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Thursday, 26 May, 2016 - 19:15 (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 out of date!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 (actually event that's more or less out of date now too..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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2016 Nissan GT-R on sale from £79,995
2016 Nissan GT-R Upgraded version of Nissan's super coupé gets more power and styling details; Nismo-engineered Track Edition also offered

The 2016 Nissan GT-R is now on sale in the UK priced from £79,995, representing an increase of £1,965 on the outgoing model.

The facelifted car has new styling, an upgraded cabin and an even more powerful V6 engine. It was first shown at the New York motor show and is now available to order in three trim levels: Pure, Recaro and Prestige; there?s also a Nismo-engineered Track Edition.

The Pure is the £79,995 entry-level model, while the higher-specced Recaro starts at a slightly higher £81,995 and top-spec Prestige GT-Rs start at £82,495. Nissan has also confirmed that the Track Edition will be offered from £91,995, but is yet to reveal exactly what upgrades this more hardcore model will get.

Nevertheless, we expect it to get a similar raft of Nismo parts to the outgoing model, including lighter wheels, chassis-stiffening body bonding technology and uprated dampers, making it a halfway house between the regular car and a full-blown Nismo model.

Upgrades for 2016

The upgraded GT-R features a new interpretation of Nissan?s ?V-motion' front grille, along with a reinforced bonnet and new bumper design, said to give the car more downforce. The metallic orange paint of the show car is new, too.

Along the sides, the sills have been widened to improve air flow, while the rear gets a reprofiled bumper to sit alongside its quad exhaust tips. Nissan says these changes are designed to make the GT-R more aerodynamically efficient, and help keep the car stable at high speeds.

Inside, the cabin has been upgraded to include leather trim, with most of the buttons of the old car removed and integrated into a larger, 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. Other changes include new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and carbonfibre trim on the centre console. New sound deadening materials are claimed to make the cabin quieter than before, too.

The GT-R sits on 20in wheels, and is said to have a more rigid body structure and new suspension than the old car. Nissan says this means a more stable ride and a higher cornering speed.

While the facelifted GT-R keeps the same 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine as before, power has been boosted from 542bhp to 562bhp at 6800rpm, alongside 470lb ft of torque. That?s still less than the GT-R Nismo, which receives 592bhp from the same engine. Power is sent to all four wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

Nissan says the GT-R ?has never sounded better? thanks to a new titanium exhaust and an 'Active Sound Enhancement' system, which amplifies the sound. Mid-range power delivery is also said to be improved, and Nissan has also introduced an adaptive cylinder shut-off system to the GT-R.

GT-R product specialist Hiroshi Tamura said: ?The new GT-R delivers a heart-pounding driving experience at all times and on any road for whoever sits in the driver?s seat. We have continued to push its performance boundaries to the outer limits - it?s even more potent than before.

?At the same time, more refinement has been added to take the driving experience to an entirely new level. We?re proud to bring you what we feel is the ultimate GT that possesses amazing performance, new-found civility and a rich racing history.?


Video: Autocar Awards 2016 - Issigonis Trophy and Sturmey Award winners
Autocar Awards Ariel Motors CEO Simon Saunders and PSA President Carlos Tavares have been recognised for their achievements

Alongside the trophies for five-star cars drivers? cars at this year?s Autocar Awards were awards for two standout individuals.

These two car industry leaders, Simon Saunders of Ariel Motors and Carlos Tavares of PSA, were handed the illustrious awards in recognition of their hard work. You can relive the moment it happened in our new video, shown below.

Read more about this year?s Autocar Awards event here, and meet the two aforementioned winners in the features below.

Carlos Tavares wins Issigonis Trophy at Autocar Awards

Simon Saunders wins Autocar's Sturmey Award

Cosworth to build V8s in new £20.5 million Detroit plant
Cosworth New plant to be firm's fourth US-based facility; construction will commence in 2018; plans include growing the range of engines produced

Cosworth has revealed plans to open a new £20.5 million manufacturing plant in Detroit, Michigan, where V8 engines for an unconfirmed pool of customers will be built.

The new site would join Cosworth?s already established plants in Indianapolis, Mooresville and North Carolina as its fourth US location and is said to have been chosen because of its convenient location in relation to Cosworth?s biggest clients.

Speaking to a Detroit business paper, Cosworth?s CEO Hal Reisiger confirmed it was the state?s ?proximity to the customer base? that made Michigan a priority over its contender, Indiana, where Cosworth?s electronics factory is based.

Upcoming TVR supercar to use Cosworth V8 engine

The plant will first be used to make V8 engines, but more units are planned to be produced in the near future.

