Ultimate Impreza is lighter and faster – but probably not for UK
21 July 2008

Our spies have snapped the new, upgraded Subaru Impreza WRX STI ‘Spec C’ testing at the Nurburgring.

It’s a spiritual successor to the ‘homologation specials’ that Subaru used to build to base its rally cars on. Like the previous generation Spec C it will feature lightweight alloy panels and thinner glass. Other weight-saving details include a smaller battery – and the loss of various bits of interior trim. Anticipate it being about 70kg lighter than a standard STI.

Visual changes are limited – the biggest difference is a revised rear spoiler – and stopping is assured by upgraded brakes gripped by massive six-pot calipers.

The engine will be based on the Japanese-spec 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder motor rather than the larger capacity 2.5-litre European version. It will be tuned for response rather than a huge increase in raw power output.

Despite being tested at the ‘Ring, it’s unlikely that the Spec C will make it to the UK, where our range-topping ‘STI-plus’ Impreza is likely to be a Prodrive-tuned model.

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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