First pictures of new Subaru Impreza WRX; it's not coming to the UK
5 June 2007

You're looking at the best hot hatchback you'll probably never drive. This is the new Subaru Impreza WRX and although Japan, America and many other markets will be offered it later this year, we Brits never will.The new Impreza launches in Japan this week. The WRX will be called the 'S-GT' over there, which explains the badging of the car in our pictures. It'll have a chassis set-up balanced somewhere between the compliance of the standard cars and the hardcore focus of the 320bhp WRX STi version, as well as a set of 17in wheels, subtle valance and sill extensions and the typical bonnet scoop.Underneath that scoop lies a turbocharged version of Subaru's 16-valve, twin cam, 2.5-litre flat four producing 250bhp and around 230lb ft of torque. The WRX will also have Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive layout, a longer wheelbase, an even wider track and a lower centre of roll, which should mean better dynamics than ever.So why isn't UK Subaru importer IM Group offering us the WRX? Its official line is that it is rationalising the Impreza line-up and attempting to target it away from the traditional sporting buyer, and toward those who might otherwise buy a Focus, Golf or Astra. "We will be offering a twin-cam, normally aspirated, 150bhp 2.0-litre version of the Impreza, with all of the S-GT's styling except the bonnet scoop," an IM Group spokesman told us. However, if that's not hot enough for you, you'll have to stump up what's likely to be close to £30k for the full-on STi version.Disappointed? We certainly are. Here's hoping IM can be persuaded to reverse its decision before it's too late.

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