Cosworth says its Detroit plant will refer to the UK-based, ?one-stop-shop? model to provide the US market with ?powertrain design, development and niche-volume manufacturing from a single facility?.

The project has been approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund, and close to £1.5m worth of funding will be provided by Michigan?s Economic Development Corporation. In total the plant will cost about $30m (£20.5m) to build and will create at least 160 jobs for the local area.

Production will start in August 2018. Cosworth says it will reveal more about how this plant will affect its supply later this year.

Olivia Frankel

2017 Porsche Panamera - first passenger ride
Porsche Panamera The all-new Porsche Panamera will make its public debut at the end of this year, but we've grabbed a ride during a hot-weather test in South Africa

The next-generation Porsche Panamera is undergoing testing in the extreme heat and dust of South Africa ahead of its unveiling later this year - we've hitched a ride in a test car. 

?We?ve kept the name,? says Panamera model line director Gernot Döllner, when discussing the differences between the original G1 and new G2 versions of Porsche?s luxury sports saloon.

He isn?t kidding, either.

The G2 shares almost nothing with the outgoing car, save for the V6 engines. It not only rides on Porsche?s new MSB platform, but also comes with a new range of V8 engines and features a new ZF eight-speed gearbox, dubbed PDK II.

We?re sitting in a G2 Turbo, approaching traffic around Cape Town, South Africa. And it?s about to get very hot.

The radio crackles with instructions to shield the car?s interior from prying eyes and mobile phone cameras, so black foam-backed matting is hastily placed over everything, including the vents for the air conditioning.

This heat is why the cars are here. That, says Döllner, and the roads.

High temperatures, climbing altitude and some excellent (read poor) road surfaces make for perfect testing conditions. That it?s beautiful and, outside of town at least, relatively quiet is a bonus.

There are five Panameras here, development cars that had already covered millions of kilometres before they were shipped down to the Cape.

They?re here for some final hot weather calibration and then they will be packed up and air-freighted many thousands of miles north, where they?ll be tested at the other extreme of the thermometer?s range.

Such is the life of a production prototype and the people who accompany it. The team of engineers is a tight-knit group with more passport stamps than an airline pilot.

They travel the world in a constant process of testing, changing and retesting until they?re happy the car can be signed off. These five Panameras are very close to that point.

The cars we?re in include the new Turbo with its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine, the 4.0-litre V8 Diesel S and the 4S with its twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine.

The two others are more base-specification models ? a single-turbo petrol V6 and a V6 diesel.

They?re off limits today, but they?re clearly having little trouble keeping up with the brisk pace that Döllner and his team maintain. (There?s no hybrid here, because that?s due a little later in the product cycle.)

All the cars are disguised, but that?s hiding in plain sight; no amount of cladding is able to cover up the Panamera?s more shapely, elegant form.

The new dual-clutch automatic gearbox is common to every Panamera model and sits in exactly the same position in the new platform as the old one, even in the hybrid, where it?ll have a more powerful electric motor integrated within its casing.

There are expected to be two hybrids, with both diesel and petrol offered with battery assistance.

The new MSB platform facilitates this with its greater flexibility, enabling the addition of four-wheel drive for the diesel versions.

Every Panamera that exceeds 400bhp will come with four driven wheels. The eight-speed gearbox benefits from improvements in efficiency, with gains of around 30% over the G1?s PDK thanks to developments in the control pumps and a reduction in internal friction.

It changes gears quicker, too, and is rated to cope with all the torque that the new V8 diesel develops: more than 660lb ft. That V8 isn?t the 4.2-litre engine that?s in the Cayenne S Diesel.

Instead, it?s the 4.0-litre unit that also powers Audi?s new SQ7. Producing around 435bhp, it features an electrically powered turbocharger and will be added to the Cayenne range when it?s updated next year. 

For a diesel, it has huge aural appeal. The engine note is very muscular, and it?s backed by an exhaust that?s equally engaging in its tone.

This is one diesel that?s no poor relation to its petrol range mates. The mighty diesel V8 is not the only example of shared technology within the VW Group that?s destined for the new Panamera.

The Porsche will have the same 48V electromechanical active roll stabilisation that made its debut on the Bentley Bentayga SUV.

The engineers are quick to point out that it?s a developed Porsche system, which, like the rear-wheel steering and air suspension, will be offered as an option.

The availability of such equipment requires the Panamera to feature faster, greater-capacity FlexRay control electronics, which allow the numerous chassis, transmission and engine control units to send and receive 100 messages a second.

That synchronous FlexRay system is also instrumental in allowing additional autonomous driving features now expected in this class, its speed being 20 times faster than that of the outgoing car?s system.

