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Tuesday, 16 September, 2014 - 12:23 (UK)  

 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

Photo Gallery
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

..:: 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 out of date!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 (actually event that's more or less out of date now too..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!!!

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(Coming Soon)



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BMW 520d Touring first drive review
BMW 520d Touring first drive review Punchy, refined and ever so frugal, BMW?s latest diesel engine provides the 520d with a new lease of life A slightly faster, more economical and further refined version of one of the UK?s best-selling executive class estates ? the BMW 520d Touring.Having undergone a mid-life facelift last year with a number of mild exterior and interior styling tweaks, Munich?s popular mid-range model has now received a new four-cylinder diesel engine in a move that further enhances its standing against rivals including the newly facelifted Audi A6 2.0 TDI, Jaguar XF 2.2D and Mercedes-Benz E220 Bluetec.The B48-designated unit is the same longitudinally mounted 2.0-litre common rail unit unveiled in the facelifted X3 xDrive20d back in April. In the 520d, it delivers 187bhp at 4000rpm and 295lb ft of torque on a band of revs between 1750 and 2500rpm.This gives it a slight 6bhp and 15lb ft increase over the old N47 engine, with which the 520d?s new engine shares its 90.0mm bore and 84.0mm stroke measurements. Despite the apparent similarities, though, BMW claims the B48 is new from the ground up.Key among its developments is a new Bosch injection system. It operates at a higher pressure than previous incarnations, reaching peak values of up to 2000bar or some 200bar higher than before. It also receives injector nozzles with seven holes for improved combustion properties.The new BMW engine also adopts a new variable geometry Honeywell turbocharger that is claimed to bring a 50 per cent reduction in frictional losses due to new bearings. There is also a more efficient electrically operated oil pump that brings reduced pumping losses compared with the older N47 engine.As before, buyers can mate the 520d?s new engine to a standard six-speed manual or optional eight speed automatic gearbox ? the latter running a heavily over driven 0.64:1 top gear in combination with a 3.1:1 final drive ratio and a range of fuel saving features that underpin BMW?s EffientDyanmics initiative.Alongside standard rear-wheel drive, BMW also offers the 520d with optional xDrive four-wheel drive. Beware, though. Despite its traction enhancing qualities, it adds 105kg to 1735kg kerb weight of the standard rear-wheel drive 520d Touring driven here, taking it to 1840kg.For those on a tighter budget, BMW has also launched a reworked version of the 518d in both saloon and Touring bodystyles. It receives a slightly detuned version of the B47 engine with 148bhp at 4000rp and 265lb ft between 1750 and 2500rpm.  

Toyota reveals rugged urban SUV concept
Toyota reveals rugged urban SUV concept Rugged Urban Utility vehicle is aimed at US town and city dwellers who need to carry lots of gear

Toyota has produced a new compact SUV concept vehicle in reaction to the growing popularity of do-it-yourself in American cities.

The Urban Utility vehicle ? or U2 for short ? is made from robust materials and, says Toyota, combines "the functionality of a traditional pick-up and the spaciousness of a cargo van".

The vehicle has been created by Toyota's Calty design studio in California. The concept has an open architecture and is made from robust materials. 

Among the practical features are a roll-back roof and a rear hatch that can be folded down to create a ramp. Inside, a rail system makes it easy for owners to customise the interior.

The chunky U2 has a durable underbody and bodywork and comes with customisable side panels. Exterior highlights include retracting roof panels, rear glass that can be opened and slides away, a drop-down hatch that forms a load ramp and replaceable protective ridges on the rear hatch.

A retractable utility bar can do anything from hold a desk to provide hooks for shopping bags. The side windows flip up, so it?s easy to reach into the vehicle from the roadside.

Other highlights include a front passenger seat that can be folded or removed completely and rear seats that fold up for extra load space.

Kevin Hunter, Calty President, said U2 was a "possible future vision for urban mobility" and added: "Toyota saw an opportunity for a new approach to an urban vehicle, based on the increasing re-urbanisation of our cities, and on urban drivers? desire for flexibility, fun and manoeuvrability."

