With the latest images of the new Subaru Impreza circling the net this weekend, we thought we would have a look back through the catalogue of Impreza’s that have been available to the UK market since the Japanese invasion back in the early 90’s.
From the classic that is the Impreza Turbo 2000 all the way up to the gen 3 Impreza WRX, there is plenty of choice when it comes to the turbocharged engines that changed the way we looked at the rally scene forever. To begin with over in the UK we were given a taster in the form of the Impreza Turbo 2000, and although impressive it was not quite as precise and powerful as the STI that would become available to our markets after the year 2000, although the lucky Japanese had this available from 1994 onwards. There are however, plenty of reasons that you could get either the UK or Japanese versions and be pretty confident you can push out plenty of performance over quite the distance. With so many garages in the UK having Subaru specialists these days, you will be certain to push out an impressive 350bhp over 20mpg as a daily drive.
The next generation Impreza WRX was always going to struggle to impress quite as much as the initial Impreza’s and it didn’t get off to a great start with a front end that almost nobody fancied. However, for a price the “bug eye” look front end could be changed by tuners and that lead to an increase in sales over the years. Performance wise the “bug eye” left people wanting slightly more, unless they were the Japanese imports which started at 280bhp, and in order for UK models models to exceed that you would need to change engine internals. With bad press flying at Subaru it was time for a change after just two years of the “bug eye”, and in came the “blob eye” to try and restore the Subaru badge back to it’s previous glory. The “blob eye” impressed immediately with a redesigned front end from the team over at Prodrive, and more power was also thrown at the “blob eye” Impreza in order to get enthusiasts tongues wagging again. With such an impressive base from the latest Impreza, serious tuners were able to get the best out of them and this meant these were set to be great little weapons on the track making them quite the competition for the Mitsubishi Evo VIII FQ320.
Next in line was the “hawk eye” edition for the Impreza family. With a bigger capacity engine and more UK limited editions, it seemed that Subaru were on their way to forcing themselves back into the market. With the “hawk eye” being such a good base for modifications it was a popular model among enthusiasts who had the likes of the Japanese RB320 and UK GB270 to start on. The latest available models in the third gen came in April of 2007. This saw the model dropped in Europe and the UK market limited to the five door hatchback version until 2011. This generation was subjected to some of the more powerful standard Impreza’s and perhaps one of the most impressive in some years the Cosworth edition which had an impressive 400hp Cosworth-tuned STI engine, bespoke bodywork with Bilstein struts and Eibach springs, AP Racing front brakes and Cosworth badging on the lower mesh grille.
All of these Impreza’s have their own followings. Whether it is fuel economy for a daily drive or pure power and performance, you always know that the Impreza is likely to impress one way or another. With the latest Images flying around of what could be the newest WRX you could be forgiven saying that the image is not quite up to scratch when you think back to the WRX concept that we had seen before, which impressed a fair amount of Impreza enthusiasts at the time. Performance wise you know what you will be likely to get, a 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine that will of course be 4WD. Other than that there is not a lot on offer in terms of information for the new Impreza so we can only wait until the UK release. Until then though we will all be arguing over which Impreza was the best over the years, hopefully so will you!
Which is your favourite Impreza of all time?
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