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Wednesday, 28 September, 2016 - 18:41 (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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PSA wants small tech firms to help it please tomorrow's customers
Carlos Tavares Ahead of the Paris motor show, the PSA Group is launching a new mobility arm called Free 2 Move - but is it up to the task?

When it comes to creating glamour, some phrases in the English language just aren't up to the job. 

Take the three words 'mobility service provider'. Nothing could sound more boring, yet we're talking here about something practically every modern car company wants to turn itself into, because the three words describe a business that understands where future success will come from.

Which leads to a curly question: how do you invest these words with excitement and anticipation? Answer: you get PSA Group boss Carlos Tavares to utter them and explain their significance in his uniquely persuasive way.

Today in a reception at a Peugeot HQ in central Paris, Tavares described his company's ambition to become a mobility service provider using links - both financial and co-operative - with "fresh, talented" specialist companies who had a clear vision of the future. While reacting to their influence, PSA would group its car sharing and transport management activities under a new name, Free 2 Move, and would set about catering in the longer term to much more than just the traditional demands of customers wanting to buy new cars, although these would remain important.

The number of people owning cars was going down, Tavares explained, but the number who wanted to use them was expanding. This greater usage meant car production might even go up, not down, as lower car ownership might imply, because replacement would need to be more frequent. It could eventually add up to "a new phase in our history", he claimed.

Tavares agreed that there were many uncertainties in forecasting car demand beyond 2030, "but it is my job to configure the company so it is ready, whatever comes".

Asked why small technology companies should throw in their lot with PSA rather than other high achievers in the patch such as Daimler or Honda, Tavares said he believed his company - which "suffered a near-death experience" just three years ago - had learned the hard way the value of agility and flexibility, which is what the youthful players needed from a big one.

"Our unique selling point," he concluded, "is that we are the dinosaur that knows best that he is a dinosaur." People clapped at the end, rare at such a conference, and Tavares soon disappeared to his next appointment. But it was a bravura performance that will surely have big repercussions.

Read more Paris motor show news

2017 BMW X2 teased ahead of Paris motor show debut
BMW X2 concept teaser

BMW X2 concept teaser
The BMW X2 concept will influence a production model, set to sell for around £30,000 late next year; it?ll share many parts with the X1 but has a more sporting character

A concept for the 2017 BMW X2 will be revealed at the Paris motor show tomorrow, and BMW has released a single teaser image of the SUV onto Twitter.

The concept will influence a production model that will go on sale during the latter half of 2017, officials from the German car maker have revealed. So far, only development versions of the X2 have been seen.

Sister model to the recently introduced second-generation X1, the X2 will become the sixth SUV model to join the BMW line-up and the second to be based on its highly versatile UKL platform ? the same structure that underpins the upcoming second-generation Mini Countryman, which is also planned to get its first public airing at the Paris motor show. 

The X2 will rival the Range Rover Evoque, and will be priced from around £30,000. It has been conceived as a sporting alternative to the X1 in much the same way the X4 provides a more dynamic take on the X3 and the X6 acts as a more performance orientated option to the X5.

BMW marketing insiders say the X2 is intended to appeal to buyers who may have traditionally opted for a sporting hatchback yet seek the added security of the high seating position offered by an SUV.

The new X2 is described as being ?more adventurous? in appearance than that of the smartly styled X1, despite the two sharing the same basic structural hard points.

Prototypes seen testing revealed that the production version of the X2 has a bluff front end dominated by a large kidney shaped grille and heavily profiled bonnet ? a look largely shared with the X1.

Further back, the new BMW boasts a more heavily raked windscreen and significantly lower roofline than its mechanically identical sibling, giving it a more sporting profile.

The flanks are characterized by shapely front fenders and a prominent swage line running from the edge of the headlamps all the way through to the forward point of the tail lamps, while the rear features a hatchback-style tailgate that features a separate opening rear window for ease of loading in tight space.   

Inside, the X2 shares its dashboard and cabin appointments with the second-generation X1. Despite similar dimensions, the new X2 will not offer quite the same accommodation or luggage capacity, because in part to its lower roofline and more heavily angled tailgate.  

As with the X1, the new X2 will offer a range of transversely mounted four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

Included in the launch line-up will one petrol variant in the form of the  X2 xDrive20i, which runs a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine delivering 189bhp. It will be joined by three diesels all powered by BMW?s widely used turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel: the X2 xdrive18d with 148bhp, the X2 xDrive20d with 187bhp and the X2 xDrive25d with 227bhp.