The Toyota U2 will make its public debut at the World Maker Faire event in New York on 20 September.

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Camp Jeep 2014 report and gallery
Camp Jeep 2014 report and gallery New, classic and modified Jeeps congregate in Italy for a weekend of off-roading and entertainment in the first manufacturer-supported event in Europe

"It's a bit of a party at the end of the day," says Andrea Pallard, Jeep PR, gesturing at the large rock band-like stage in the background.

"We've beers, barbecues, off-road trials, test drives and instructors ? it's an event for the private customer to enjoy," he adds, as a Grand Cherokee driven by World Rally Champion Massimo 'Miki' Biasion clambers out of a ditch behind us.

It's here, in the Frazione Viazzano estate, near Parma in Italy, that Jeep has chosen to host what is claimed to be the first officially backed European "Camp Jeep".

The event, open to owners and those merely interested alike, is designed to demonstrate and promote the strengths of the brand, while giving owners the opportunity to test their Jeeps and enjoy the social aspect of such a gathering.

"We expect around 150-200 private customers to visit Camp Jeep," says Pallard. "They are coming from Italy, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia, Germany, Austria ? primarily from Europe." Admission to the three-day event would set you back ?130, approximately 100, and ? pleasingly ? passengers of paying customers could enter the rally for free.

The reasons for choosing Frazione Viazzano as the venue for Camp Jeep become evident once you clear the crest of the hill at the end of the access road. The estate, which is commonly used for hunting and off-road events, consists of vast tracts of land, miles of off-road trails and a disused terracotta mine.

Consequently it's ideal for Jeep, as it allowed three off-road courses to be established, ranging from simple gravel-strewn trails to assault courses laid out in foot-deep mud ? and the variety of surfaces and inclines easily accommodate both beginners and professionals alike.

A lesson in off-road driving with Miki Biasion

As well as the opportunity to drive off-road and try new cars from Jeep's line-up, including the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, visitors could also browse a host of aftermarket suppliers, buy spare parts, listen to live music and drive quad bikes on a dedicated course.

Numerous privately owned Jeeps, ranging from new Jeep Cherokees through to custom-built competition Wranglers, were lined up alongside a collection of historic models ? including an original Willys MB, Cherokee Chief, Gladiator pick-up and several earlier Wranglers.

Jeep's new compact SUV, the Renegade, was also on display. It garnered much interest from those interested in a smaller, more economical Jeep that still bore many of the brand's familiar hallmarks. It, like Jeep's other new models at the show, was a common sight around the event, regularly being demonstrated on and off the road.

"The longest route is 11 miles," notes Pallard, "and during this there are the option of yellow and black sections." The yellow routes typically involve muddy sections, meaning addition care is required, while the black routes are strictly reserved for modified Jeeps ? those with with substantial lift kits, tuned engines, modified drivetrains and specialist off-road tyres.

Visitors could also increase their off-road abilities by partaking in the "Jeep Academy", where instructors ? trained by Jeep's US staff who regularly test the cars in the most arduous of conditions ? provide instructions on how to get the best out of each Jeep.

We watch as three Wranglers, each bearing a club banner, descend into the first stage of the course, churning dust into the air. "It's the first time that we're working directly with the Jeep clubs in Italy and Europe," adds Pallard, "usually they work on their own."

"We've got good connections here now though; a staff member in Turin has a family member who runs a famous dealership so we're now friends with all the clubs."

The intention, if the meet proves successful, is to host similar Camp Jeep events in different countries ? and on a yearly basis.

After all, in an increasingly competitive and lucrative SUV market, and with the need to maintain distinction and justification for purchase, the logic behind hosting such events is clear. It allows Jeep, in an engaging and interesting fashion, to continue to build its relationship with current customers, and educate new buyers about its history and capabilities.

Next to us, a couple unfamiliar with Jeep clamber aboard a new Cherokee and head out on to the trails with an instructor, as the seemingly endless cycle of test drives continue.

"It's a good way to communicate the brand," says Pallard. "It's better to show these off in the countryside, rather than in dealerships."