This has enabled the G2 Panamera to include Active Safe, incorporating lane keep assist, autonomous braking and ACC with InnoDrive.

This new system uses additional nav-based information, such as the gradient and radius of bends, to allow cornering of up to 0.70g without touching the accelerator.

In time, it?ll use car-to-x communication for greater detail, although it?s not all about speed.

Within the InnoDrive are various modes, and Eco allows the Panamera to deliver its best fuel economy for the prevailing road and traffic conditions.

Economy isn?t such a consideration with the Turbo, although its engine has dropped in capacity to sneak below the 4.0-litre tax threshold of various countries and a cylinder deactivation system lets it run on four cylinders when possible.

The all-new aluminium-block V8 is a 3996cc, 90deg unit with outputs of 542bhp and 567lb ft.

The turbos nestle in the V, allowing for quicker response and greater thermal efficiency.

Porsche claims economy has improved by 30% over the twin-turbo 4.8, but if you?re not chasing economy, Döllner says the Turbo can lap the Nürburgring ?as fast as our previous super-sports car?. By that, he means the Carrera GT.

It?s not difficult to believe, given the performance. The V8?s force is relentless, and it?s accompanied by a gloriously uncouth note from the sports exhaust.

To do hypercar-rivalling lap times in a luxury sports saloon, you?ll need the Turbo to feature the optional electrically controlled differential as well as PCCB brakes.

Those brakes necessitate the option of 21in wheels, 20in being standard on the Turbo and 19in the entry-level size across the line-up.

The Turbo also benefits from standard air suspension instead of the steel-sprung PASM adaptive damping set-up elsewhere. The Panamera?s air suspension system is all new and the air springs have 30% greater capacity, thanks to a third chamber.

This allows more range between the various suspension settings, and Döllner admits that customers have asked for greater comfort from the suspension.

He says the engineers have achieved that ?without sacrificing the Panamera?s position as the most sporting and highest-performing car in its segment?.

Certainly, all of the cars rode, from the passenger seat at least, with real composure, despite some UK-rivalling broken surfaces.

The steering, Döllner says, is only ever one ratio, despite the various driving modes, because ?the steering is as it should be?.

Choose the rear-wheel steering (which improves stability and agility and reduces the turning circle by one metre) and you need the air suspension.

That?s also the case if you want the active anti-roll system, although Döllner says: ?With the air suspension alone, there?s a degree of roll control within it.?

The stability systems offer various degrees of control. Döllner grins when he says that in Sport mode during winter testing, the Panamera will happily sit at a 45deg angle on a skid pan.

Despite the significant increase in technology and safety equipment, there has been little or no increase in weight.

The detailed work to keep the mass down includes the use of aluminium in the bodywork, engine blocks (with the petrols) and even the wiring loom, although the structure is largely steel.

Overall, the body is around 30% stiffer than the G1 Panamera, which benefits both dynamics and refinement.

In conjunction with improved stiffness and the benefits that brings, Porsche has worked extensively on the packaging. Döllner admits that access to the luggage space on the old car was an issue.

The opening to the boot is now a far more useful shape and boot space has increased by 50 litres, helped by the way the rear pop-up spoiler has been engineered in the bootlid.

Passenger space is improved, too, with more head room, thanks to a lowering of the H-point by about 10mm and a slight increase in the wheelbase.

The roofline has dropped at the back, to the benefit of the Panamera?s looks, but the lower seats offset that and the interior feels far more spacious than before.

Access to the rear seats is also easier, which will be surely appreciated by anyone who has ever clambered in the back of the current Panamera.

The instruments and infotainment are vastly improved; Porsche?s typical rev counter-dominated instrumentation is supplemented by screens with customisable information on either side, and a central touch and button-operated main screen.

It?s a significant advance on the outgoing G1. Perceived interior quality ? excepting the odd patchy, pre-production part scattered about the cabin ? has been raised, too.

Customers will benefit from what has been learned here in South Africa, too.

On production cars, the air-con fan will be quieter on its fastest setting, there will be less road noise and some suspension tweaks, and the finer aspects of the eight-speed PDK?s controls will be recalibrated to reduce a degree of driveline shunt that?s sometimes apparent in traffic ? the same traffic that caused the heat and necessitated that air-con fan to run at full tilt.

There?s method in this global testing madness and every drive helps to make the Panamera as good as it can be.

As Döllner says: ?The Panamera fits into a very specific niche and that?s where we have to stay.?

It looks like that?s exactly what they?ve achieved, while making it faster still, more efficient and with greater refinement.

What next, Porsche?

