Subaru has finally released detailed images of the new Impreza WRX STi
9 October 2007

Subaru's strange-looking new Impreza has not exactly set the world on fire, but this much tastier, racier WRX STI might well do the trick. Officially revealed at last, the new STI is a hatchback and has a big-hitting combination of big blistered wheelarches and bumpers, a new grille, a tailgate spoiler, 18-inch finned alloys and four-set exhaust, which gives it the kind of strong visual punch the ordinary car sorely lacks. The STI runs with its own heavily modified platform and an evolution of Subaru's long-lived but still very effective flat-four turbo engine and symmetrical four-wheel drive. For the Tokyo Show, Subaru is showing the STI with a domestic-spec 2.0-litre flat four Twin Scroll Turbo, plus six-speed manual box. No outputs have been given, but the Japanese grapevine predicts 330bhp and 325lb ft. UK cars will come with a 2.5-litre flat four, as used in the outgoing car.Size and packaging are also dramatically reworked. The new STI is a whole 60mm shorter than the outgoing STI saloon, at 4415mm, yet much taller at 1475mm. Width also pushes out to a wide-body 1795mm, with front/rear tracks extended to 1530mm/1540mm. So it's roomier now and with a far meatier stance on the road. The new STI should also drive very differently. The combination of the new Impreza-style double wishbone rear suspension (with struts up front) and improvements to Subaru's trademark DCCD (driver control centre differential) within the four-wheel drive system will transform the roadholding and the way the STI attacks corners. Inside, the STI treatment brings a unique instrument pack, drilled pedals, and a metallic centre console and steering wheel. Recaro seats are an option.

Peter Nunn

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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