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A lesson in off-road driving with World Rally Champion Miki Biasion
A lesson in off-roading with World Rally Champion Miki Biasion Ex-Lancia rally driver Massimo 'Miki' Biasion gets behind the wheel of a new Jeep Wrangler to show us just how you should drive off road

I'm talking to a Jeep representative when, over my left shoulder, a Grand Cherokee heaves over the crest of a hill ? and solidly embeds itself in a hidden ditch.

There's lots of off-roading going on at the Camp Jeep event we're at, but it's usually confined to the trails surrounding the centre and not its car park.

The Grand Cherokee spins its wheels, throttle pinned to the floor and undertrays complaining at the abuse, before clambering its way to freedom and into its proper parking space.

An enthusiastic-looking fellow clambers out of the Jeep's cabin, shuts the door and bounds over to join us. He realises our glance is transferring to him, to the Jeep, and back again, trying to compute his somewhat unusual entrance.

"A shortcut," he says, grinning. The press officers introduce us; this is Massimo 'Miki' Biasion, the Italian two-time World Rally Champion. The man who drove legendary cars such as the Lancia 037, Delta Integrale and S4. The man who dominated Group A rallying in the late 1980s.

I'm somewhat overcome, but also slightly confused as to why he's at a Jeep event. He tells me it's because of the region's fantastic wine, cheese and prosciutto, and laughs.

"It's actually my first event with Jeep," he says. "I love off-road events, and have been a rally driver for many years and campaigned many cars. To be here and stay with off-road enthusiasts is a great opportunity."

Biasion, who lives in the north-east of Italy, appears impressed by the Grand Cherokee. "It's a limousine but it can go everywhere; the comfort and capability is unbelievable," he says.

He does a quick head count and, realising that there are only two journalists and one Jeep representative, asks if we'd like to come along for a ride. I can't say "yes" fast enough.

We jump into a Wrangler that's just returned from a lap of the trails around Camp Jeep. Biasion gets comfortable in his seat, fires up the engine and drives the Jeep briskly out of the parking area, wheels already scrabbling on the loose surface.

A marshal guides us into the trail's entrance ? a sharp corner that leads down a steep hill. The surface is rocky, with lots of loose gravel and sand, and deep ditches loom either side of it. Put a wheel wrong at speed and you'd probably regret it. Even the instructors drive very sedately here, though, so I'm not expecting any drama.

Biasion, however, clearly has other ideas. We clear the marshal, the nose swings down, pointing into the valley, and he pins the throttle to the floor. The Jeep surges forwards, body weaving left and right, axles swinging wildly; I realise very quickly I'm going to have to brace myself against the roll cage a little more firmly.

Over the whine of the turbocharger, the roar of the diesel and the clatter of shrapnel hitting the underside of the Jeep, I manage to ask Biasion what his top tips are for off-road driving.

"You must drive a Jeep," he shouts, beaming, before sawing at the wheel and sending the Jeep into a graceful slide, arcing around the complete length of a corner.

"If you drive fast off road you lose time, though," says Biasion. "The trick is to follow the ground with the car and the wheels, drive very smoothly. If you try to push a little bit and the car starts to jump and shake, it's much more uncomfortable and usually slower."

He puts the Wrangler through a rut, causing it to bounce hard, and fights to get it pointing back in the right direction ? demonstrating his point precisely.

"You have to make good use of the traction, too," he adds, "if you hurry and spin the wheels then you'll lose time." Biasion observes that this is where a lot of people go wrong in off-road hillclimbs too, making rushed, fast ascents ? when they should instead take their time and crawl up.

We turn off on to one of the more aggressive tracks, slick with mud and covered in deep ruts. The Jeep representative, who's come along for the ride, points out that the traction control is still on. Biasion flicks the switch, squeezes the throttle and all four wheels spin wildly. This seems to please him, presumably because of the extra degree of control and flexibility, and he pushes on into the woods.

"In the mud you must use the brakes very gently, very smoothly," he observes. "Never lock the wheels; if you do, the mud packs into the tread in the tyres, then it's incredibly difficult to get any grip or traction."

