Subaru Impreza (third generation)
|Manufacturer||Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries)|
|Assembly||Japan: Ōta, Gunma|
|Body and chassis|
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Front-engine, all-wheel drive
The Subaru Impreza is a compact automobile, manufactured since 1992 by Subaru—the automobile division of Japanese transportation conglomerate, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI). Subaru introduced the Impreza as a replacement for the Leone, with the Leone's EA series engines replaced by the newer EJ series versions.
Now in its fourth generation, Subaru has offered four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body variants since 1992; the firm also offered a coupe from 1995 for the first generation only. Mainstream versions have received naturally aspirated "boxer" flat-four engines ranging from 1.5- to 2.5-liters, with the performance-oriented Impreza WRX and WRX STI models uprated with the addition of turbochargers. Since the third generation series, some markets have adopted the abbreviated Subaru WRX name for these high-performance variants. The first three generations of Impreza in North America were also available with an off-road appearance package titled Subaru Outback Sport. For the fourth generation, this appearance package became known as the Subaru XV, and is sold internationally. Subaru has offered both front- and all-wheel drive versions of the Impreza. Since the late-1990s, some markets have restricted sales to the all-wheel drive model—therefore granting the Impreza a unique selling proposition in the global compact class characterized by front-wheel drive. However, Japanese models remain available in either configuration.
First generation (1992–2000; GC, GF, GM)
Late-model Subaru Impreza RX sedan (Australia)
|Also called||Subaru Outback Sport|
|Designer||Tetsuya Hayashi, Hidefumi Kato (1990)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe
|Engine||1.5 L EJ15 F4
1.6 L EJ16 F4
1.8 L EJ18 F4
1.8 L EJ18 F4 (t/c)
2.0 L EJ20 F4
2.0 L EJ20 F4 (t/c)
2.2 L EJ22 F4
2.5 L EJ25 F4
|Wheelbase||2,520 mm (99.2 in)|
|Length||4,340 mm (170.9 in)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,405 mm (55.3 in)|
|Curb weight||1,220 kg (2,689.6 lb)|
Introduced on March 1, 1993, the Impreza was offered in either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) versions and as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. According to a Motor Trend article written March 1992 on page 26, the name of Subaru's new compact was, initially, to be called the Loyale, displaying an official photograph of the four-door sedan. In late 1995, a two-door coupe was introduced in Japan. The Impreza, like many Subaru-built cars, was equipped with a flat engine, a distinguishing Subaru characteristic. Initial engine choices included 1.6 L, 1.8 L and 2.0 L naturally aspirated engines.
Subaru chose to continue their longstanding use of the boxer engine in the Impreza. According to Subaru, their configuration of the engine inline with the transmission minimizes body roll due to the lower center of gravity compared with offset engines in most other vehicles. The boxer design provides good vibration mitigation due to the principles of a balanced engine because the movement of each piston is largely countered by a piston in the opposing cylinder bank, eliminating the need for a counter-rotating weighted crankshaft (harmonic balancer), but with some vibration from offsets. Torque steer is also reduced with this type of powertrain layout since the front drive shafts are of equal length and weight.
The Outback Sport was introduced to North America in 1994 for the 1995 model year as an updated Impreza "L" Sport Wagon. It was the top trim level of the Impreza wagon model with no significant mechanical or performance changes from the lower trim levels aside from a slightly lifted suspension. Subaru found some sales success with the Outback Sport as a smaller companion with similar ride height changes, body colors and trim levels to the larger, more successful selling Legacy-based Outback. For the first time the 2.2 engine was used in the American Impreza. Later, the 2.5 engine was introduced. In Japan, the Impreza Sport Wagon was offered with a similar approach to the Outback Sport, calling it the "Impreza Gravel Express" with the WRX turbocharged engine. Subaru discontinued the Gravel Express when the second generation Impreza was introduced due to very limited sales. The hood-scoop found on the American Outback Sport was non-functional but was probably included because the American and Japanese versions were built at the same factory in Japan. The Outback Sport was offered with optional equipment, such as a gauge pack installed on top of the dashboard, that included a digital compass, outside temperature and barometer or altimeter readings.
Trim levels were LX, GL and Sport generation. LX models were front-wheel drive, and powered by a 1.6 L engine; these were four-door only. GL trim levels were either front-wheel drive (Subaru badged these 2WD) or all-wheel-drive (badged AWD); cars launched in 1993 had a choice of 1.6 and 1.8 flat-4 engines, the 1.6 being available with 2WD, the 1.8 an AWD version only. From 1996, the 1.6 and 1.8 versions were dropped (in the European market), and replaced by a 2.0 L engine. Sport versions had alloy wheels, and a 2.0 L engine only. These were "warm hatch" versions which were similar to the WRX, albeit less adorned.
During this generation, Subaru made a limited edition Impreza Sport Wagon called the CasaBlanca, which had a retro front and rear end treatment, which was inspired by the popular kei car Subaru Vivio Bistro styling package and Subaru Sambar Dias Classic. The Sport Wagon was also offered with the WRX turbocharged engine, and was called the Gravel Express.
The Impreza received an external facelift for the 1997 model year, followed by an interior redesign in 1998, using the new redesigned dashboard from the Forester.
