..:: Special Editions - RB320, P2, WR1, UK300, P1, RB5, 22B & more
Here we have the complete list of Special Edition Subaru Impreza's were/are available in the UK. There have been many more editions released world wide, but here is the list of UK models along with there specifications.
RB320 - 2007
November 2006, exactly one year after the sad death of Richard Burns from a brain tumour. Subaru UK announced a new special edition of their MY06 Subaru Impreza WRX STi. The RB320 is packaged in Obsidian black, with bespoke black alloys. May not be to everyone's liking but I think it looks fantastic and appropriate for the anniversary. The RB320 is no limited edition paint job, as the name suggests the RB320 delivers around 320bhp from it's WRX STi PPP package. That's a lot of oomph!! Added to that just about every subaru/prodrive option you can think of has been added as standard on the RB320
In 2004, the Subaru World Rally Team finally got back to winning Rally Championships thanks to Petter Solberg and traditionally released a Special Edition Subaru Impreza to celebrate, in the form of the WR1. Based on the latest Subaru Impreza WRX STi the WR1 also had the added Prodrive Performance Pack PPP Which makes this the most powerful and fastest Subaru Impreza you can buy off the shelf!
After a gap of no special editions. Subaru came back in 2001 with a new shaped Subaru Impreza, a new World Rally Title, with the help of Richard Burns , and a therefore a new Special edition in the form of then UK300.
The second special edition to be released in 1999 was the P1, which was more to do with Prodrive than Subaru directly. Prodrive is the company that develops the Impreza's for the World Rally Teams, so they know a thing or two about the Subaru Impreza. Therefore, they decided to release their own special edition Impreza. P1.
Often considered the best Subaru Impreza ever. The Impreza 22B was released in 1998 and came with a new 2.2litre engine. Although overall power was the same torque was improved to to the larger capacity. The 22B was also dresses in 2-door coupe form unlike previous 4-door Impreza's
The Series McRae Subaru Impreza was released in late 1995 to celebrate the achievement of the Subaru 555 World Rally team and Colin McRae winning the World Rally Championship for the first time for both driver and manufacturer.
Our Peugeot 308 GTi 270 is the crème de la crème of the range, but there is a cheaper sibling to consider: the 308 GTi 250.
The 266bhp GTi 270 covers 0-62mph in 6.0sec, versus 6.2sec in the 247bhp GTi 250, and its list price is £28,990 compared with the 250?s £27,290.
The GTi 270 wins hands down on the aesthetics front, ticking far more boxes on the ?what a hot hatch should look like? list than the 250. As for equipment, our 270 has 19in ?Carbone? alloy wheels, while the standard 250 gets 18in ?Diamant? alloys (although our 250 test car had the 19s fitted as an £675 option).
Our car gets GTi bucket seats with red stitching and Peugeot Sport branding. The 250 has sports-style seats with no Peugeot Sport logos, although I hardly noticed the difference. Other additions for the 270 are red brake calipers with 380mm front discs and a limited-slip diff.
So how noticeable are the changes behind the wheel? The most immediate contrast is the considerable extra poke in the 270. The 250 certainly isn?t slow, but even below 2000rpm it feels notably less potent than its big brother.
The absence of the diff on the 250 makes for a less taxing experience, with less torque steer. In many ways, the 250 makes more sense, because it?s a little bit more relaxed. But the diff is well suited to the 270, pulling you towards the apex in a corner. By comparison, the 250 is more inclined to understeer. True, you need to be going for it to really appreciate the extra agility and traction provided by the diff, but in a car designed for press-on driving, the higher level of cornering ability counts for a lot.
So if it were my money, I?d go for the 270. If you want a fast, goodlooking Peugeot, the 250 will do just fine. But if you?re a driver looking for that final 4-5%, you?ll appreciate the 270 more. The extra power and focus and beefier looks make it worth the extra £1700. And the sales figures agree: three-quarters of UK 308 GTi buyers opt for the 270.
PEUGEOT 308 GTI 270
Price £28,990 Price as tested £29,320 Economy 35.4mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 24.8.16
Removing hard shoulders on smart motorways has made them more dangerous, according to a survey of drivers by the AA.
Eight out of 10 of the 20,845 respondents felt that by opening up hard shoulders to traffic as part of all-lane running motorway programmes, authorities had increased the risk for drivers whose cars had broken down and who had nowhere out of the flow of traffic to park up.
The government is creating smart motorways across the UK to increase road capacity in the face of rising traffic. Such sections work by opening up the hard shoulder to traffic during busy times. The idea was successfully implemented on the M42 from 2006.
However, the government is now considering future schemes that include those with hard shoulders permanently opened to traffic. In addition, guidance from Highways England for subsequent programmes has seen lower requirements for the amount of distance between lay-bys ? officially known as Emergency Refuge Areas ? from every 800m, as on the M42, to up to 2.6km (1.5 miles). Campaigners say this drastically reduces safety for cars that break down.