The Jeep ploughs with gusto through the ruts, its speed constant, Biasion just making minor inputs to keep it on the right path. We clear the trail, making our way back on to the gravel section, and he opens the throttle wide again. Gravel is fired backwards at a vast rate of knots, the Wrangler lunges forwards, and the next series of corners is rapidly dispatched in a series of neatly linked drifts. This, I can't help thinking, is mad; this is an SUV, not a hatchback.

Camp Jeep 2014 report and gallery

"The electronics these days really help, though," says Biasion. "For example, if you're in dunes you can go anywhere in a new off-roader, but if you try to do the same without you'll get stuck every 10 metres.

"It's the same in snow, but people must understand that while four-wheel drive and electronic systems helps you go, they won't help you stop," he affirms. "If you don't have winter, or even all-season tyres, you won't be able to do anything. You can be the World Rally Champion, but if you don't have the proper tyres then it's dangerous."

A rally car this is not, but everything appears so precise, controlled and moderated that the ride is nothing but intoxicating and invigorating, rather than alarming ? despite the severity of the terrain.

Our rapidly travelling Wrangler closes the distance on a new Renegade that is tiptoeing around the course. Biasion gets within a few feet of it and darts incisively left and right, looking for a gap, pushing closer and closer. It's clear that his competitive edge is still razor sharp.

He manages to get a few feet up the inside of it at one point, but there's simply not enough room. He beeps the horn once, waking the Renegade driver up; they promptly pull over slightly, Biasion guns the engine, waves thankfully and shouts "ciao" out of the window. The driver of the Renegade merrily waves back, despite now being enveloped in a cloud of dust from our rapidly accelerating Wrangler.

The Jeep storms down another gradient, up the next ascent and then ? as it breaches the top of the hill ? leaps into the air. Biasion keeps his foot in, the Jeep landing squarely and smoothly on the approach to the next hillock, and then repeats the process again. With the terrain, I think, not against it. Clearly he's been around this circuit before.

Suddenly he hammers on the brakes, the Jeep sliding on the loose surface. He pitches the now slowed Wrangler into a corner, and gently rolls past a marshal?s point placed just around the corner with the engine idling. He salutes, a slightly comical smile on his face, waits until they?re out of view and then, lo and behold, wrings the engine out for all it's worth.

We arrive back at the meeting point, adrenalin pumping and feeling all too inclined to ask if we can do that again ? but we have to move on, and Biasion has other people to give rides to.

The grins and our vibrant demeanour make it clear that we've enjoyed ourselves, though, and we pour forth praise and thanks. Biasion nods appreciatively.

"It's a great thing to do because you're in nature and there's no traffic," he says. "You have to drive carefully and respect nature, though ? drive using your head and intelligence. Drive aggressively and it won't end well."

There's just time for one more question: does he own a Lancia? The answer is, sadly, no ? he has a Jeep and a Fiat Fremont.

In some respects, however, it doesn't come as a surprise; judging by the number of videos of him driving historic rally cars on YouTube, the frequent opportunities to drive them probably outweigh the need to own one.

Nevertheless, from this experience alone, it's clear his passion, enthusiasm and ability haven't faded one ounce.

"It's a good feeling, off-roading, isn't it?" he adds, as we turn to depart. "I love it."

Camp Jeep 2014 report and gallery

See Miki Biasion in action in his Lancia Delta S4 below

Seat Leon ST FR 1.4 TSI ACT first drive review
Seat Leon ST FR 1.4 TSI ACT first drive review The Leon ST beats all competitors on style, and thanks to this new petrol engine is also remarkably efficient Seat?s Leon estate, equipped with the Volkswagen Group?s latest hi-tech 1.4 TSI petrol engine. The engine is already offered on VW and Audi models, and now finds its way into the Seat range.The engine replaces the previous 138bhp 1.4 TSI in the Leon range, adding cylinder-deactivation technology in the process. Power is up by 10bhp and performance is usefully improved, while economy is also up from 55mpg to 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions dropping from 122g/km to 109g/km.The engine is only offered in sporty FR spec and is available on all three Leon bodystyles. We?re testing the ST estate model here.

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