Subaru of North America initially offered the Impreza with the 1.8-liter engine only, with either front- or all-wheel drive; a 2.2-liter engine became optional for 1995. For the 1995 model year, the 1.8/EJ18 was available with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission on the 'base' model only. The 2.2/EJ22 was only available with an automatic transmission for the L, LX, and Outback Sport trims. The 1995 model year also introduced OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics version 2) in the EJ22/Automatic transmission equipped models. The 1996 model line-up replaced the base version with the low-content Brighton trim, also used in the Legacy model. A 5-speed manual transmission became available with the 2.2 engine on all models, except the Brighton which was only available with the 1.8 and a 5-speed. Subaru later decided to emphasize all-wheel drive, making it standard on every Impreza (and Legacy) from 1997 onwards. North American markets never received the WRX version of the first generation Impreza. To test the waters for a full-fledged turbocharged model, Subaru showcased a turbocharged Impreza at various car shows around the country. The vehicle was named the 2.5RX and is now located in Subaru of America's Cherry Hill, New Jersey storage facility. Subsequently the 2.5RS performance model was introduced in 1998 (the same year the 1.8 L engine was dropped). A naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine and larger brakes were fitted into the coupe body with gold-colored 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. The 2.5RS also featured several external cues from its overseas brethren such as hood vents, a hood scoop, and a rally-inspired rear spoiler. The 2.5/EJ25D (DOHC) used in the 1998 RS suffered from a high-rate of head gasket failures. The 1999 model featured several changes: the newly designed "Phase II" SOHC version of the same 2.5 L engine featured a slightly higher peak torque by 5 N·m (3.7 lb·ft), the wheels turned to a standard silver, the interior got an update, and the exterior became visually similar to the Japanese model with an updated front bumper borrowed from the Japanese Version 5 Impreza WRX STI. 2.5RS models became available in sedan form for 2000.
There have been seven noted versions of the WRX dating back from Subaru's original World Rally Cross staging vehicles. Subaru adopted the name "WRX" to stand for "World Rally eXperimental" (in some places WRX stands for "World Rally Cross") as all WRX versions (1992 to present) feature rally inspired technology, including all wheel drive, stiffened suspensions and turbocharged four cylinder engines. The STI versions were marketed with consecutive numbers. Another way to determine the version of a WRX was to look at the chassis code. All WRX sold between 1992 and 2000 have the beginning chassis code of GC8 sedan or GF8 hatchback; this is followed by a letter from A to G. Coupe versions share the "GC" code with sedans, except in the US, where they have a separate chassis code of "GM".
In 1994, Subaru introduced Subaru Tecnica International (STI) versions of the WRX in Japan. These models were upgraded from the standard WRX in many categories, including blueprinted performance-tuned engines, transmissions, and suspensions. The STI versions of the WRX were immensely successful in rallies and popular among street racers but were only sold in the Japanese market. Compared to the WRX, the STI had mostly mechanical modifications.
- GC8A (11/1992-9/1993)
The WRX debuted in November 1992 with 240 PS (176.5 kW; 236.7 hp). The center differential was a viscous coupling type, the rear limited slip differential was a viscous type. The WRX Type RA is a stripped down version of the WRX that was available in the Japanese market for people to purchase for motorsports and tuning. Targeted for race and rally, the RA versions were generally lighter in weight; featuring reduced soundproofing, manual windows, no air conditioning, no anti-lock brakes, and added racing features such as more robust engines, driver controlled center differentials, and shorter gearing. The WRX Type RA uses a closer ratio gearbox and a three-spoke leather steering wheel from Nardi.
In Europe, the WRX was introduced as the Impreza GT, and as the Impreza Turbo 2000 (UK). It came with 208 hp (155 kW; 211 PS). In the United Kingdom, Subaru offered six "WRX 1.8GL" in 1993. The firm imported six Type RS's, the development car that led to the stripped-out Type RA. Three cars went to Prodrive; three were retained by Subaru UK and were subsequently sold. For UK car certification reasons they were registered as "1.8GL", despite having the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.
- GC8B (10/1993-8/1994)
In October, 1993, Subaru introduced the 1994 model year WRX which produced 240 PS (176.5 kW; 236.7 hp). The rear rotors were substituted from ventilated disk to solid disk. October 1993 was also the start of production of the hatchback version, with 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp).
The first STI was known simply as "WRX STI", with 100 per month were produced starting from February 1994. It had 250 PS (184 kW; 247 bhp). This version of the STI was the only version where the standard cars were taken at the end of the assembly line and replaced by STI parts. An STI version of the Type RA was also offered, again with many amenities deleted to reduce weight and cost. Producing 275 PS (202 kW; 271 bhp), this version of the WRX STI came with a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD). This device was an electromechanical differential that could lock the differential.
- GC8C (9/1994-9/1996)
In November 1994, the WRX had a power increase to 260 PS (191.2 kW; 256.4 hp). The wheel diameters were increased to 16 inches (410 mm) and brake rotors were both changed to ventilated disks. In Japan, the WRX engine was also offered with the hatchback body variant and was called the "Impreza Gravel Express" but was discontinued due to very limited sales.
To commemorate Colin McRae's success in the international rally scene, Subaru in the UK released 200 limited edition "Series McRae" WRXs in June 1995, prepared by Prodrive. These vehicles were finished in a very limited "Rally Blue" colour scheme, sported gold 16-inch alloy wheels, McRae decals, individual numbered badging from 1–201 (car 13 was never built since the number 13 is considered unlucky), and a factory-fitted electric tilt/slide sunroof. Recaro seats were fitted in the front, and the rear seats and side panels were retrimmed in the same Le Mans/Avus material.
The regular STI's engine output stood at 275 PS (202 kW; 271 bhp). The car weighed 1,240 kg (2,734 lb) and had gold wheels like those on the World Rally Championship Impreza. Now, the STI was built alongside the WRX on the production lines.
The 1996 model year WRX debuted in January 1996. The WRX design received minimal mechanical changes, but a WRX V-Limited Edition was introduced to celebrate the success of the Impreza WRC car in the FIA WRC. It was mechanically the same to the WRX but had a curb weight nudge to 1,240 kg (2,734 lb). The V-limited cars are painted in World Rally Blue. A WRX STI V-limited edition was also produced. The interior is colored blue on the seat inserts and carpeting. The WRX Type RA STI received a radio and air-conditioning in the V-limited form. 1,000 WRX STI Version 2 V-limited were produced, with 555 WRX Type RA STI Version 2 V-limited models produced.
