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Friday, 24 March, 2017 - 12:08 (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

..:: My 2001 UK Subaru Impreza WRX - Red Mica

NOTE: This page is SSSOOOOoooo... out of date! Had the car just over a year now, and it looks quite different to the pictures on this page.. Also had a few changes under the skin! Soon I'll report on what all has been done to the car.. Not much left to do now.. It's been one hell of a project at a fraction of the cost it would normally be if I had a garage do all the work! Stay tuned! For a sneek peak check out the Lochindorb gallery! (actually event that's more or less out of date now too.. Someone please give me a kick up the ar*e!)


SIDC Member Direct Car Parts Shop

UK Spec Standard 2001 Subaru Impreza WRX Finished in Red Mica 40,000 miles!

Sourced from Sunnyhill Motors in Turrif, Nov 2006.

Black privacy glass fitted which looks sweet against the Red Mica body! Really can't miss it when you see it on the road!

No plans for any modifications at the moment but I'm sure it wont be too long.... :o)
(23/03/07) Nope hasn't taken long at all.. Few cosmetic tweaks here and there since I bought the car, Mud flaps, front grills, fog lamp covers, grill inserts and some vinyl graphics. But the proper modding has started. Front & Rear aluminium top strut braces fitted wont have much affect at the moment unless used in conjunction with other suspension upgrades..

Soon to have the prodrive 3rd decat pipe fitted along with a Prodrive WRSport backbox (ooh burble) can't wait!

Other semi-planned mods are to the suspension. A set of Prodrive/Eibach springs would be nice, stiffer drop links, possibly new Anti-Roll bars. After that getting the suspension geometry reconfigured is a must. May got for the rally Group N settings as opposed to Prodrive configurations which tends to give uneven tyre wear. Only other change would be ECUTek remap for the ECU once the decat and backbox are fitted which would hopefully give bhp a kick up to around 265bhp from 215bhp, and a drop in 0-60 from 5.9sec to 4.8sec (as if it isn't fast enough). The possibilities for modifying truly are endless with these cars. But my pockets aren't that deep *sigh*

Finally got the 3rd cat delete pipe installed today thanks to Wallace Performance in aberdeen for removing the origonal cat pipe which was held in place by very dodgy workmanship!


If you spot me, don't forget to gimme a flash and a wave!!!

Useful Subaru Impreza parts Links:

(Coming Soon)



..:: Featured Motoring News feed

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Best new car deals: save £4800 on a Skoda Superb Estate
Skoda Superb estate

You can get a saving of £4795 on a top-spec Skoda Superb estate.
We pick five of the best deals on this week?s new car market; all deals are valid until 30 March

Buying a new car is always better when you know you're getting a bargain, but scouring the internet for the best deals can be time-consuming. So Autocar has done the hard work for you and compiled a list of some of the best savings on the new car market.

We've found combined savings of £23,708 on the five cars featured below, so take a look, then click the links to read our full road test verdict on each model. All offers are valid until 30 March.

BMW 5 Series Touring -†Pay £43,215, save £8055

The next 5 Series Touring is coming†soon, so incredible deals like this one can be had on the outgoing large estate. Despite its imminent replacement, the previous-generation 5 Series Touring is still hugely capable.†

Pay £8055 less than list price on the BMW 535d†Touring†M Sport Step Auto with You pay £43,215.

Read more:†Geneva motor show 2017: report, news and picture gallery

Ford Mondeo Estate - Pay £25,380, save £4465

Is the 5 Series a little beyond your budget? You can also grab a decent deal on the Ford Mondeo Estate in high-spec Titanium form. It's got a similar level of practicality and is around half the price of the 5 Series, just without some of the bells and whistles.

Get a £4465 saving over list price from on the Ford Mondeo Estate 2.0 TDCi 180 Titanium [X Pack], bringing the price you pay down to £25,380.

