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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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Facelifted Porsche Cayenne revealed ahead of Paris motor show launch
Porsche Cayenne facelift revealed The updated Porsche Cayenne SUV, which is due to go on sale in the UK from October, gets new styling inside and out as well as big gains in efficiency

A facelifted version of the strong selling second-generation Porsche Cayenne has been revealed ahead of a planned public debut at the Paris motor show in October.

Included as part of the updated range is a new 410bhp petrol-electric S E-Hybrid model that is claimed to offer a 0-62mph time of 5.9sec and a combined average of 83.1mpg. That's alongside a 151mph top speed and a zero-emission electric range of up to 22 miles at up to 78mph.

The reworked Cayenne, of which UK sales are due to start in October, further benefits from a series of exterior and interior design changes that bring it in line with the manufacturer's current offerings.

There's also a range of reworked petrol and diesel engines allied to new fuel saving technology ? all aimed at providing it with fresh appeal some four years after it first arrived in UK showrooms.

The mid-life styling changes appear subtle but bring some significant changes to the front-end design of the Cayenne. Updates include a larger grille, a new bumper with additional blades within the air ducts for more efficient cooling of the intercoolers, redesigned front wings and a larger bonnet boasting subtle contouring.

More angular headlights, with standard Xenon main beams (LED with Porsche Dynamic Light System on the top-of-the-line Turbo), are fitted to the new Cayenne too.

At the rear there are revised tail-lights that, like the headlights, adopt a more angular shape. The number plate recess and boot opening mechanism now also blends more elegantly into the tailgate. Porsche's design team has also added a revised bumper with integrated tailpipes.

Changes inside include a new multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles modelled on that used in the 918 Spyder, which come as standard equipment together with a more contoured rear seat that now comes with optional ventilation.

Heading the long list of efficiency boosting features brought to the facelifted Cayenne is a new coast function as well as improved version of the existing model?s stop/start system ? both of which have been integrated into its standard eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Further innovations include active air flaps located behind the grille. They open or close depending on the cooling requirements for the engine, constantly adjusting the volume of air entering the engine bay and helping to reduce aerodynamic drag.  

New to the Cayenne line-up is the S E-Hybrid, which replaces the S Hybrid. It runs the same Audi-engineered supercharged 3.0-litre V6 direct injection petrol engine as its predecessor. With 328bhp and 325lb ft of torque, it is mated to a new electric motor that develops 94bhp.

Altogether, Porsche?s third dedicated plug-in hybrid model, after the 918 Spyder and Panamera S E-Hybrid, delivers a combined output of 410bhp at 5500rpm and 434lb ft of torque between 1200 and 4000rpm, improving on the model it replaces by 35bhp and 7lb ft.

The S E-Hybrid is claimed to accelerate 0.6sec faster than the S Hybrid from 0 to 62mph, with an official time of 5.9sec. Top speed has also marginally increased to 151mph.

Porsche quotes a zero-emission electric range of between 11 and 22 miles depending on the topography of the road and driving style. Top speed in electric mode is limited to 78mph.

Big gains have been achieved in fuel economy and CO2 emissions thanks to the adoption of plug-in technology. Porsche figures point to a whopping 48.6mpg improvement in combined cycle fuel economy at 83.1mpg, with CO2 emissions dropping by 114g/km to 79g/km on the European test cycle.

In further changes, Porsche has replaced the naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 direct injection petrol engine in the Cayenne S with a new twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 direct injection petrol unit from the recently introduced Macan Turbo.

With 414bhp at 6000rpm and 405lb ft of torque, the new unit delivers an added 20bhp and 37lb ft, providing the Cayenne S with a 0.5sec improvement in its 0-62mph time at 5.4sec, together with an incremental increase in top speed at 161mph. Fuel economy increases by 2.8mpg to an official 29.7mpg, while average CO2 emissions are reduced by 22g/km at 223g/km.

Further up the range, the Cayenne Turbo gains a more powerful version of Porsche?s turbocharged 4.8-litre V8 direct injection petrol engine developing an added 20bhp at 512bhp and an extra 37lb ft of torque at 553lb ft.

Its 0-62mph time is reduced by 0.3sec to an official 4.4sec, while top speed increases by 1mph to 174mph. In combination with the Cayenne?s new fuel saving technology, combined cycle fuel economy improves by 0.6mpg to 25.2mpg, providing the rapid SUV with a 29g/km improvement in average CO2 emissions at 261g/km.