- GC8D (9/1996-9/1997)
In September 1996, the WRX was updated with new styling. The WRX now has a power rating of 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) and now weighed 1,250 kg (2,756 lb). Although it actually developed about 300 PS, the output was under-reported at the then-established gentlemen's agreement power limit of 280 PS.
Subaru in the UK released the WRX "Catalunya" in March 1997, a limited production of 200 cars (again excluding car number 13) in black with red flecks riding on gold alloy wheels. The Catalunya was made to celebrate winning Subaru's second WRC manufacturer's title at the Rally of Spain (Catalunya).
With GC8D came the start of the coupé version of the WRX STI. It is called the WRX Type R STI. The coupé was chosen by Prodrive for use in the WRC because it was lighter and stiffer than the sedan, although it carried the same exterior dimensions. It was essentially a two-door version of the WRX Type RA STI meaning it had DCCD, minimal sound insulation, close-gear ratios and hardened gearbox. This car also has a water-spray nozzle to dampen the top of the intercooler. The water will then evaporate, taking heat away from the intercooler and cooling the intake charge. This car was produced on an order-only basis. Also, there was a WRX STI type RA (sedan) available, with a roof vent instead of map lights, and wind up windows, although electrics are an option from factory.
Also available was a WRX Type R V-limited. It has a WRX motor with no forged internals like the STI, and it misses out on the four-pot front brakes as they are to be installed by rally teams. It has a roof vent and is lightweight, making a good base for a rally car.
- GC8E (1997)
In Europe, the Subaru Impreza WRX GT's (Turbo 2000 in UK) interior was updated to leather. For the STI, power remained at 280 PS. Forged pistons were also added. The interior and the cockpit were changed into a newer design along with the new white colored gauges.
For the UK, the WRZ "Turbo Terzo" was released in April 1998. 333 cars in blue with gold alloy wheels were produced to celebrate Subaru's WRC title.
In 1998, Subaru of Japan produced a widebody, coupe WRX STI called the "22B STI" produced between March and August 1998. The 22B was used to commemorate both Subaru's 40th anniversary as well as the third consecutive manufacturer's title for Subaru in the FIA World Rally Championship. On the release of the sales, all 400 Japanese units sold out from 30 minutes to 48 hours, depending on the report. Another 24 were produced for export markets—16 for the UK, along with another 5 for Australia, and 3 prototypes. The 16 cars imported to the UK were modified by Prodrive, with longer gear ratios, and UK specification lights. Because 50 22Bs had already been imported privately into the UK, Subaru had to wait until 1999 to register the 16 officially imported cars under the VCA's Single Vehicle Approval scheme.
The 22B had the EJ22 engine (note, the internal Subaru material states the closed-deck block comes from a V3 EJ20G). This means the displacement was increased from 1,994 cc to 2,212 cc. It produced 280 PS (210 kW; 280 hp). This car was given a unique color of blue and had fender flared widebody taken from the Peter Stevens designed WRC car, thus widening the width by 80 mm (3.15 inches). The car has a unique hood, front and rear fenders, a WRC-inspired front bumper and a unique adjustable rear wing. During assembly, a WRX Type R chassis was taken off the line. The fenders were replaced with the 22B STI fenders. The suspension is provided by Bilstein, while the brakes were 4-Pot front/2-Pot rear STi calipers, painted red. The wheels were increased in size from the standard WRX Type R STI from 16- to 17-inches and the clutch was upgraded to a sintered twin clutch with a ceramic disk. The origin of the name 22B has often been debated. Many assume 22 referred to the 2.2 liter displacement and the B was for the Bilstein suspension. This would correlate with the idea that Subaru sells a Legacy Spec B, where the B represents the Bilstein suspension. The car's curb weight is 1,270 kilograms (2,800 lb).
- GC8F (9/1998-9/1999)
Mechanically this was virtually the same as its predecessor. The torque was increased a little from 242 to 250 lb·ft (328 to 339 N·m) at 4000 rpm. The weight also continues to increase and is set at 1,300 kg (2,800 lb).
To celebrate the return of British driver Richard Burns to the rally team, a limited edition of 444 WRX "RB5" models in gray were created in 1999 for the UK. The basic model had little more than cosmetic differences, but most had the WR Sport Performance Pack, an option consisting of a new ECU and exhaust for 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) and 350 N·m (258 lb·ft) torque. There was also an optional Prodrive suspension pack.
The standard UK Impreza Turbo 2000 was also tuned and partly restyled by Prodrive in 1999 to create the WRX "Prodrive WR Sport". It featured a unique interior, suspension upgrade, new bodykit and wheels, plus WR Sport decals and an optional ECU upgrade.
For the STI, the power stayed the same as the previous version but the engine layout and design was made cleaner and was dubbed as the "Boxer Phase 2" engine. The facelift the rest of the Impreza line had was also applied to the STI. The WRX STI weighed 1,270 kg (2,800 lb). There were 1000 WRX Type RA STI Version 5 Limited cars and each had a four-month waiting period. The interior was also changed slightly, including seats and steering. This model was also produced as a 555 limited edition.
- GC8G (9/1999-9/2000)
The last version of the GC WRX was introduced on September 1999. There is no change in the mechanical specifications. Added features are newly designed alloy wheels, color-coded mirrors and door handles, remote central locking, intermittent wipers with a timer and map lights.
The European WRX turbo model received further upgrades in the form of more parts from the STI range. The front brakes became Subaru branded four-pot calipers with 294 mm (11.6 in) discs, the wheels having become 16-inch lightweight alloys. The STI 4 high-level wing was fitted to the sedan, and STI-style front bucket seats and firmer suspension were also fitted. The "Phase 2" engine now fitted developed 160 kW (218 PS; 215 bhp), an increase of 5 kW (7 PS; 7 bhp) over the previous model.