Gearbox choice will include a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic along with the choice of either rear- or four-wheel drive in combination with the least powerful diesel engine option used by the X2 xDrive18d.

New Renault Trezor concept leaked ahead of Paris show debut
Renault Trezor An image of the Renault Trezor has sufaced before the car was due its official reveal at the Paris motor show

An image of Renault?s Trezor concept has been accidentally released. The model wasn?t due to be fully revealed until its slot the Paris motor show.

The leaked image shows the full frontal view of the car, including the red windscreen and hexagonal pattern on the bonnet which was previously shown in a teaser image. Another image has since surfaced on Twitter, which also shows the full front end of the car. 

Car news website Carscoops originally picked up on the car?s leak, but French magazine L?Automobile were behind it; publishing the front cover of their magazine ahead of the image?s official release time.

Read about this year's Paris motor show here

L'Automobile also showed a smaller image of the Volkswagen ID concept ahead of time.

Another image also shows the car?s rear, which incorporates a full-width light bar and rakish rear windscreen, as well as an aggressive rear diffuser.

We already know that the Trezor will feature autonomous technology from the teaser video released by Renault which showed the car?s driver asleep behind the wheel.

The Trezor signposts Renault?s future design direction, much like the DeZir concept did in 2010.

The Koleos large SUV and Alaskan pick-up truck will join the Trezor on Renault?s Paris motor show stand.

Keep up with all the latest Paris motor show news, with all the latest reveals and details here

Volkswagen ID concept revealed ahead of Paris motor show
Volkswagen ID ID concept can eke out as many as 373 miles to one charge with its 168bhp electric motor; it?s confirmed for 2020 production

The Volkswagen ID concept has been officially revealed ahead of its debut at the Paris motor show.

The all-electric hatchback, confirmed to make production in 2020, is powered by a 168bhp electric motor and is claimed to be capable of travelling between 249 and 373 miles on one charge, depending on the driving circumstances. 

The concept features a design that?s completely different to VW?s other models. The low-drag focus of the ID's five-door body is clear with the use of smooth body panels and flat door handles.

With no engine to feed, the car doesn't have a front grille and gets a short, steeply angeled bonnet that feeds into a long windscreen.

Behind this is a panoramic roof that reaches back into an extended roof spoiler that likely helps to boost aerodynamic efficiency.

While Volkswagen hasn't revealed any pictures of the car's interior, four passenger seats with floating headrests can be seen, as can a narrow dashboard and polygon-shaped steering wheel.

Volkswagen has confirmed that the concept has an autonomous driving mode that will be offered in production models from 2025, suggesting this steering wheel is only required during manual modes.

Volkswagen says the ID's design will serve as the DNA for its future range of electric models.

It is the first car to be built upon VW?s Modular Electric Drive underpinnings (MEB) and will sit alongside the similar-sized Golf as a zero-emission alternative.

The car will be shown in Paris this week where more details will be released.

Aston Martin DB11 enters production
Aston Martin DB11 enters production Aston Martin has started production of the DB11, with the first 1000 cars getting a special once-over from Aston CEO Andy Palmer

The Aston Martin DB11 has officially entered production today, marking the manufacturer's latest renaissance and renewed product offensive.

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin?s CEO, will inspect the first 1000 examples that roll off the production line, although Aston has revealed that it has received more than 3000 orders for its new grand tourer already.

No limit is being put on the DB11?s production run; the only factor determining how many will be made is Aston Martin?s build capacity for the model.

Six more new models will follow the DB11, including a crossover which will be entirely new territory for both Aston Martin and the supercar segment entirely and built in a brand new Aston Martin factory in Wales.

Also under Aston Martin?s ?Second Century Plan? ? so called because Aston turned 103 years old this year ? are a new Vantage, Vanquish, Rapide EV, and Lagonda saloon.

The Vantage is tipped to be revealed around this time next year, while the DBX crossover will arrive at the turn of the next decade. Aston also grabbed headlines earlier this year with the announcement of its AM-RB 001 joint-venture hypercar with the Red Bull Formula 1 team.

The DB11 Volante ? the DB11?s convertible variant ? will go on sale in Spring 2018.

Although not in direct competition with Lamborghini?s upcoming Urus SUV, it?s likely that the cars will rival each other when they come to market.

The DB11 is available to order now, with prices starting at £154,900. Deliveries are set to start in October, although orders placed now won?t be delivered until the end of next year, according to an Aston Martin spokesman. 


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