The AA says 130,000 of its members' vehicles break down on motorways each year, and it wants to see twice as many lay-bys as is currently recommended to reduce the risk of cars being hit from behind on a live hard shoulder. It also wants lay-bys to be twice as long because it believes that if an HGV is parked in a layby it makes it almost impossible for a car to safely stop there too.
Highways England has previously reported issues with drivers, especially foreign truckers, parking in laybys despite there being no emergency.
AA president Edmund King said: ?Four-fifths of our members think that motorways without hard shoulders are more dangerous.
?While we support measures to improve motorway capacity, we do not think safety should be compromised. We do not accept that the current criteria of an Emergency Refuge Area or exit at least every 2.6km is safe.
?Breaking down in a live running lane with trucks thundering up behind you is every driver?s worst nightmare. The official advice is to dial 999, which just shows how dangerous the situation can be.
?If drivers can see the next lay-by, they are much more likely to make it to the relative safety of that area even if their car has a puncture or is overheating. If they can?t see the lay-by, they often panic and stop in a live running lane. If more lay-bys are designed at the planning stage it will be less expensive and safer.?
Mr King said he had written to Transport Minister Chris Grayling, expressing his concern, and had not yet received a response. Mr King also gave evidence to a cross-party Transport Committee earlier this year, which released a report in June saying that the Department for Transport should not proceed with smart motorways until the safety concerns had been addressed.
However, the government gave the go-ahead for all lane running on a 32-mile stretch of the M4 earlier this month, and had not responded to the Transport Committee?s report at the time of writing.
Autocar has approached the Department of Transport for comment and will update this story appropriately.
Trio of German companies own Here, a company that connects and shares the data of their models
Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have entered into an agreement to supply Here, a connected car expert company that they jointly own, with real-time sensor data collected by their cars to enable systems to better understand their surroundings.
The deal marks the first time a trio of leading brands have agreed to share data, and could spell the beginning of a proper connected car industry. The technology will likely act as a catalyst to the rolling out of more autonomous technology.
?We?re showing for the first time how you can take the value of rich sensor data coming from a vehicle and use it to do things that positively impact safety and efficiency,? said Alex Mangan, Here?s product marketing manager for connected driving. ?To make the most of connected systems, we all as an industry need eachother. The cars need sensor data, and with this kind of agreement a Toyota vehicle, for example, can have an understanding of what the JLR car saw down the road if everyone's involved."
Mangan believes that with three of the world?s biggest car makers on board, others are more likely to follow. He said up until now, progress had been fairly slow.
?It?s an interesting time because every single OEM knows that in order to do the things they want to do, they need to share data,? he explained. ?But when it comes to the actual implementation, they think they still need to differentiate, so their data isn?t immediately comparable.?
Mangan said that this is where the challenge for Here lies. ?The data coming from a BMW 3 Series is very different from a BMW 5 Series, and then it?s even more different from an Audi and Mercedes.
?Normalising data sets is therefore a massive challenge. We have to do a lot of processing in the cloud, and then make sense of that so the systems can say there?s an actual hazard at this place at this time,? he said.
If more brands join into the agreement, the growth in available data will create a global cloud of information that, once normalised, will essentially act as an Internet of Things (IOT) for the automotive world.
?We don?t want to take over the world here, we want to help people put location context into their services," explained Mangan. "If that?s with IOT data, with vehicle data or with traffic management data, we?re interested.?
Here is an expert in multiple fields of data from a variety of industries. ?The automotive industry is just one area, but it?s one of the most mature,? continued Mangan. ?When we talk about IOT in other sectors, it?s something we can?t always implement right now. But with cars the use cases are better defined, so it?s a more mature conversation in automotive.
?There are not many companies that can do this on a global scale, and since understanding location is quickly becoming more and more important for so many devices, we?re sitting at the crux of such a unique time on this planet,? said Mangan. ?Our ambition is that we can help make this world a safer, more efficient place, as well as more technologically relevant to people.?
Drag racing aside, World Rallycross Championship cars are pretty much the quickest things on four wheels.
Based on humble hatchbacks but extensively reengineered into almost unrecognisable machines, they make use of tremendous traction and heavy boost to launch off the line quicker than even F1 cars.
This start performance is not just staggering, it?s also highly important because the races can be as short as four laps long, meaning a fluffed first few hundred metres will pretty much end all hopes of a good result.
Guy Wilks, Britain?s sole remaining entry in this year?s WRX championship, has plenty of all-wheel-drive competition experience to his name. Ahead of his final qualifying race at the season's Circuit de Catalunya round, we ask him how he nails a start in his JRM World Rallycross Team Mini Countryman.