"We?re exploring other avenues,? says Gernot Döllner when discussing the possibility of further models based on the Panamera?s MSB platform ? specifically the shooting brake hinted at by the Sport Turismo concept that wowed the Paris motor show in 2012.

Certainly, disguised cars have been spotted of a model that would be a rival to cars like Mercedes-Benz?s CLS Shooting Brake rather than genuine load haulers.

The flexibility of the MSB platform also means an extended-wheelbase Panamera will be offered, much like today?s Executive. The often-rumoured 928 replacement based on Panamera underpinnings remains that: a rumour.

Such a project is likely to be limited by Porsche?s ability to find time in its engineering schedule for it, and any possible convertible spin-off, even if there?s demand for it.

Kyle Fortune


2016 Cholmondeley Power and Speed confirms McLaren 675LT and Ferrari FXX
2016 Cholmondeley Power and Speed Supercar and track-only hypercar head long list of exotic metal; event takes place on 10-12 June at Cholmondeley Castle, with 20% discount for Autocar readers

Cholmondeley Power and Speed has confirmed that a McLaren 675LT and Ferrari FXX will head a long list of exotic sports and supercars due to take part in this year's festival on 10-12 June.

Autocar readers have been offered a 20% discount off normal ticket prices; more details can be found below.

The event uses a 3.2-mile track located next to Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, with entrants driving high-performance machines against the clock in front of a capacity crowd.

Cholmondeley has already revealed some of the most interesting models that will take place in this year?s event. We run through a few of the cars we?re most excited to see below.

2016 McLaren 675LT

McLaren hasn?t been building road cars for long, but already it has produced machines to threaten the likes of Ferrari and Porsche. The 675LT, inspired by the iconic F1 GTR 'Longtail' of 1997, is arguably the brand?s most entertaining product yet. Autocar?s Alan Taylor-Jones will be demonstrating what its 666bhp twin-turbocharged V8 sounds like at Cholmondeley.

2008 Ferrari FXX

Ferrari F1 test driver Marc Gené once said that he prefers the original FXX to the new FXX K because "it?s a true driver's car". Unlike its hybrid successor, the FXX is powered by an unassisted V12 that produces close to 800bhp and features only the most basic of driver aids. One will be racing around the Cholmondeley track next month, and it'll surely be a favourite for the overall fastest time.

1974 Porsche 911 3.0 RSR

Alongside the modern metal will be a large number of classic and heritage performance cars. This Porsche 911 3.0 RSR comes from the era of Group 4 racing and produces around 330bhp from its 3.0-litre flat-six engine. Although it?ll be one of the older cars to tackle the Cholmondeley track, a power-to-weight ratio of 367bhp per tonne confirms its potential.

1975 Lancia Stratos

This example of Lancia?s purpose-built rally champion was originally built as a road-going Stradale model, before receiving Group 4 modifications. It competed in hillclimbs and road rallies during its long competitive life and returns to the Cholmondeley track in 2016 as a crowd favourite.

1984 Audi Quattro S1

The influence of Audi?s dominant 1980s rallying campaign with the Quattro S1 can still be felt today. The all-wheel-drive model comfortably beat its competition at the time with an advanced driveline that donated its name to some of Audi?s most successful road models. Expect a dramatic run with lots of opposite lock when this 420bhp five-cylinder car charges around the track in June.

1976 Ferrari 308 GTB Group B

This converted 308 was modified to Group B rally spec in 1981 by Worswick Engineering with the assistance of Ferrari. One of just seven factory-built cars and the only right-hand-drive Group B Ferrari, it took part in the European Rally Championship from 1982. Autocar?s Matt Prior will be the man charged with demonstrating its ability at Cholmondeley.

The 2016 staging of the Cholmondeley festival will also feature the inaugural Motorshow Live! event, taking place on the Friday. This new element of Cholmondeley Power and Speed will give car manufacturers the opportunity to demonstrate their latest models on track, and guests can even sample some themselves. Confirmed attendees include Lexus, Blue Bell BMW, Holdcroft Honda and Holdcroft Nissan, with Oakmere Motor Group also set to showcase new models from Lotus, Morgan and Caterham.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, Cholmondeley will host a beer and food festival with stand-up comedy. Entry to the evening activity is included with day tickets. However, visitors who wish to attend just for the food, beer and comedy festival can purchase adult tickets for £15 and £10 tickets for children, allowing access to the site from 6pm on Saturday 11 June.

Additionally, there will be boat and plane displays, the details of which are set to be confirmed closer to the event.

Tickets are available at Adult tickets are priced from £24, with children?s tickets priced from £7, but Autocar readers can get 20% off ticket prices when using the code CPASAUTO.


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