Our spies catch Subaru’s 300bhp mega-hatch at a sopping Nordschleife
9 July 2007

The peculiar-looking new Subaru Impreza should gain some much needed presence when the hot versions are released next year, and although we won’t be getting the cheaper WRX cars in the UK, this STi version promises to look the part. Our spy photographers in Germany have caught this matt black Impreza STI testing on public roads near the Nurburgring, and it looks considerably tougher than the standard versions we’ve seen so far. Wider arches, deeper bumpers and side skirts help to give the five-door turbo a much more aggressive look than the WRX (called S-GT in Japan) and its naturally aspirated counterparts, which have been heavily criticised for being badly proportioned. The wide bonnet-mounted air intake is classic Impreza, and expect new front air intakes around the bottom of the bumper. At the rear there’s a relatively subtle (for an Impreza) rear wing mounted at the top of the hatch, and quad tailpipes poking out from the deep bumpers. The car also appears to have a wider track than the standard models we’ve seen so far. In the UK the STi will cost around £30,000, leaving a gap in the range above the 150bhp 2.0-litre, naturally aspirated model that will get the WRX’s styling but not its turbocharged engine.

Our Verdict

Subaru Impreza

It may not be an obvious choice for most buyers, but this four-wheel-drive, sub-£20k hatch does have merit

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