?It?s pure aggression. It?s a reaction thing,? he says enthusiastically.
?We?ll do a tyre clean before we roll up to the start. It?s just to get dirt and debris off of the tyres and warm them a little, but we don?t want to warm them too much because these tyres are actually cross-plies, not radial, so if you heat them too much they start to move more and more.?
Wilks says while the tyres do have a manageable operating window, multiple starts can quickly damage them. ?One clean usually does the job,? he confirms.
?We roll up to the start line, and the start martial brings us 10 to 15 centimetres from a trigger point. The trigger is a little rod that sticks up in front of the bumper to recognise a jump-start,? he continues. ?If we?re too early, we?ll knock the trigger down and that signals we?ve jumped the start.?
Once in position, the start procedure begins. Wilks' routine is slightly different to most, because his car?s gearbox is still under development, so isn?t yet able to make good use of first gear.
?I?ll engage second straight away - I have a short first ratio in the Mini so start it in second because in first it spins the wheels for too long,? he explains. ?To grab second it?s a double click of the gear lever.?
Observations of earlier starts show that this initial gear selection jolts the car as it sits on the line, such is the brutality of a racing sequential gearbox. There?s also a loud thud as the cogs are forced into place.
Wilks carries on: ?At this point the clutch is obviously in, and anti-lag [ALS] is on. ALS keeps the turbo spinning so I get no lag off the start line,? he says.
It?s now that Wilks can press the launch control button on his steering wheel. ?The launch control is like a rev-limit so I can go full throttle,? he says. ?We?ll have set the rpm limit for the launch depending on whether the start is up hill, down hill, how grippy or slippy it is.?
In Barcelona, Wilks' launch control limiter is set to 5200rpm. ?That is to get just enough wheelspin not to bog [down the engine], but not too much that we drag it for a long period of time, because obviously we?d go slower ? we want traction.?
Having selected the right gear and primed the car?s launch system, Wilks pulls the handbrake on so he can release the footbrake. ?I?ve got to make sure I don?t pull it too tight because we don?t want to release the rear diff,? he adds. ?Only pull it just enough to hold the car so it doesn?t roll.?
Wilks' focus now turns to the red lights ahead. ?When they come on they?re on for four seconds,? he explains.
Now Wilks floors the throttle to send the car?s turbocharged four-cylinder engine bouncing into its launch controlled 5200rpm limiter. Exhausts start blasting unburnt fuel out like gunfire, and the drivers, eyes locked ahead, are now breathing heavily.
?We?re watching for the start lights ? the green ones ? as they can come on from anything between two to six seconds after the red lights go out,? explains Wilks. ?So that window of time is completely random. The pressure is immense.?
As soon as the green lights flash on, Wilks releases the launch button, sidesteps the clutch and pulls the handbrake off all at the same time. ?I do all these things simultaneously, and the foot?s already flat to the floor.?
The car charges forwards. ?Bam!?
Now the launch button?s released, the engine is free to rev to its maximum. ?But with the loading from the traction the engine revs get dragged down to the point of not stalling,? explains Wilks. ?The revs are just above stall, so you get a little bit of wheelspin, and then traction!?
Wilks now bangs through the gears as quickly as possible, with the car?s nose angled towards the sky and its exhaust violently spitting flames.
?If you get a really good start and the surface is flat, Petter [Solberg] proved yesterday that you can hit 62mph in 1.9, even 1.89 seconds. It?s real pinning in the seat stuff,? says Wilks.
?Do all that and put five abreast into the first corner, and you can imagine the pressure??
The 2017 London motor show will take place on 5-7 May next year, with a press and exhibitor day prior to the show?s public opening. It will return to Battersea Park, where last year?s show took place.
While not connected to the British motor show - a title which is owned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) - last year?s event marked the first time a show aimed at attracting a broad range of car manufacturers had been held in London since 2008.
According to event organisers, a limited number of tickets will go on sale on October 15, although when the rest of the tickets go on sale is as yet to be confirmed.
One car has already been confirmed to make its debut at the London motor show; MG's upcoming small SUV, which will rival the Nissan Juke. Although the car?s name hasn?t yet been confirmed, MG?s head of sales and marketing, Matthew Chenyne, confirmed the internally-named ZS?s debut at next year?s show.
It?s the second MG model to make its official world debut at the show, after the brand revealed the GS SUV at the last show, which took place earlier this year.
Also at last year?s show, resurrected supercar maker TVR teased its upcoming model, and although no official announcement has been made, it?s very likely that the brand will have some presence at the show.
Although MG is the first carmaker to announce a presence at the show in 2017, last year?s debuts are likely to have given the reborn show some traction, so a similar, if not greater, number of models making their debut, and large manufacturers with presence at the show, is likely.