To counter the grey imports of high-performance Japanese variants, Subaru UK commissioned Prodrive to produce a limited edition of 1,000 two-door cars in Sonic Blue, called the WRX "P1". Released in March 2000, they were taken from the STI Type R lines and used for the P1. The car was the only coupé version of the WRX STI GC chassis to receive ABS. In order to allow for ABS, the DCCD was dropped. Engine output was boosted to 276 bhp (206 kW; 280 PS), and the suspension optimised for British roads. Options were available from Subaru consisting of four-piston front brake calipers, electric Recaro seats, 18-inch wheels and a P1 stamped backbox. The P1, or Prodrive One, is echoed in the name of the Prodrive P2 concept car.
Likewise, for the STI, most of the changes were cosmetic with the fender being sculpted to be more aggressive. There were 2,000 WRX STI Version 6 Limited model produced, plus 500 of the WRX STI Type R coupe Version 6 Limited, 2,000 of the WRX STI RA Version 6 Limited, and also 500 of the WRX STI Version 6 Limited hatchback models.
In 2000, STI released the WRX STI "S201", of which 300 were produced. This series is a limited production series that sports an engine output of 224 kW (305 PS) as special variants were excluded from the gentlemen's agreement. The car was decked with nearly every single part from the STI catalogue. The S201 was a sedan that sported the only body-kitted S-series WRX STI. Weighing in at 1,270 kg (2,800 lb), the S201 had a tri-planar wing and a massive front airsplitter. The entire suspension was composed of STI parts.
Second generation (2000–2007; GD, GG)
Pre-facelift Subaru Impreza RS sedan (Australia)
|Also called||Subaru Outback Sport
Saab 9-2X (2004–2005)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan
|Engine||1.5 L EJ15 H4
1.6 L EJ16 H4
2.0 L EJ20 H4
2.0 L EJ20 H4 (t/c)
2.5 L EJ25 H4
2.5 L EJ25 H4 (t/c)
|Wheelbase||2,525 mm (99.4 in)|
|Length||4,415 mm (173.8 in)|
|Width||Sedan: 1,730 mm (68.1 in)
Hatchback: 1,695 mm (66.7 in)
|Height||1,425 mm (56.1 in)|
|Curb weight||1,390 kg (3,064.4 lb)|
Subaru introduced the "New Age" Impreza to Japan in August 2000. Larger in size compared to the previous iteration, the sedan increased its width by 40 millimetres (1.6 in), while the hatchback notably increased by just 5 millimetres (0.2 in)—placing the two variants in different Japanese classification categories. The coupe body style from the first generation did not reappear for the new series. However, the off-road appearance package that included contrasting-colored bumpers did carry over forward. Marketed as a separate model line, this North American-only variant was, as before, badged Subaru Outback Sport.
Naturally aspirated flat-four (boxer) engines comprised the 1.5-liter EJ15, the 1.6-liter EJ16, the 2.0-liter EJ20, and the 2.5-liter EJ25. Turbocharged versions of the 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines were offered in the WRX and WRX STI models. STI models featured a more powerful 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. WRX models featured a 2.0-liter boxer engine until 2005, after which they switched to the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine.
Although the headlamp styling of the "New Age" Impreza was considered polarizing, improvements to the car brought greater mainstream acceptance. Subaru updated the Impreza's fascia in 2002 with more rectangular headlamps. In 2005, Subaru introduced a second facelift which introduced Subaru's new corporate face—including the controversial "jet intake and wings" grille design.
An anomalous relative to the second generation Impreza is the Saab 9-2X. Manufactured by Subaru between 2004 and 2005, the Saab retailed only in the North American market for the 2005 and 2006 model years. To better integrate with the Saab design language, the 9-2X received redesign of the front- and rear styling and various minor tweaks.
As with the first generation, the turbocharged WRX and STI variants were available in numerous specifications with a myriad of limited edition variants sold. Subaru issued yearly updates to the WRX and STI, tweaking cosmetics and equipment levels, and also improving performance and handling.
Third generation (2007–2011; GE, GH, GR, GV)
Pre-facelift Subaru Impreza 2.5i sedan (US)
|Also called||Subaru Outback Sport
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan
|Engine||1.5 L EL15 H4 (gasoline)
2.0 L EJ20 H4 (gasoline)
2.0 L EJ20 H4 (t/c gasoline)
2.0 L EE20 H4 (t/c diesel)
2.5 L EJ25 H4 (gasoline)
2.5 L EJ25 H4 (t/c gasoline)
|Wheelbase||2,620 mm (103.1 in)|
|Length||Sedan: 4,580 mm (180.3 in)
Hatchback: 4,415 mm (173.8 in)
|Width||1,740 mm (68.5 in)|
|Height||1,475 mm (58.1 in)
Outback Sport: 1,481 mm (58.3 in)
|Curb weight||1,394 kg (3,073 lb)|
Subaru revealed the third generation Impreza at the New York Auto Show on April 2, 2007—both the standard naturally aspirated Impreza and turbocharged WRX versions were revealed. The 3rd generation of the high performance WRX STI debuted in October 2007. Initially, the new Impreza was offered as a five-door hatchback (designated GH), with the four-door sedan (designated GE) introduced in 2008. The wide-body variants of the hatchback and sedan are labelled GR and GV, respectively. Dimensionally, this version is wider by 56 mm (2.2 in) and increases track by approximately 38 millimetres (1.5 in). Although first adopted by the STI, the wide-body platform was later utilized by the standard WRX range.
The third series of Impreza is slightly longer, wider and offers a longer wheelbase. Two Subaru traditions were discontinued with the new model: the parking light switch atop the steering column is no longer present, and for the first time the windows have frames to improve noise, vibration, and harshness levels. Subaru made an effort to control the weight of the new chassis. Despite the increase in size, stiffness, and safety equipment, the car's weight is similar to the previous generation. The front suspension uses a MacPherson strut setup, while the rear features a new double wishbone suspension.
