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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

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

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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.


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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BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept leaked online
BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept leaked online Leaked pictures reveal new BMW concept saloon which is reputed to preview the next-gen 7-series

Leaked shots have revealed a BMW that's reported to be called the Vision Future Luxury Concept.

The concept, pictures of which were published on automotive website Autonews, is thought to show what the next BMW 7-series might look like.

Visible is an enlarged version of BMW's classic kidney grille design, slender bucket seats and coach-style rear doors. The B-pillar is also at least partially absent, improving accessibility to the cabin.

The concept may also feature BMW's new laser headlights, which offer improved illumination.

It's thought that the concept will be revealed in full at the Beijing motor show tomorrow.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

How Jaguar is boosting its popularity in the Chinese market
How Jaguar is boosting its popularity in the Chinese market Jaguar's launching an all-out assault on the Chinese market ? and it looks like it might be its biggest sales success in a year's time

Even though the local newspapers are full of stories about the Chinese economy slowing down, it?s by far and away the world?s biggest luxury car market.

It?s fair to say too that Jaguar has been slower than some to take full advantage. But it?s now coming out all guns blazing: selling a lot more cars, recruiting dealers and, crucially, it will be making XFs here by the end of the year ? a must to get round the punitive import taxes.

This evening in a venue in the Chaoyang district of Beijing I witnessed part of the sales assault. The room was packed with dealers, prospective customers and the Chinese media. What we all watched was a 90-minute show designed to showcase the Jaguar brand.

So we got a Jaguar history lesson from chief designer Ian Callum (heritage really sells here) and then each model was brought on in turn, accompanied by a well-known local act. A trendy boy band singer with the F-type, a ballerina with the XF and an opera singer for the XJ saloon. It was the sort of thing that would seem a mite toe-curling in the UK, but tastes are extremely different here and the crowd lapped it up.

They went wild when the real star of the show turned up though. Jaguar?s new brand ambassador for China, David Beckham, appeared at the end in an F-type coupé. Like everywhere else he?s a mega-star here too and the association with brand Beckham is designed to give F-type coupé sales a major fillip.

Celebrity endorsements and these sort of events can seem trite, but they really work in China. And everything is pointing towards the Chinese-built Jaguars coming onto the market, when it should go gangbusters.

Currently China is Jaguar's biggest market, but only just. I?d be willing to bet that by this time next year it will be way out in front.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

Audi TT offroad concept show car unveiled in Beijing
Audi TT offroad concept show car unveiled in Beijing New hybrid crossover concept previews the look of Audi's potential Range Rover Evoque and Porsche Macan rival

Audi has revealed its new Audi TT offroad concept car in China, prior to the Beijing motor show.

"The Audi TT offroad concept provides a glimpse of how we might imagine a new model in the future TT family," said Audi technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg. "It will be the peak sporting SUV in its class.

"We chose to present the Audi TT offroad concept in China, our second domestic market, because it represents the urban mobility of tomorrow: It is sustainable, dynamic, intelligent and connected".

A production version could reach the market in some two years' time but Hackenberg says that it will take six months for Audi to reach a decision on whether to give the model a green light.

The new concept is a four-door compact SUV that utilises a plug-in hybrid drive system. It's likely that the car, if it were to go into production, would directly rival the Range Rover Evoque, Porsche Macan and BMW X4.

At the front is a turbocharged 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine that produces 288bhp and 280lb ft. It sends power to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission that features an integrated electric motor, rated at 40kw and 162lb ft.

Mounted on the back axle is a second electric motor that outputs 85kW and 199lb ft. An all-electric range of 31.1 miles is possible, with the total range for the new concept claimed to be 546.8 miles. Electric power comes from a 12kWh battery mounted in front of the rear axle.

It's claimed that the system, which produces 402bhp and 479.2lb ft, allows for an average economy of 148.7mpg. The concept is reputed to be capable of 0-62mph in 5.2sec and has a limited top speed of 155.3mph. CO2 emissions are rated at 45g/km.

Audi's concept additionally features wireless charging, allowing the car to simply be parked over a plate to receive a charge. The manufacturer states that it takes "about as long as charging via a cable" and that the technology is around 90 per cent efficient.

In pure EV mode only the rear electric motor functions, propelling the concept up to 80.8mph. In hybrid mode all three drives work together, while a 'Sport' mode is offered for maximum system output. With both front and rear drives operational, the concept effectively functions as an 'e-tron quattro'.

Underpinning the TT offroad concept is the Volkswagen Audi Group's versatile MQB platform, and the car has similar dimensions to the recently revealed third-gen Audi TT.

Externally the TT offroad concept features 21-inch alloy wheels, Audi's new 'Singleframe' grille and 'Matrix' LED headlights. Many cues are also taken from the previous Allroad Shooting Brake concept, seen in January at the Detroit motor show.