Porsche has also increased the output of the 3.0-litre V6 common rail diesel engine in the Cayenne Diesel. It now produces an additional 16bhp and 12lb ft with 258bhp at 6000rpm and 427lb ft of torque between 1750 and 2500rpm. The subtle bump in reserves cuts 0.3sec from the 0-62mph time to 7.2sec, while top speed extends by 1mph to 137mph.

Even milder are the changes brought to the Cayenne S Diesel. Its turbocharged 4.2-litre V8 common rail diesel engine gains 3bhp, taking its output up to 380bhp. Torque, however, remains the same as before, rising to a peak of 626lb ft between 2000 and 2750rpm.

The slight increase in power combines with the efficiency gains to the gearbox to reduce the 0-62mph time by 0.4sec to 5.3sec while retaining the previous model?s 157mph top speed. Fuel economy is up by 1.3mpg at 35.3mpg, resulting in a 9g/km reduction in CO2 emissions, at 209g/km.

Together with the myriad engine changes, Porsche says it has fined tuned the Cayenne?s chassis to provide what it describes as a ?greater spread between comfort and sportiness?.

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Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI first drive review
Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI first drive review New convenience and safety gadgets, plus a great new TSI engine, help keep the Polo close to the top of the class As the adverts proclaim, this is ?the new Polo?. That seems a bit of a stretch when you consider that the latest revisions to Volkswagen's supermini include neither alterations to the exterior sheet metal nor to the lights and plastic bumpers, which are the more usual candidates for facelift revisions.Instead, VW has concentrated on refreshing the engines and upgrading the gadgetry, and despite the lack of headlines has made a pretty good job of it.There are now four petrol engines ? the 59bhp and 74bhp 1.0-litre petrol triples from the Up, plus two versions of the 1.2-litre TSI turbo petrol four, in 89bhp and 108bhp forms. Naturally they?re all Euro 6 compliant and carry VW?s Bluemotion badge of unobtrusive frugality, which entails the fitment of features including a stop-start system. The SE version we tested was the lower-powered of the two TSI engines, good for 60.1mpg on a combined cycle and stated to emit just 107g/km of CO2. As well as the mechanical changes, there is also a general equipment upgrade. Our SE had a new central 6.5in screen (in the lesser models it?s only a 5.8in) that incorporates a comprehensive new infotainment system.All Polos now come with electronic stability control, a hill-hold system and a post-collision braking system that reduces the severity of a second impact after an initial crash.Typical big-car options include adaptive cruise, a driver alert warning system and city emergency braking, all for £500.In fact the SE (well equipped but not luxurious) gets close to being the ideal supermini, were it not for the fact that its styling is well proportioned but extremely bland: a Polo is one of those cars that almost entirely escapes notice.

Vauxhall boss confirms low-cost Dacia rivals in development
Vauxhall boss confirms Dacia-rivals in development As part of its European revival plans Vauxhall will look to rival the Dacia Sandero and Duster models with its own entry-level hatchback and small SUV

Vauxhall boss Karl-Thomas Neumann has confirmed the company is planning a new line of entry-level vehicles to rival the likes of Dacia.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Neumann said the budget sector was "very interesting," and confirmed the brand was "definitely looking at the segment."

The plan involves bringing in two new low-cost models to plug the gap left by Chevrolet, which will be axed from the European market next year.

One of the cars has already been spotted testing, and is likely to be badged as Viva when it makes its debut at the Geneva motor show in March next year.

Sitting alongside the Adam and below the new Corsa in size, the car is based on the next-generation Chevrolet Spark, but likely won't be priced to compete with the £5995 Dacia Sandero. Instead, Vauxhall is understood to be pitching the new model towards the Ford Ka, which costs from £8945.

"We think there is possibility for Opel to come up with some entry-level product, specifically now Chevrolet is out of the market," said Neumann. "We had Chevrolet, which looked like a budget brand, but it was not."

Neumann also confirmed that GM is eyeing up a compact crossover to sit alongside the new Viva in its budget line-up. That model is likely to be pitched against the Dacia Duster, and could well form the basis of a replacement for the current Meriva MPV

In the first six months of this year, Dacia's sales in Europe have risen by more than 36 per cent, to 192,876 units, with 37,802 cars sold in June alone. GM's sales ? incorporating the Opel/Vauxhall and Chevrolet brands ? are down by 0.5 per cent in the first half of 2014, selling a total of 497,143 cars.

Neumann has previously stated that with Chevrolet's departure from Europe, "all the burden" will now be on Opel and Vauxhall to perform: "GM can only be successful as a leading car maker in the world if we have a strong stake in Europe, so we can't give up."