Flat-four gasoline engines in the naturally aspirated tune comprised a 1.5-liter EL15 producing 80 kW (107 hp), the 2.0-liter EJ20 with 110 kW (148 hp) and 196 N·m (145 lb·ft), and the 2.5-liter EJ25 with 127 kW (170 hp). Turbocharged versions of the two latter engines were fitted to the WRX and WRX STI versions as discussed later. Subaru introduced a flat-four diesel engine, designated EE20 at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Sales began in several European countries from early 2009, with the 2.0-liter turbo diesel engine of 112 kW (150 hp). Two models are available as of July 2009, 2.0 TD and 2.0 TD Sport.
In the Japanese domestic market the range comprised the 1.5-liter 15S, plus the 2.0-liter 20S and turbocharged S-GT, both using the 2.0-liter engine. Japanese dealers retailed the hatchback initially, with the sedan body variant arriving in autumn 2008 as the Impreza Anesis. This generation represented the first time that the Impreza was no longer in compliance with Japanese government regulations concerning exterior dimensions. Japanese specification models are fitted with an engine start button.
Subaru Australia released the third generation hatchback in September 2007. Naturally aspirated 2.0-liter versions fell under the R, RX and RS trims, with the turbocharged 2.5-liter reserved for the WRX. The sedan body style came later in 2008, paralleling the hatchbacks's model range.
North America received only the 2.5-liter models. Released to the United States market for the 2008 model year, the model range consists of the 2.5i, the turbocharged WRX, and the Outback Sport that Subaru marketed as a separate model line. The naturally aspirated models are electronically limited from surpassing 190 km/h (120 mph). For 2009, a new 2.5i GT trim arrived to the market with the turbocharged 167 kW; 227 PS (224 hp) engine from the 2008 model WRX (this 2009 WRX received a boost in power). While automatic transmission was not available with the WRX, the 2.5i GT did gain an optional four-speed automatic. In the Canadian market, the base Impreza 2.5i received upgrades for the 2009 model year, including rear disc brakes, electronic stability control, and body-colored door handles—features previously only found on the 2.5i Sport and more expensive trims.
In Israel, the Impreza is denoted as the B3, and three styles are offered: the B3 1.5, with a 1.5-liter engine, the B3 2.0 and the B3 2.0 Sport, both with the 2.0-liter engine. Four-door and five-door models are available for each engine type, ranging from the basic R class, to the medium RX and top RXI class.
Indonesian-specification versions were initially only available as the hatchback style, with the sedan arriving in 2011. The 1.5R and 2.0R could be ordered with a dual-range five-speed manual, or four-speed automatic transmission. However, in Singapore and Thailand, the Impreza 1.5 R, 2.0 R, and 2.5 WRX are also offered as four-door sedan. The WRX STI trim in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand can be ordered with the dual-range six-speed manual, or five-speed automatic if WRX STI A-Line is available.
Safety of the car has been increased with range wide inclusion of electronic stability control as standard in many markets. When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the US crash-tested the five-door Impreza, the organization granted the Impreza the highest ranking available. ANCAP in Australia tested the Impreza where it scored 34.66 out of 37 points, or the full five-star rating in the occupant safety crash test; the Impreza also scored a four-star pedestrian safety test.
The Impreza range received a facelift in late 2009 for the 2010 model year, gaining a new grille insert.
Subaru debuted the turbocharged WRX performance variant of the third generation series alongside the mainstream naturally aspirated models on April 2, 2007. For this generation, most markets adopted the abbreviated name "Subaru WRX", although the Japanese and North American markets retained the full "Subaru Impreza WRX" title. The 2.5-liter EJ255 engine is largely unchanged internally. Changes in the engine compartment consist primarily of a fourth generation Legacy GT style intake manifold and intercooler. The TD04 turbo remains from the previous generation, however it has been adjusted to fit the new intake design. Power output consists of 169 kW (227 hp) and 320 N·m (236 lb·ft) from its 2.5-liter engine. It was offered in either a five-speed manual, or 4 speed automatic. The five-speed manual transmission was changed to the same found in the fourth-generation Legacy GT. The rear limited slip differential has been discarded in exchange for the new VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control) system. The weight of the car also has been lightened and gives the WRX a 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) time of 5.8 seconds. In contrast, curb weight of the standard Impreza model is around 27.2 kg (60 lb) heavier. For the US market, the WRX was offered in "base", Premium, and Limited trim levels. In Australia, the WRX is available as a sedan or hatchback. An optional premium package adds the satellite navigation with DVD player and 7-inch screen, leather upholstery and a sunroof.
In response to criticism that the third generation WRX suspension is too soft, and needing to keep on par with rival car companies new releases, Subaru issued several changes in 2008 for the 2009 model year. The EJ255 engine received an output boost to 198 kW (265 hp) and 331 N·m (244 lb·ft) of torque by swapping the previous TD04 turbocharger to an IHI VF52. This lent to the car now achieving a 0-60 time of just 4.7 seconds, as tested by Car and Driver. In addition, the updated model received altered springs/struts, sway bars, and Dunlop summer tires to improve handling. Exterior cosmetic changes included the 2008 WRX Premium aero package, STi spoiler (Hatchback only), updated grill with WRX badge, and darker Gunmetal colored wheels as standard equipment. Interior changes consisted of aluminum pedals, silver trim around the shifter, red stitching on the shift boot and seats, and a red WRX logo embroidered on the driver and passenger seat.
Further changes in 2010 for year model 2011 saw the WRX gain the wide-body shell from the STI, as well as the addition of quad muffler tips with diffuser. The new model gains 15 kilograms (33 lb). Firmer rear sub-frame bushings and wider 17-inch wheels contribute to improved traction.
