Subaru today unveiled the all-new Subaru Impreza 2.5i and its performance icon cousin, the Impreza WRX at the New York International Auto Show. With new, more sophisticated styling and two new body styles, a 4 door sedan and a 5-door model, the Impreza 2.5i and Impreza WRX breathe new life into the compact performance market. The new Impreza models take a giant leap forward in terms of comfort and utility, while delivering the handling, performance and Subaru Symmetrical AWD that made the original Impreza such a success. Also new for 2008, is the availability of Vehicle Dynamics Control VDC on both the Impreza 2.5i and Impreza WRX.
In 2001, Subaru changed the face of the performance market with the introduction of the original WRX, a car that could deliver turbocharged, rally-bred performance in any driving condition. The all new 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX follows that lead with an all-new breed of AWD performance car. The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX now rides on a 3.7 inch longer wheelbase 103.1 inches that improves ride, interior space and utility.
The new WRX is powered by a 2.5 liter flat four Boxer engine delivering 224 horsepower and 226 Lb. ft. of torque and is 50 lbs. lighter than its predecessor. The engine has been modified to produce more torque at lower rpm. With its broader and richer torque curve, the 2008 WRX delivers a smooth stream of power, improving drivability and fuel efficiency.
The new Impreza chassis has improved rigidity and ride comfort with the addition of high tension steel at key structural points. The new design results in a lower overall weight for the body while the longer wheelbase allows for improved ride dynamics as well as increasing interior room and lowering levels of Noise Vibration and Harshness NVH.
To further improve handling, the engine is now placed slightly lower in the chassis, lowering the Imprezas center of gravity. In addition, the new chassis improves crash worthiness and provides crisper handling and a stiffer platform. While the new Impreza WRX remains a driver's car, the new WRX represents a better combination of capabilities, maximizing performance, comfort and delivering an advantage over the competition.
In conjunction with the new chassis, the Subaru Impreza and WRX feature an all new double wishbone rear suspension. The suspension allows for less intrusion into the cargo area, providing a wider and deeper luggage compartment. The new suspension also delivers improved ride refinement, decreased road noise, and a quieter cabin.
MODERN EXTERIOR DESIGN
The all-new 2008 Impreza and Impreza WRX are now available in two new body styles, a 4 door and a 5 door. The new 5 door design is clean and elegant, with a sweeping single curve roofline that flows into an aerodynamic rear spoiler. An all new frontal design features the new spread wing logo design at the top of the widened grille. The new grille creates a connection to the Subaru aircraft heritage and places a focus on the Subaru star cluster logo.
Both exterior designs focus on detail touches such as the new clear rear lenses on the 5-door, distinctive curved fog lamps and an inward sweeping chrome embellishment that flows the grille design into the bumper. An aggressive lower spoiler adds to the sporting character of the design.
The 5 door features a distinctive character line that sweeps upward at the rear, giving the car an agile look. The short rear overhang, new clear rear taillamp lenses and a vertical chrome bar combine to integrate the side character line into tail.
The 4 door Impreza and Impreza WRX are unique to the North American market. The new 4 door is 4.5 inches longer than the previous sedan and 6.5 inches longer than the new 5 door models. The extra space provides for a much larger trunk that can accommodate three Tour-size golf bags. The rear seats feature a 60 40 rear split folding mechanism that further enhances cargo capacity. On new 5 door Impreza models, the wide and flat load floor can accommodate two Tour-size golf bags with the rear seats in the upright position.
The design of the 4 door models creates an improved road presence, with a wider and sharper front design giving way to a crisp side body crease. The rear of the 4 door Impreza is set apart by red lamp lenses and a chrome strip below the trunk line that visually widens the tail.
On WRX models, a new available aero kit denotes the WRX rally car heritage. The 5 door WRX features a rear under body diffuser and single chrome exhaust pipe. The 4 door WRX features dual chrome exhaust tips and a rear trunk spoiler.
RICH INTERIOR DESIGN
The interior design of the 2008 Impreza places a new emphasis on comfort and space. The new sweeping twin cockpit embraces occupants and brushed aluminum look insets flow into the center stack. The center console shape adds to the airiness of the cockpit design, aided by the sculpted door panels and improved headroom. The door panels house molded recesses that can accommodate 24 oz. soft drink bottles, as well as loose items.
Despite retaining the same exterior width as the previous generation Impreza, the new 2008 Impreza features an interior with two inches more front shoulder room than before.
So you want the big news with the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX? It makes the same power but is lighter, roomier and still rips to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds.
This is a rare combination. These days, every new model weighs more than the one before, and manufacturers keep adding power to compensate. Subaru has done exactly the opposite. Through the same clever engineering that brought the WRX to the U.S. in the first place, the Japanese car maker has minimized the weight of this more spacious, all-wheel-drive WRX to retain its head-snapping acceleration.