Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza

Posted on by Terence 4

All this talk about new Subaru models is getting us here at Top Speed pretty excited, so much in fact that we just had to show the all wheel drive Japanese automaker’s setup from this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Being the world’s largest aftermarket car show Subaru pulled out all the stops and brought in everything from an SPT display car showing off all of the automaker’s aftermarket offerings to the ultra ridiculous snowmobile on steroids, Ken Block’s latest creation, the STI TRAX complete with carbon fiber sled in tow.

Subaru at the 2009 SEMA Show

Now those two tuner cars were impressive enough on their own, but when you consider that Subaru also had the infamous white and black Gymkhana car from all those internet videos and the golden boy Travis Pastrana ’s number 199 rally car , Subaru showed off every conceivable application that there is for the STI. So no matter whether you are a do it yourselfer, if you have a wild imagination and want to make lots of smoke or if you want to use the Subaru Impreza WRX STI for what we all grew up watching it do; it is nice to see the automaker providing us with four extremely different applications of this very versatile high performance vehicle.

Check out the gallery below to see all our snapshots from SEMA.

The all wheel drive Japanese automaker Subaru will come to the Los Angeles Motor Show with a Special Edition version of their turbocharged high performance hot hatch Impreza WRX STI, and unlike their last take on the sport compact with the STI Carbon that was more of a softer luxurious ride, this special edition STI could be too hot to handle. The Scooby will be covered in a unique shade of Aspen White and limited to only 125 units, much like when they offered the STI Limited back in 2007. Aside from the frosty paint job, the Special Edition STI will include a variety of suspension components from the razor sharp WRX STI Spec C model from the Japanese Domestic Market. Not only do you get the track ready STI’s thicker rear sway bar, but the bushings are firmer and the shock and spring package has been significantly stiffened at all four corners.

Subaru Impreza WRX STI Special Edition

The Special Edition WRX STI will be about as close as the American market will get to a Spec C from the Japanese automaker as it will also ride on the JDM version’s charcoal colored 18 inch wheels. A while back we had the chance to speak with some of Subaru of America’s representatives and they ensured us that they had seen the errors of their ways when they numbed down the STI into its hatchback only form, but they also promised us that they were going to take steps to make up for it. However if this is any indication of their intentions it is clear that Subaru is skipping the baby steps and taking some pretty significant leaps to return the STI to its performance oriented rally bred heritage.

The STI Special Edition will go on sale in the spring of 2010 for $32,995 ($2,000 less than the standard version).

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Terence

Remember the Formula One wheel that we found in the Enkei booth at the 2009 SEMA Show, well there was one other item on display that was almost as impressive as a 14 inch wide lightweight wheel that is good for turning in at 200 MPH, one of the most aggressive looking Subaru Impreza WRX STi hatchbacks that we have ever seen. Apparently the car was fully built by Design Craft Fabrication for a former motocross race who wanted to trade in his two stroke bike for an all wheel drive turbocharged flat four cylinder STi. With his initial intentions to rally the new Subaru, the exorbitant costs of campaigning a rally car turned his ambitions towards Time Attack on track ambitions.

Silver Bullet Time Attack STi at the 2009 SEMA Show

Design Craft took every opportunity to develop new parts for the customer vehicle, like a V mount radiator and intercooler set up, a set of custom pistons from J.E. to handle the boost generated by a Garrett GT3582R turbocharger and one of the wildest body kits we have ever seen. However there is one piece of the Time Attack STi puzzle that should seem familiar to you, that is if Subaru hadn’t pulled out of World Rally Championship competition. That is because this STi is wearing a legitimate Prodrive WRC wing on the back, and as far as we know it is the only one in America.

The Subaru WRX STI by SPT is a demonstration of what a WRX STI owner can build at home using just the SPT catalog as a source for bolt-on parts. The WRX STI by SPT offers more power along with even sharper handling response, making it the ideal machine for high style street performance or track driving.

Subaru WRX STI by SPT

It is powered by a 2.5 liter DOHC, 16 valve, turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine with Dual Active Valve Control System. The engine delivers a total of 315 hp @ 6,000 RPM (up from the stock 305) and a peak torque of 290 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 RPM.