Inside the cabin shares the majority of its architecture with that of the new Audi TT. There is seating for four, heavily bolstered front seats with integrated head restraints and myriad practical touches including a multifunction steering wheel and numerous storage points.

One of the highlights is the addition of Audi's new virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT display that is customisable to display information desired by the driver, such as navigation instructions.

Rear passengers are catered for with Audi's new 'Smart Displays', which can stream live TV, access route planning and other media functions.

Additional new features include a junction merging assistant and a traffic light system that can display the remaining light time at upcoming lights.

Audi had previously previewed the new concept in a series of design sketches.

Read more Beijing motor show news.

Additional reporting by Hilton Holloway, 19 April 2014

Ford lays out Chinese plans for its luxury Lincoln brand
Ford lays out Chinese plans for its luxury Lincoln brand Lincoln's assault on Chinese car market will begin with the MKZ saloon, based on the next-generation Ford Mondeo, and the MKC SUV

Ford has officially launched its Lincoln premium brand in China.

Speaking to media ahead of the Beijing motor show, Ford boss Alan Mulally said he believed that Lincoln was "absolutely ready to take on the world?s largest car market". He also stated that Lincoln aimed to give better value and better service than other imported luxury brands. 

The brand will start sales with two US-built models: the MKZ saloon, based on the next-generation Ford Mondeo, and the MKC SUV. The range will grow to include larger SUVs and the all-new Lincoln Navigator in 2016.

Mulally wouldn?t reveal sales targets for Lincoln in China, though Ford is expected to sell more than one million cars in the market in 2014.

Ford?s sales and marketing boss, Jim Farley, refused to give sales targets for Lincoln, but revealed that the cars would be sold in a different, "more personalised" way than other luxury brands.

Lincoln took the unprecedented step of building a prototype dealership in Shanghai three years ago in order to research and test customer preferences.

The man behind new US Formula 1 entry aims to keep it simple
The man behind new US Formula 1 entry aims to keep it simple Businessman Gene Haas wants to challenge the perceived wisdom that says Formula 1 teams must be based in Europe

I listened with something between awe, astonishment and resignation to US billionaire Gene Haas as he gave details about his plans to enter Formula 1 with a new team in either 2015 or 2016.

Given that the existing F1 teams are already working on their 2015 cars and Haas does not even have a factory, let alone staff with any serious F1 experience, the whole thing sounded, quite frankly, ludicrous.

It might have made sense if Haas had decided to buy a team such as Marussia, which would give him a decent starting point, but the machine tool magnate made it quite clear that he is not going to go down that path?

?We?re not going to be a European?led team,? he said. ?We're going to be an American?led team and we'll do it the way we think is the most efficient. We're going to spend our money wisely. We're going to do it with an American flair for design and efficiencies, and that's how we're going to control our costs."

Haas admitted that it would be impossible to build a chassis themselves. ?It would be insurmountable to say that we're going to build a chassis by ourselves and engineer it, figure out how to do it and hire all the people in nine months,? he said. ?We?re going to have to compromise on what we do as far as the construction of the car, and we're going to have to try to acquire whatever we can.?

Haas said that the team would be based in Kannapolis, a small town famous for NASCAR, in North Carolina and would involve unnamed ?partners? who would supply much of the technology. A new building is going up now, but it will not be finished for a few months yet. He owns a wind tunnel of his own ? although this will need to be downsized because of the F1 rules.

While F1 teams can buy some of the technology required, they still need to manufacture their own chassis, or find someone to do it for them. Haas talked of doing a deal with Dallara in Italy, although that company?s recent record in Formula 1 has hardly been glowing.

The last foray was with the now-defunct Hispania Racing Team in 2010 and the relationship broke down after only a few months with the team?s engineers complaining about the quality of the car and the way it had been built. The team had its 2011 cars built in Germany.

Haas is right about the drivetrains in F1. Force India, for example, uses the entire engine and transmission built by Mercedes; Sauber and Marussia have similar deals with Ferrari, while Scuderia Toro Rosso and Caterham have contracts with Red Bull for their transmission systems, mated to Renault engines.

McLaren, Williams and Lotus use customer engines but design and manufacture their own transmissions. Some of the teams have arrangements to use facilities and equipment belonging to other teams.

?It's going to take us a while to learn,? Haas said. ?We'll lean heavily on a technical partner to help us. The main office will be here in Kannapolis, and maybe a smaller office somewhere in either Germany or Italy for assembly and disassembly of cars.

?It also would depend upon who our technology partner ultimately is. We're going to have our own way of doing things. Too many teams I think just go out there and throw money at it where we won't be doing that.  We're not going to be throwing money at it.?

If it is that easy, I thought, why on earth have all these F1 teams been making such a pig?s ear of it?

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