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A ride in Porsche's 918 Spyder evokes memories of the rapid 959
A ride in Porsche's 918 Spyder evokes memories of the 959 The prodigious power output of the hybrid hypercar is as monstrously awesome as the shove provided by the twin-turbocharged flat-six in the Porsche 959

Attending a recent Porsche driving day at the compact but versatile Aldenhoven proving ground near Dusseldorf, I was lucky enough to hitch a passenger ride in the new Porsche 918 Spyder.

On Aldenhoven?s 1.3-mile oval circuit, Porsche?s man in the hot seat demonstrated the hybrid hypercar?s numerous show-stopping skills: electric-only mode (super-stealthy, yet swift enough to reach 62mph in 6.2sec), launch control (0-62mph in 2.6sec, then on to 124mph in another 4.7sec), ultra-flat cornering (with significantly greater body control than the almost equally heavy 911 Turbo) and, finally, the high-Wattage kidney punch delivered by the electric motors under full throttle.

During demonstration of the latter, which takes effect when engaged in the drivetrain?s most aggressive modes, in-gear acceleration from low revs was strong from the 4.6-litre V8 alone, but then a flex of the right foot brought on the electric beans. Cripes. So that?s what 944lb ft of torque feels like. As the electric motors kicked in with their technical-sounding whine, the revs shot up (this extraordinary engine has 9150rpm to exploit before the red line) and we were flung down the home straight in a surging blur.

I tried to recall the last time I felt pinned back into my seat with such force, and one memory stood out. In our special issue to celebrate 5000 Autocar road tests (2 March 2011), we featured a 1988 Porsche 959 as part of our never-tested ?Ones that got away? group (alongside a Ford GT40 and Ferrari F50).

As a hand hired to help with driving that day, I spent 20 minutes circling Millbrook?s high-speed bowl in the 959. Once the photographer had bagged his snaps, he waved me past. We?d been doing about 50mph for the pics, but the empty four-lane bowl ahead tempted more.

Like the 918?s driver, I applied throttle from low revs, but initial progress was stately at best. However, when the second of the 959?s two sequential turbos kicked in, there was a genuine whiplash moment. I?d never felt anything like it, and I?m not sure I have since ? 918 included ? such was the hammer blow from the 959?s comparatively tiny 2.85-litre flat six.

In 450bhp standard tune, the 959 could reach 62mph in 3.7sec and go on to a 197mph maximum ? just 1.1sec and 17mph off the 918?s best. Our test car on that day in Millbrook was factory-tuned to 532bhp, and for that split second, when famine turned to feast as the 959?s mega-charged drivetrain truly came alive, the g-force it imparted on my body became a personal automotive milepost.

Clearly, the 918 is by far the more complex machine, and it?s much more usable, too ? not to mention eco credentials that put it in a different universe to the 959. But there are strong similarities. Both cars have four-wheel drive with a variable torque split, advanced aerodynamics and adaptive damping (the 959 had two electronically controlled dampers per corner) and both provide outrageous pace despite weighing a not-inconsiderable half tonne-plus.

Sure, where the 959?s cabin was 911-familiar, the 918?s is starship-grade futuristic ? all daring shapes, slick, integrated touchscreens and custom switchgear ? but the tradition of innovation is clear as day in both. The 959 even had tyre pressure monitors ? claimed to be a first among road cars.

So, with its binary, off/on power delivery like a cartoon boxer windmilling his arm into a knockout punch, the 959?s slugging prowess remains a landmark for me, but the 918 has just become another: incredibly fast, yes, but composed, usable, comfortable and economical, too.

Audi A7 Ultra first drive review
Audi A7 Ultra first drive review The appeal of the A7, which offers smart looks, refinement and luxury, has now been bolstered by the improved economy of a new Ultra version When the Audi A7 was introduced in 2010 its fastback coupé styling and five-door package proved to be a compelling combination.Now Audi hopes to improve the A7?s popularity still further with a facelift and revised 3.0-litre TDI engines, including a high efficiency 3.0-litre TDI Ultra variant.The standard 268bhp 3.0-litre TDI engine has been substantially upgraded to improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, and is being introduced to the A7 range for the first time.Audi's Ultra version is calibrated to further optimise fuel consumption and CO2. There?s less power at 215bhp but torque is still a plentiful 295lb ft.The trade-off is worth it in terms of economy though, with the Ultra returning 60.1mpg compared to 54.3mpg for the more powerful engine.CO2 emissions are correspondingly lower too, at 122g/km rather than 136g/km. SCR (selective catalyst reduction) means the Ultra meets Euro 6 emissions standards and earns ?clean diesel? status too.

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