The concept also features 19 x 8.5-in. Prodrive GT2 wheels finished in Glitter Gold, STI performance springs, an SPT strut tower brace and an SPT lower chassis brace. On the interior there is an SPT boost gauge, a media hub digital music integration system and an auto-dimming mirror.

Press release after the jump.

Everyone knows that driving on snow can be challenging even for driver with lots of experience. But today at SEMA Subaru came with the perfect solution: the WRX STI TRAX - the fastest vehicle specially designed for snow driving.

The WRX TRAX is powered by a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged and intercooled STI engine tuned with a MOTEC M800 ECU that delivers a total of 400 hp and 400 lbs-ft of torque.

The TRAX Concept also features: RECARO SPA ProRacer competition sport seats, carbon fiber door panels, and an onboard fire suppression system, a Yakima FatCat 4 Snowboard Rack, a Yakima Landing Pad rack base, and DC Shoes XFB-C Snowboards.

Press release after the jump.

Posted on by Terence 1

The Subaru WRX STi is always a nice sight to see, and the Japanese automaker had one such example sitting front and center at their exhibit at the 2009 Miami Auto Show. Although Mitsubishi had one of their latest sleeper EVO s on hand at the show, Subaru was displaying the standard version of their high performance in house tuned hatchback. The STi tuned Impreza is highlighted for its 300 HP turbocharged 2.5 Liter flat four cylinder engine and symmetrical all wheel drivetrain that earned the car multiple World Rally Championship titles. After speaking with some Subaru representatives earlier on this year, we learned that they have accepted their fair share of criticism for numbing the 2008 model and promise that the 2009 STi is as razor sharp as ever. There is also the issue with the new STi’s hatchback only body style, but rest assured fans of the traditional four door sport compact version, the car will be making a comeback very soon.

Posted on by Terence 10

If you don’t remember D.C. Shoes cofounder Ken Block’s tire smoking gymkhana antics, then we suggest you take a moment to refresh yourself with his catalog of adrenaline inducing videos with his power sliding sideways Subaru as the star of the show. In a recent interview with Edmund’s Inside Line, Block admits that his first generation gymkhana car was nothing more than an extremely modified streetcar that had gone through a series of complete revisions. The STI started out as a way for Ken and friends to enjoy cross country rallies before dabbling in the world of the Japanese art of autocross know as gymkhana. Gymkhana is like any other time trial that takes place in an oversized parking lot, except there is a lot more rally style sliding in order to get your car around the orange cone even quicker.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Subaru STi

So when Block wanted to get serious about gymkhana, he contact the folks at Crawford Performance and teamed up to produce a race ready 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI . The first thing that the racers did was shed every unnecessary ounce from the STI and then stiffen the chassis with an extensive roll cage. Weighing in at 2,775 pounds, the Crawford car is almost 600 pounds lighter than a stock STI. The weight reduction helps the 565 HP high performance flat four make the Subaru absolutely fly. Almost every part of the stroked 2.65 Liter boxer engine has been replaced in favor of lightweight reinforced pieces. Sitting atop the neon green powder coated charge pipes is a Garret GT35R turbocharger that compresses a maximum of 30 psi of boost to make a total of 590 E85 burning lb-ft of torque.

Ken Block's Gymkhana Subaru STi

One thing that you don’t get an appreciation for with those slow motion pans and rubber burning power slides is exactly how quick Ken Block’s car is in a straight line. First of all launching an all wheel drive turbocharged car can be difficult, you have to get the revs up around 7,000 to keep the turbo spinning and then absolutely dump the clutch so that all four drive wheels can get power without bogging out the engine. But after all the Crawford STI is a racecar and even without the aid of fifth gear it can go from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.0 seconds and run the standing quarter mile in only 10.8 seconds at 123.7 seconds on a set of 275/35R18 BFGoodrich g-Force Drag Radials, now that is 0.7 seconds faster than a Corvette ZR-1 super car, so you know that this tuned STI is fast.

