Subaru will hit back against arch-rival Mitsubishi at the New York show on 4th April this year, when it unveils the long-awaited new Impreza to the world.
The new model will be available as a conventional five-door hatchback and a four-door saloon. There will be no sports wagon estate variant.
The new car looks significantly different to today's Impreza, but it won't look like the B5 TPH concept that appeared at the last Tokyo auto show (see gallery). Instead, our sources reveal that it "looks pretty funky, with hints of BMW 1-series along the side".
However, Subaru isn't breaking with tradition under the bonnet; the new Impreza will be powered by a choice of naturally-aspirated 1.5- and 2.0-litre petrol 'flat-four' boxer engines to begin with.
The iconic turbocharged Impreza STi will come later. It will feature body styling even more extravagant than that of the current car, and is likely to be powered by an evolution of the current 2.5-litre engine, but we won't get to see it until 2008. There are no plans to carry over the intermediate WRX model.
Meanwhile it's emerged that Subaru's Legacy and Outback models will be its first to be offered with diesel power. Subaru is developing an industry-first flat-four turbodiesel motor, due to go into production in early 2008. It'll have a 2.0-litre capacity and has been benchmarked against the BMW 320d's engine. Subaru expects it to produce around 170bhp and 250lb ft of torque.