What is it?
Subaru’s comeback car, after a run (Tribeca, the Impreza base model) of poorly received new models. Despite its hardcore aspirations, the Impreza STi will be the mainstream high-performance model in the UK. The less spectacularly styled WRX is on a limited run of no more 1000 models over the lifetime of this model.
This Japanese-spec car is powered by a 304bhp, 311lb ft 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four engine. The UK, however, will get a 2.5-litre version of the motor, which also promises the same wallop with more real world flexibility.
The STi is 55mm wider than the base Impreza and has 45mm and 40mm wider front and rear tracks. Massively extended wings front and rear, a substantial tailgate spoiler and a new bumper designs transform the bearing of the car, taking it a long way from the pinched original.
The bodyshell of the STi has been beefed up with extra stiffening plates around the hatch aperture, the rear chassis rails and under the front chassis rails.
However, the new Impreza is actually lighter than the old model, despite a much stronger chassis. Dropping the front subframe has saved around 25kg.
The STi gets a centre viscous coupling and limited slip differentials front and rear. The rear multi-link suspension is new to this generation of Impreza, as are the aluminium lower suspension arms. Like old model, the front suspension struts are inverted.