It looks like Subaru is going to go that extra step to set the factory tuned STI apart from more mundane WRX s. The obvious reasoning for the new STIs name is the oversized sheet of lightweight carbon fiber that replaces the factory sheet metal and adds a bit of tuner bling to the turbocharged hot hatchback. This trick is currently being carried out by BMW with their two door M3 , a design cue that makes it almost unthinkable to buy a four door version of the V8 powered Bavarian boy racer. The lightweight roof trick was first incorporated into the Subaru’s then WRC rivals at Mitsubishi with their Lancer Evolution IX MR . The MR used a aluminum roof skin that Mitsubishi’s engineers said had the same effect as lowering the car up to two inches. Taking the extra weight off the top not only lowers the car’s center of gravity, but it also makes the sport compact less top heavy which means that it will be less inclined to roll when tracking deep into the corners.

Subaru already has the razor sharp Spec C , but when they debut the special edition Impreza WRX STI Carbon at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show the Japanese automaker is hoping to attract a new kind of buyer to the Impreza STI family. Aside from the trick carbon fiber roof, which should come at a bit of a premium, STI Carbon’s interior is upgraded with some very exotic suede material. Not only is the upper half of the dash wrapped in the fuzzy fabric to eliminate glare in the windscreen. The Recaro sourced black leather STI bucket seats also get some grippy suede inserts to keep the driver in place when they push the Subaru’s symmetrical all wheel drive system to the limit. Almost every interior surface benefits from red accent stitching that matches the red STI logos embroidered into the car’s seat backs.

Another touch that goes along with the upscale theme is the STI Carbon’s exclusive 5 speed automatic transmission that was sourced from the larger Legacy sedan. Perhaps Subaru’s product planing team feel that those new car customers who would be able to afford the Carbon don’t want to be bothered with a clutch pedal. However being a turbocharged vehicle, the automatic will allow the engine to keep running at maximum RPMs during shifts and eliminate the lag inducing loss of boost that could actually give the STI Carbon an edge over the standard model.

Our chat with Subaru left us sensing that the Japanese automaker is moving their lineup in a much more luxurious direction than it has in current years, now there is nothing wrong with this approach to selling cars, in fact it is a pretty smart one, but what about the boy racer in all of us that lusted after owning the same blue and gold car that Colin McRae raced to multi WRC championships. One of our concerns with the automotive arm of Fuji Heavy Industries withdrawing from the World Rally Championship is that their cars could lose that competitive performance edge, but the entry level Impreza has been replaced by the more spacious Legacy as Subaru’s GT300 competitor in the Super GT championship and a much more mundane version is currently being campaigned in the Koni Challenge Series here in the U.S. which makes sense because even the old WRC car was a Legacy. So with all this attention being paid to the larger vehicles in their lineup what is going to happen to the STi ?

When I told the Subaru representative that my favorite of all time is the mighty 22B STi, he knew exactly what myself, and most WRX enthusiasts, were looking for in the next version of the best bargain sports car on the market. The 22B was built back in 1998 to celebrate the automaker’s 40th anniversary and by that point, multiple World Rally Championships. This special edition Impreza started out as a lightweight WRX RA coupe shell and then had a set of much wider rear arches to match the boxed front fenders that housed special gold BBS wheels, which widened the Subaru’s track and made it look just as bad as the WRC car .

Update 04.01.2010: Official release the new 2010 WRX Sti is introduced at the 2010 New York Auto Show .

Update 04.27.2010: We just receive the first picture of the 2011 Sedan WRX STi caught in the wild, Thanks to Robbie Tigan for the tip!

Continued after the jump.

The Japanese automaker Subaru has just announced pricing for the 2010 Impreza lineup. Prices for the fun to drive all wheel drive four and five door models will start at $17,495 for the 2.5i version that comes equipped with 5 speed manual transmission and will go all the way up to $34,995 for the top of the line factory hot rod STI version that comes with a turbocharged and flat four cylinder engine mated to a six speed manual transmission. Whereas the sporty boosted WRX will go on sale starting at $25,495 for a standard model and rises to $27,995 for the more luxurious WRX Premium.

The Impreza 2.5i, 2.5GT and Outback Sport models add a stylish new grill and an attractive new exterior color called Camellia Red Pearl is available exclusively on the 2.5i and 2.5GT versions. The GT models are powered by a 2.5 Liter intercooled turbocharged Boxer engine that produces 224 HP equipped with an Active AWD version of Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System.

The high-performance 300 HP WRX STI which will be back for 2010 as a hatchback only model will feature the same boxed fenders and black alcantara trim complete with red stitching to dress up the interior as last year’s model.

Press release after the jump.

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