Debuting at the Tokyo Auto Show in October 2007, WRX STI versions build further on the standard WRX cars. The STI available in Japan is fitted with the 2.0-liter EJ207 engine with twin scroll turbocharger generating 227 kW (308 PS) and 422 N·m (311 lb·ft) of torque. Export markets receive the higher-displacement 2.5-liter EJ257 unit with the single-scroll VF48 turbocharger rated at 221 kW (300 PS) and 407 N·m (300 lb·ft) of torque. The turbocharger directs air through a larger top-mount intercooler which has lost the red "STI" that was on previous generations. The STI (3,395 lbs) is heavier than the WRX (3,174- 3,240 lbs depending on trim) due to a more robust transmission, rear differential and other chassis reinforcements.
Like the standard WRX, the third generation model was shortened to "Subaru WRX STI", with the Japanese markets notably abstaining from this convention. To differentiate the STI from the regular WRX, Subaru opted to manufacture the STI with a wider body and therefore track—as noted by the flared wheel arches. Furthermore, Subaru utilized aluminum suspension components for the STI. Electronic modifications include a multi-mode electronic stability control with "normal", "traction", and "off" modes; Subaru Intelligent-Drive (SI-Drive) with three modes: "intelligent", "sport", and "sport sharp"; and multi-mode driver controlled center differential (DCCD). The DCCD enables driver to switch between manual and automated torque distribution ratio of the center differential. This distribution can vary from 35/65 to 50/50 front/rear.
The STI hatchback was released in the United States in March 2008.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI Group R4 entered 2012 FIA Asia Pacific Rally.
In 2010 for the 2011 model year, the WRX STI became available as a four-door. The most noticeable feature on the STI sedan is a large rear spoiler. Australia also received the 2011 model year STI as a sedan to complement the hatchback released in 2008. Australian STIs were offered in standard form, plus the STI spec.R. An electric sunroof, leather upholstery, satellite navigation, and BBS wheels are standard on the spec.R, while Recaro seats are optional.
A facelift of the STI arrived in 2010 for the 2011 model year, distinguished by a new front bumper. Tweaks to the suspension—stiffer springs, larger anti-roll bars, new pillow ball bushings on the front lower arms, as well as wider standard tires—had the effect of improved handling.
- Subaru WRX STI Takumi (2008)
It is a concept vehicle based on the Impreza WRX STI hatchback with upgraded springs and shocks, revised suspension bits, lightweight 12-spoke wheels, undisclosed engine tweaks and a slightly reworked exterior.
The vehicle was unveiled in Motorsport Japan 2008.
- 20th Anniversary Edition WRX STI (2008)
It is a limited (300 units) version of Impreza WRX STI hatchback for Japan market, with a new set of coilovers with retuned springs and shocks, thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, 18-inch aluminum wheels, white body colour, black lip spoiler, Recaros leather seat with red stitching, a commemorative plaque on the center console, new set of door sills.
- WRX STI spec C (2009)
It is a limited (900 units) version of Impreza WRX STI for Japan market. It included engine, suspension, and body parts improvement over the regular model. The ball bearing on the turbine axle was modified to reduce friction, the ECU retuned for better response, and an intercooler water spray fitted. The cross member, suspension and power steering were also improved for better handling and body rigidity. An aluminum hood, laminar window glass, and a lighter battery helped to reduce weight.
- WRX STI A-Line (2009)
It is a version of WRX STI with a five-speed semi-automatic, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter. The vehicle went on sale initially in Japan and Singapore, and later also in Hong Kong, and later in Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia in 2011.
- WRX STI 330S / WRX STI Type UK, WRX STI 380S
They are versions of Impreza WRX STI for the UK market, with specific tuning by Prodrive. WRX STI 330S includes increased engine power to 330 PS (243 kW; 325 hp). WRX STI 380S includes increased engine power to 380 PS (279 kW; 375 hp), new wheels, an upgraded body kit. The vehicles were unveiled in British Auto Show.
Subaru announced, on September 10, 2008, that the 380S variation would not be produced, due to homologation and specification difficulties. However, the regular 330S model did enter production as the "WRX STI Type UK".
- WRX STI R205
The R205 was a complete car from STI; the ‘R’ signifying the ‘road’. Based on the Impreza WRX STI, the model utilised technology developed through STI’s participation in the Nürburgring 24-hour Race to the full. As the name implies, focus was given to the car’s performance on public roads in its development in order to create the best road-going car possible. As for the engine, maximum output was increased to 320PS and the maximum torque to 44.0 kg-m by the introduction of such components as a special ball bearing twin scroll turbo. In addition, Brembo 18-inch discs and callipers were installed on the front and rear brakes. With regard to the exterior, aerodynamic devices including STI front and rear under spoilers were fitted. In order to further enhance the ‘flexible yet elegant driving feel’ that STI aims for, a newly developed Flexible Draw Stiffener was installed along with STI dampers/springs and Flexible Tower Bar. As a result, the car could achieve exceptional vehicle manoeuvrability, which made the car react smoothly to the driver’s intention.
- WRX STI Special Edition (MY 2010)
It is version of Impreza WRX STI for North America market, similar to Japanese STI Spec C. It included stiffer suspension and a thicker stabilizer bar for better handling, seven twin-spokes gray 18-inch alloy wheels, downgraded manual air conditioning, a four-speaker stereo instead of climate control and 10-speaker premium audio on the regular WRX STI.
- WRX STI tS, WRX STI A-Line tS (2010)
It is a limited (400 units) version of Impreza WRX STI sedan for Japan market.
- Cosworth WRX STI CS400
It is a limited (75 units) version of Impreza WRX STI for the UK market. It included a Cosworth-tuned version of the standard STI engine rated 400 PS (294 kW; 395 hp), upper mesh grille with piano black finish on the top frame, modified front bumper with "Cosworth" emblem on the lower mesh grille, 18-inch alloy wheels, lip front spoiler, rear waist spoiler, Bilstein struts, Eibach springs, AP Racing's larger diameter ventilated front brakes with six-piston calipers, Recaro leather seats with "Cosworth" label, piano black center console panel, "Cosworth"-badged floor mats.