Read more: Ford Mondeo ST-Line revealed at Goodwood

Jaguar F-Pace - Pay £38,238, save £1272

Jaguar's first SUV has turned into one of its biggest success stories, so a £1272 saving is not to be sniffed at. Just don't tell the Joneses next door that you got it discounted.†

A saving of £1272 off the list list price from on a Jaguar F-Pace 2.0d R-Sport AWD takes the price you pay down to £38,238.

Read more:†Jaguar E-Pace: new compact SUV to become best-selling Jaguar

Mercedes-Benz GLC - Pay £36,704, save £5121

With so many manufacturers vying for a slice of the same market, it's little wonder there are so many deals on small, premium SUVs. This time, get a not insubstantial £5121 saving on Mercedes' GLC.†

A saving of £5121 over list price on the Mercedes GLC 350d 4Matic SE 9G-Tronic from reduces the price you pay to £36,704.

Read more: 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLB to face Audi Q3 with G-Class styling

Skoda Superb estate - Pay £27,815, save £4795

Yes, another estate car deal, but this one is hard to ignore. We give the Skoda Superb Estate a four-and-a-half-star rating, and the Laurin & Klement trim level - top spec - means you'll get all the kit you'll ever need, and more.†

Save £4795 off the list price of the Skoda Superb†Estate†2.0 TDI CR Laurin & Klement DSG with Price you pay: £27,815.

Read more: Skoda to reveal electric SUV concept at Shanghai motor show

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Opinion: what should have won Car of the Year...
Peugeot 3008 Peugeot's 3008 is Car of the Year for 2017, but it's not Matt Prior's first choice...

Peugeot had a good day a few weeks ago. First it bought Vauxhall and Opel ? assuming you think them worth having, and I guess Peugeot?s owner, PSA Group, does, given that it has just paid ?2.2 billion for them ? and then the 3008 became the Car of the Year for 2017.

The Car of the Year (CotY) shindig is the result of votes from 58 jurors, all senior European motoring hacks (I?m one of them and this august publication is one of seven sponsoring titles), who vote every March for what they reckon is the best new car launched in the preceding 12 months.

A longlist of all eligible cars is published around October and that is reduced to a shortlist of seven at the turn of the year. The cars are then tested back to back. Most jurors do that in France, but UK jurors opt to drive them on British roads. Silverstone circuit kindly finds us space for the cars and somewhere to†have an argument about which of the seven is the best.

Then we all go off and vote how we want, and the winner is announced on the eve of the Geneva motor show.

The way the scoring works is a little complicated. One UK-based PR executive said he tells his Japanese bosses that it?s a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest.

Each juror gets 25 points to allocate. They can score no car with more than 10, give no equal first places, and must give points to at least five cars. It is a bit of a committee-style process that usually ends up with a worthy, uncontroversial winner, if not necessarily a particularly exciting one, Porsche 928 aside. A couple of years ago, the Peugeot 308 won it over the Tesla Model S and BMW i3, for example; and last year the Vauxhall Astra pipped the Volvo XC90 and Mazda MX-5.

Of the seven cars on this year?s shortlist, the 3008 took it from the Alfa Romeo Giulia, then the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo S/V90, CitroŽn C3, Toyota C-HR and Nissan Micra.

The 3008 is a decent car. It?s the best Peugeot in a long time, with an interesting interior, funky design and good functionality. It?s okay to drive,†too, albeit some variants have a slightly brittle ride. And I?m glad the CotY judges have realised that people buy crossovers: it?s the first such car to win Car of the Year.

It wasn?t one of the five cars I gave points to, mind. In increasing proportions, I gave some to the C3, which is again funky, but better to drive than I?d expected; the Micra, which is everything a supermini should be except in price; the S90, the jib of which I like the cut of, and the E-Class, which brings a new kind of comfort and luxury to its class.

I awarded the most points to the Giulia. It is a flawed car, granted, but one that, even in cooking diesel form, is interesting, exciting and fun to drive like no other compact executive car. It?s a slightly enthusiast choice for this contest, perhaps, but I gave it only a couple more points than the E-Class, which is the car that, strictly objectively, I felt ?ought? to have won, because it brings more to its class than any of the others do to theirs.

