15 January 2004

Subaru injected yet more spice into the Scooby vs Evo fight at last week’s Autosport show when it unveiled its answer to the FQ-330, the Impreza WR1. This is a new special edition model to celebrate Petter Solberg’s 2003 World Rally Drivers’ Championship.

The standard STi’s flat-four has been tuned to produce 316bhp, up 48bhp from standard, and new equipment includes 18in seven-spoke alloys and anthracite seats. The car will be instantly recognizable on the road with ice blue metallic paint, stainless steel mesh grill, and driving lamps.

But best news of all is that it’ll be equipped with an Evo-style centre differential, splitting torque between the front and rear wheels. This should sharpen the car’s dynamics, allowing the driver to choose between a more-precise turn-in or straight-line stability. Just 500 will be built, arriving in showrooms in April, and costing £29,995.

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