The "Cosworth WRX STI CS400" was announced in late May 2010.
- WRX STI S206, WRX STI S206 NBR CHALLENGE PACKAGE (2011-2012)
- WRX STI A-Line type S (2011)
It is a version of Impreza WRX STI A-Line 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback for Japan market.
- Impreza G4 STI (concept; 2012)
It is a version of Japanese model of Subaru Impreza (4th Gen) G4 2.0i-S with: STI Front Under Spoiler, STI Sport Muffler (Prototype), STI Side Under Spoiler (Prototype), STI Flexible Tower Bar, STI Rear Trunk Spoiler (Prototype), STI Low Down Spring (Prototype), STI Skirt Lip, STI 18-inch Aluminum Wheel, (Prototype), STI Shift Knob - CVT (Prototype), STI Stainless Steel Mesh Brake Hose (Prototype). The vehicle was unveiled in Tokyo Auto Salon 2012.
- Impreza WRX STI Group R4 (2012)
- WRX STI, WRX STI spec C, STI A-Line type S Package (2012)
Change to Japanese models of Impreza WRX STI sedan and 5-door hatchback included:
- New design 18-inch alloy wheels from WRX STI, WRX STI A-Line
- available A-line equipment options including premium package (premium tan interior, BBS 18-inch forged alloy wheels) for 6-speed manual transmission models
- trunk garnish in body colour (4-door sedan)
Change to Japanese models of Impreza WRX STI spec C included:
- 4-door sedan model available
- option deletions including rear wiper, fog lamp, large rear spoiler on 17-inch cars (4-door sedan)
- 17-inch cars include full auto air conditioning manufacturer option
- 17-inch cars include head rest and 3-point seat belt option at rear centre seat
Change to Japanese models of Impreza WRX STI A-Line type S Package included:
- Large rear spoiler (4-door sedan)
- exclusive bucket type front seat in alcantara/leather, red stitching
- floor console lid and door arm rest in alcantara
- BBS 18-inch forged alloy wheels
- RECARO bucket type front seat manufacturer option
- brembo 17-inch front brake disc with 4-piston caliper, 2-piston rear caliper manufacturer option
The vehicles went on sale in 2012-07-03.
- WRX STI tS Type RA, WRX STI tS Type RA NBR CHALLENGE PACKAGE (2013)
Fourth generation (2011–present; GP, GJ)
2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport Premium Hatchback
|Also called||Subaru WRX
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4–door sedan
|Engine||1.6 L H4 (gasoline)
2.0 L H4 (gasoline)
2.0 L H4 (t/c diesel)
2.0 L H4 (t/c gasoline)
|Wheelbase||2,644 mm (104.1 in)
XV: 2,635 mm (103.7 in)
|Length||Sedan: 4,580 mm (180.3 in)
Hatchback: 4,414 mm (173.8 in)
|Width||1,740 mm (68.5 in)
XV: 1,750 mm (68.9 in)
|Height||1,465 mm (57.7 in)
XV: 1,570 mm (61.8 in)
|Curb weight||1,320 kg (2,910 lb)|
4-door and 5-door models were unveiled in 2011 New York International Auto Show.
US models went on sale as 2012 model year vehicle. Early models include a choice of 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback body, 2.0-liter DOHC (148 hp) engine, 5-Speed manual or Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifting 6-speed manual mode. Trim package included base 2.0i, 2.0i Premium, and 2.0i Limited.
Japan models went on sale in 2011-12-20 at Subaru dealerships. Early models include a choice of 4-door sedan (as Impreza G4) or 5-door hatchback body (as Impreza Sport), 1.6-liter DOHC FB16 (1.6i, 1.6i-L) or 2.0-liter DOHC FB20 (2.0i, 2.0i EyeSight, 2.0i-S, 2.0i-S EyeSight), five-speed manual or Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). There is also a bigger station wagon with different bodywork, called the Subaru Levorg. The Levorg is going on sale in April 2014 and was first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Remaining nearly the same size as the previous series, the new model is lighter and more fuel efficient, plus is claimed to be better packaged. The 2012 Impreza received longer wheelbase that provides more interior room for passengers. The Impreza hatchback rear head-and-legroom is impressive; two adults can ride in the back of the Impreza with comfort. Whereas, in the hatchback, the rear 65/35 split seatbacks fold down, offering 52.4 cu. ft. of cargo space.
Higher quality materials are fitted throughout the interior, and due to its larger exterior dimensions as defined by Japanese government regulations, the Impreza is an upmarket product in Japan. It is now almost exactly the same dimensions as the first and second Subaru Legacy (1990-1999).
The third generation high-performance WRX variants will continue on in production until new versions will be released in early 2014. As of 2014, Subaru has decided to move away from pairing the WRX and WRX STI under the Impreza brand name, but unlike Subaru's promise to making the WRX and STi models being a totally unique model, they instead chose to simply alter the Impreza's body, and chassis. Subaru has also decided to not produce a WRX or WRX STi wagon as had been previously offered. The wagon made up approximately 50% of US WRX and WRX STi sales. 
In addition to the regular models, Subaru also offered the Impreza Sport Hatchback in the Premium and Limited trim levels. The so-called American Impreza Sport (not to be confused with the JDM regular hatchback with the same name) has the rugged style with side spoilers, roof rack, different style alloys, and availability of two-tone colors. However it also has the normal ground clearance, unlike the new XV. For the Premium model grade, buyers can choose 5 speed manual or Lineartronic CVT, while the Limited is only come with CVT.
