proved that it has nothing to fear from its rivals

It was daft to expect too little. But, as the old man still says to me, ?expect nothing, son, and you?ll never be disappointed?. Ever the optimist. 

On paper, though, the bald figures suggested that a Porsche 918 Spyder would arrive at the MIRA proving ground for our road test too overfed and under-muscled to get near the sharpest end of these hypercar shenanigans. 

Porsche?s typical nonchalance implied that they wouldn?t be pushing to squeeze every last ounce out of it, either. ?Hope you don?t mind,? they said, ?because I know we don?t usually; but we thought we?d bring a technician with us, in case anything goes wrong. Is that okay??

?Of course,? we said, because ?a technician?, singular, is nothing compared with the army of engineers and advisory racing drivers and tyre pumpers that accompany some extremely fast cars from elsewhere. 

(We don?t mind that, either, I should say; although the rush sometimes flusters the sandwich assembler in the MIRA canteen.)

But the 918 is a Porsche, of course, and Porsche hasn?t won nine out of 26 of our Handling Days, and come achingly close ?to winning several more, without good reason. There?s a reason, too, that, during the past decade or so, the number of former Autocar staffers who?ve gone on to spend their own money on a Porsche is, I think, into double figures.

And during all that time, Porsche has never sent anyone to our tests to change its cars? tyres, nor even check pressures, or fluid levels; yet still it often emerges totally dominant. 

So it was daft to expect anything different for the 918; and even though Porsche?s technician had some spare tyres in the back of his Macan, he looked quite happy to leave them there. His idea of checking the rubber currently fitted to the car was to have a quick look, place his hand on one to see how hot it was, and shrug his approval. 

In the event, the 918 Spyder completed all of the tests we set it at MIRA on a single set of tyres and, in the process, went faster than anything else we?ve tested around our dry handling circuit ? Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, McLaren P1, Radical SR3 SL, a works Vauxhall Vectra BTCC car  included ? with considerably less support. In the hands of deputy road test ed Saunders, the 918 was more than a second clear of the next fastest.

It?s also one of only three cars that have made us ponder using more than one decimal place when quoting in-gear figures. The others were the Veyron and P1, unsurprisingly: cars that want less than a second to travel from one speed, to another, 20mph higher.

All that means we've awarded the 918 our coveted five-star rating. I shouldn?t have expected anything less.

Comparison - McLaren P1 versus Porsche 918 Spyder

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