Prodrive gives hatch 380bhp
22 July 2008

Subaru has launched its hardest Impreza yet here at the London motor show; this is the WRX STI 380S Prodrive concept.

Although this long-named, mental 378bhp Impreza is being billed as a concept car, Subaru sources have told Autocar that the hard-edged 380S will become a low-volume model available before the end of the year. It’ll cost a whopping £40k.

This UK-only Impreza is being developed at Prodrive’s facilities in Banbury and Warwickshire, where the chassis dynamics are being honed to deal with the massive power hike. Prodrive will hand-build the engines to order, using new construction techniques to free up the extra grunt. As well as 378bhp (around 60bhp more than Subaru’s World Rally Car), Prodrive is aiming to endow the 380S with around 370lb ft of torque.

Subaru-Prodrive’s finished 380S is likely to look quite different from the subtly altered STI on Subaru’s stand here at Excel. We’re told that the 90mm big-bore twin exhaust pipes will stay, as will the revised front bumper. But the final STI 380S will feature more aggressive wheelarches and haunches to give it a stronger road presence. The finished car will also get 19-inch alloy wheels.

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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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There’s going to be another uprated Impreza WRX STI too - called the 330S - that fits into the range between the standard STI and the newly unveiled 380S. This model costs around £30k and has a tweaked ECU and new burbling exhaust system, helping it to deliver 327bhp. That means that the WRX STI 330S can sprint from 0-60mph in 4.4sec and on to a limited top speed of 155mph.

Subaru isn’t content with launching two new versions of its performance Impreza. It has also unveiled the WRX S, which sits between the familiar WRX and STI. With 253bhp and 236lb ft of torque, the WRX S sprints from 0-60mph in 5.5sec (0.6sec quicker than a standard WRX). It also gets 18in alloys and will cost £22,495.

Subaru plans to have all of these UK-only ‘S’ cars in showrooms by the end of the year, but the lesser models will go on sale in October.

Will Powell

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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

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week