EyeSight consists of two cameras with one on each side of the interior rear view mirror, that use human like stereoscopic vision to judge distances and generally keep tabs on the driver. The system can help maintain a safe distance on the highway, a lane departure warning system, a wake up call when traffic lights change, and even keeps an eye out for pedestrians. Autonomous cruise control system has been integrated into the EyeSight feature as a driver safety aid. This feature is initially available only in Japan, but was expanded to US models of other vehicles, beginning with 2013 Legacy and Outback models.
Subaru XV Crosstrek
Subaru demonstrated the Subaru XV concept vehicle in 2011. Based on a raised suspension version of Subaru Impreza 5-door hatchback, the XV concept offered aluminum alloy wheels with silver spokes, black rims and clear blue center caps; Electro Yellowgreen body colour, silvery white leather interior upholstery at seats, mesh in selected interior areas with yellowgreen piping, multifunction display with navigation, car audio, and vehicle information in the center panel; EyeSight driving assist with LCD monitor between the two combination meters and stereo cameras, 2.0-liter four cylinder Horizontally-Opposed DOHC engine, Lineartronic CVT, 245/45 ZR19 tires. The vehicle was unveiled in Auto Shanghai 2011.
Badged Impreza XV in Japan, this model went on sale in Japan on 2012-10-05. Early models include a 2.0-liter BOXER engine, Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
Early European models include a choice of 1.6-litre petrol, 2.0-litre petrol, 2.0-litre Diesel engines; 5-speed manual (1.6 petrol), 6-speed manual (2.0 petrol, 2.0 Diesel), Lineartronic CVT (1.6 petrol, 2.0 petrol) transmission; idle engine start stop (standard in petrol engine models, optional in Diesel engine models).
In North America, the XV is sold as the Subaru XV Crosstrek and was unveiled in 2012 New York International Auto Show. The US model went on sale in 2012 as 2013 model year vehicle. Early models include a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter BOXER engine, five-speed manual or available second-generation Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The Subaru XV Sport Concept (2013) is a version of Subaru XV with Front Bumper (Prototype), Bilstein Suspension (Prototype), LED Driving Lights (Prototype), STI Flexible Tower Bar (Prototype), Side Under Spoiler (Prototype), STI Sport Muffler (Prototype), Fender Arch Protector (Prototype), Enkei Designed 17-inch Aluminum Wheels (Prototype), Recaro Front Seat (Prototype), Brembo Brake & Drilled Rotor (Prototype). The vehicle was unveiled in Tokyo Auto Salon 2013.
The Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid (2013) is a version of Subaru XV Crosstrek with permanent magnet AC synchronous motor rated 15 PS (11 kW; 15 hp) and 65 N·m (48 lb·ft), Lineartronic CVT transmission, Nickel hydride batteries, 225/55 R17 tires. The vehicle was unveiled in 2013 New York International Auto Show.
Production of Subaru XV began at Tan Chong Motor Assemblies Sdn. Bhd (TCMA) in Malaysia was set to began in January 2013, with annual production of 5000 units. Production began in 2012-12-20.
This model is the first of the WRX line to deviate from the EJ-series engine, using the new 2.0L FA20DIT, which has direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger. On all previous models with the EJ-series engines, the turbocharger was located near the right hand side firewall, close to cylinder #3. With the new FA20DIT, Subaru has instead decided to fit the turbocharger at the front of the car, close to the serpentine accessory belts. There is a very robust aluminium skid plate that protects the unit from any road debris or curbs.
This model retains the same engine as the previous generation, which is an EJ257 with dual AVCS.
The Impreza chassis has been more successful in rallying than Subaru's previous contenders. Prior to the introduction of the Impreza into World Rally Championship racing in 1993, the Subaru World Rally Team had fielded its larger mid-size Legacy. However, with the rest of the rally competition increasingly shifting towards smaller and lighter chassis, Subaru introduced the smaller Impreza, immediately achieving a podium on its debut on the 1993 1000 Lakes Rally. To jumpstart its early rally efforts, and to develop the Impreza into a competitive rally car, Subaru teamed up with its current preparatory firm, British motorsports company Prodrive, in 1989.
Immediately following the first overall WRC event win for both the fledgling Subaru team and its young driver, the late Colin McRae aboard a Group A Legacy on the 1993 Rally New Zealand, the Scotsman's team-mate and childhood idol, 1981 World Rally Champion, Ari Vatanen of Finland, went on to finish second in the debut rally of the first ever factory Impreza. New recruit for the following season, 1990 and 1992 World Champion, Carlos Sainz brought the Impreza its inaugural victory on the 1994 Acropolis Rally.
The Impreza brought Subaru three consecutive WRC constructors' titles (1995–1997, the latter season the first for the newly introduced World Rally Car class) and a driver's championship for McRae in 1995, the late Richard Burns in 2001, and the Norwegian, Petter Solberg in 2003.
Another evolution of the Impreza WRC made its debut in the 2007 Corona Rally Mexico. Unfortunately, the team had several major problems with reliability as the car experienced mechanical difficulties in almost every rally from its first.
Subaru debuted an Impreza WRC in hatchback form for the first time from the 2008 Acropolis Rally onwards, on which event Solberg scored a second place finish. On 16 December 2008 Subaru announced that it would withdraw from the World Rally Championship due to economic problems.
However, the Subaru Rally Team USA is still competing in the Rally America National Championship. Also, there are still several teams using Subaru models in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. Starting in 2006, Subaru of America (SOA), as the official distributor of Subaru vehicles in the United States, participates in the Subaru Road Racing Team (SRRT) with a Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT Spec-B in the Grand-Am Street Tuner class. In 2010, SRRT campaigns a Subaru Impreza WRX STI in the Grand Sport class. In 2011, SRRT switched from the hatchback to a 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI sedan.
In April 2010, a modified third generation WRX STI driven by Tommi Mäkinen set a lap time of 7:55 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is a record for a 4-door car. The Subaru Road Racing Team debuted the Impreza WRX STI hatchback and switched to Impreza WRX STI sedan in 2011 participated to the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series.
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