So there you go: the 3008. Not the bravest choice for Car of the Year, perhaps, but not a bad one.

Audi SQ7 long-term test review: 1300-mile road trip
Lots of torque, clever suspension and a commanding ride-height make the SQ7 a fine long distance cruiser

We?ve been piling on the miles in our Audi SQ7, mostly thanks to a trip to see family in Coburg, Germany.

It speaks volumes of how much I?d already enjoyed the SQ7 that I was relishing the 1300-mile round trip, and it didn?t disappoint. That monstrous torque, that loping suspension, that high seating position, that refinement, that sound system? they all made big miles seem small, and the other half and I loved every minute. It even did more than 30mpg when we weren?t using the autobahn to sample its top-end performance, which is startling for such a behomoth. The SQ7 is always stable, always slick, always in its comfort zone, always rampantly fast.

Interior space was a boon, too, with plenty of space for our luggage, or ? as one random occasion required in Germany ? a bale of hay for the sheep.

The sheep-feeding trip also took the SQ7 down a farm track that was covered in soft, tractor-churned mud beneath its leaf cover. The Audi?s quattro drive and raised Off Road setting came into play and it clawed its way along what proved to be a very low-traction surface. I?m not saying it?s a Land Rover Defender, but it did dig itself out of the occasional dodgy, axle-meets-mud moment with impressive surefootedness, even on road-biased tyres.

The whole trip proved how broad the SQ7?s talents are, to balance excitement and autobahn effortlessness so brilliantly and then turn farm vehicle and mobile entertainment unit when required.

The more miles I do, the more I struggle to find criticism of the SQ7. Maybe among the short local trips and jaunts down the M3 to Dorset I?ll be doing regularly for the next few months, I?ll find something to be annoyed with and won?t be so gushing in my next update. Or maybe not.†


Price £70,970 Price as tested £95,160 Economy 30.1mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 30.11.16

Read our first report here

Why you need a used BMW M5 in your life
BMW M5 The high-pitched howl of this car?s V10 makes the E60 arguably the best-sounding BMW M5 yet produced. Here's what to look for in a used one

If you can afford the depreciation on a new, mid-spec supermini costing around £16,500, you can afford to run a used, 65,000- mile 2007-reg BMW M5 at the same price.

Granted, when they come, the M5?s bills will knock you flat on your back but you?ll soon be on your feet, propelled by the desire to re-experience that Formula 1-inspired 5.0-litre V10, whose 389bhp ? rising to 493bhp when you press the M (or Power) button ? is directed to the rear wheels through a quick-changing, seven-speed, sequential manual gearbox (SMG).

Granted, this best-selling M5, codenamed E60 ? there was an E61 Touring version, too ? hasn?t the charisma of its V8 predecessor, the E39, and prices still have a way to fall. There are some nasties to watch out for, in particular its fondness for clutches, its appetite for fuel brought into focus by a 70-litre fuel tank that means you?ll be stopping every 200 miles to open your wallet, and its general high-cost ways (mechanics call this the ?M tax?).

But this M5 is still a spectacular way to travel and sooner or later prices will find their level, the best cars will firm up and those who know will talk of it as a ?future classic?.

It was launched in 2005, costing £61,750 in standard form. Standard? It had 19in alloy wheels, sports suspension, gearchange paddles, a head-up display, a sat-nav, leather trim, quad pipes? we?ll stop there. More important, it had gadgets: that Power button, launch control and 11 shift modes for the SMG ?box (the fastest is seriously hard on the already overworked clutch).

The M5 was facelifted in 2007, a move that coincided with the arrival of the E61 Touring version that already incorporated the new mods. Changes included adaptive cornering lights, larger headrests and visual tweaks (daytime running lights, and LED indicators and tail-lights). Crucially, the SMG transmission gained upgraded pumps and hardware, too. Facelifted cars were released in batches over 12 months, so it?s not unusual to encounter a late-2007 M5 that is actually a pre-facelift model.

All M5s require careful buying and this E60 is no exception, so drive as many as you can. Research the M button and that 11-mode shift system, and don?t be shy about exploring the many performance permutations. An owner who won?t let you try the M button in the most extreme S6 P500S shift mode is probably terrified that you?ll expose his car?s brutalised clutch and clonky diff.

Check not only tyre wear but also whether the rubber is budget or premium, and test his knowledge of engine oils. Castrol Edge 10W60 should have been its only tipple.

Prices are all over the place but you shouldn?t have to pay more than £16,000 for a 2007-reg low-miler. Towards £24,000 is where the best late-plate BMW Approved Used cars are, before the first of the next-gen F10 M5s hove into view.†

An expert?s view...


?I owned an E60 M5 and had a very bad experience with it. It had done 130,000 miles without problems and then all hell broke out. Granted, some was accidental stuff like a wing mirror being knocked off (£1000), but it went through three iDrive controllers and two throttle actuators (there are two at £600 each). It also needed a new clutch. Parts aren?t cheap. I was unlucky with mine, though, because generally the E60 is reliable and will do high mileages with ease ? and it has the best-sounding BMW engine ever.?

Buyer beware...


Conrod bearings can give trouble if oil changes are skimped. Check for a Vanos warning light: it could be an oil pressure issue involving the sump-tohead hose or the Vanos pump (£1600) rather than the Vanos unit. Throttle actuators can play up. Expect oil consumption of around one litre per 1000 miles. Check if the expensive main service is due and negotiate if so.


SMG 3 gearbox, fitted to later cars, is more reliable than the SMG 2 but the single-clutch weak point remains. The clutch lasts about 50,000 miles. The ?box is clunky around town but should be clean and quick at speed. Early cars were recalled to replace the SMG pump.


It?s naturally noisy at low speeds and when turning but whining, grinding and clunking are not good. Check for a slight oil weep (£30 each for seals).


Expect around 30k miles from discs. If the disc has a lip, replace. A brake fluid change is needed every two years.


Generally tough but feel for steering column vibration or knocking, which points to worn control arms. The optional EDC suspension is reliable but a damper is £600 if it goes wrong.


If the system freezes on the BMW logo start-up page, suspect the harddrive. Budget £700 for an exchange system or have the ECU and computers updated with the latest software.

Also worth knowing...

BMW has issued two technical bulletins (grinding noises from the rear diff when cornering at low speeds, and preventative maintenance for the sunroof). Safety recalls include one issued in September 2013 for a faulty fuel filter heater that could cause a fire.

How much to spend?


Early 2005-2008 cars with more than 100k miles but full service history (fsh) and major new parts.


Circa 100k-mile 2005-2007 fsh cars.


Cars on 05-08-plates at 70k-90k miles.

£17,000- £18,495

Still 05-08-plate cars but with about 50k-70k miles.


Facelifted 07-08-reg cars with up to 60k miles, plus some earlier cars at optimistic prices.


Most expensive 08-10-reg cars with fsh, including some BMW Approved Used.

John Evans

McLaren reveals personalisation parts for Sports Series range
McLaren reveals personalisation parts for Sports Series range 540C, 570S and 570GT models can now be fitted with parts to customise their car, including carbonfibre accessories and interior trim

McLaren has released a series of parts and accessories for its Sports Series models, the 540C, 570S and 570GT.

The carbonfibre pieces are designed to protect the cars as well as offer more personalisation options to owners.

Trim pieces for both the interior and exterior of the models are available, as well as floor mats, car covers and skidplates for the front diffuser. Coloured seatbelts and new alloy wheel designs add to the aesthetic options.

Read about the upcoming McLaren F1 successor here

Despite being announced as a retrofit option, the parts are also optional on new models, and are fitted by McLaren dealers, where they are also available to existing owners.

The carbonfibre parts are claimed to save weight over the standard-issue parts they replace, and were developed by McLaren?s Special Operations (MSO) division.†


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