In the UK the 208/214 bhp Impreza is officially known as the Impreza Turbo 2000. In Australia and New Zealand, the same Impreza is known as the WRX. In Europe and other markets (e.g. South America), the model is known as the Impreza GT. Apart from minor regional variations (climate control instead of air-con, cruise control, automatic transmission, special editions, heated seats etc.), the cars are essentially identical: 2.0 Turbo, 208/214 bhp, and a quoted 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of about 6.2 - 6.4 seconds.
The 280 PS WRX models are also available as official imports in Brunei, Hong Kong and Singapore, and Cyprus. Automatic versions are also available, but only in 250 PS 5 door (wagon) form.
In January 1999 there were 400 STi V coupes officially imported to Australia, in a choice of blue or white. Sold at AU$60k, demand was such that they could be immediately resold at a premium of up to 30%!
In December 1999, the Autralian market was fortunate to receive a further 400 STi models (4 doors) based on the STi VI. Rumours pesisted that this version had been detuned following some blown engines with the pervious STi model, but several independant tests have found the performance of the cars to be virtually identical.
In Japan, home of Subaru Impreza, the standard model is known as the WRX (not to be confused with the Australian WRX). Most of the current 2 and 4 door models produce 280 PS (276 BHP), on Japanese 100 RON super unleaded fuel, and between 240 to 260 lb ft of torque. Acceleration times are close to 5 seconds for the 0-62 sprint, however top speeds are limited by Japanese law to 112 mph. A Japanese gentleman's agreement also prevents any production vehicle producing over 280 PS (276 bhp), hence a number of vehicles quote this as their standard output, but are widely accepted to produce more.. Bypassing the speed limiter and releasing more power from the engine can be simply achieved by certain under bonnet modifications, including changes to the engine management system.
Also available in Japan, are Subaru models modified by Subaru's advanced vehicle division, STi (Subaru Tecnica International). STi are responsible, along with Prodrive in the UK, for creating the WRC cars driven by the likes of Colin McRae and Richard Burns. Over the years, they have produced a number of production models (STi versions 1 to VI), in coupe, saloon and five door format. They have also released a number of limited edition models such as the V-Limited range and the 22B-STi wide bodied Coupe. Specifications for the STi models can include blueprinted engines, with different pistons and crankshaft, closed deck blocks, uprated close ratio gearbox, uprated suspension (i.e. hard!) and brakes, as well as nice toys such as water spray cooling for the intercooler, and driver adjustable differentials. STi engines rev to a 8250 rpm red line whilst the normal Japanese spec WRX's red line at 7500 rpm. Typically, the equipment specification of the Japanese WRX models are higher than that of the standard export models.
The Japanese spec WRX STi is also available as the 2-door coupe "Type R", which has the same equipment as a STi saloon plus driver-controlled diffs, and an intercooler water spray, but no ABS!.
The "Type RA" (Race Altered) is a lighter weight car with some options deleted and deemed the most suitable model in the range as the basis for a rally car. Generally they come without air conditioning, electric windows or radio, but these are available from the options list, and fitted to many road cars. The RA comes with a closed deck block, shorter gearing than standard (150mph at 8,000 rpm!), and rally style vent(s)/flap(s) on the roof.
When imported into the UK, the Japanese specification WRX retail price is approximately 25-100% higher than the standard Impreza Turbo 2000 model, depending on exchange rate, body style and options chosen. More detail on the specification of these cars can be found on the IWOC web site. For more information on importing these desirable cars, see Importing Japanese Cars.
The Impreza Turbo has not been sold to date in the US, partly due to emission regulations, and perhaps also because of the perceived lack of demand for a small-engined Japanese performance car. Instead, the Impreza range is topped by the 2.5RS, with a 165 bhp normally-aspirated engine (which still sports an intercooler intake on the bonnet). This car almost has as much of a cult following in the US and Canada, as the turbo models have in markets where they are available. Due to the excellent interchangability of parts, many owners have imporeved their RS by fitting aftermarket wheels, suspension and exhausts, as well as basic styling features such as spoliers and stickers etc. There is now a flourishing performance market in the US, with both turbo and supercharger conversions available.
However, all this is due to change for the year 2001 (MY2002 in the US!), when factory turbo Imprezas are due to be sold from Subaru dealers across the continent. No firm details are yet known regarding price and specification, but it is most likely to be based on the export models that the rest of the world recieves (~220bhp).
The "Outback Sport" is the Impreza 5-door with 2.2 litre engine, slightly increased ground clearance, two-tone paint, hood scoops, and various sport utility vehicle options as standard.
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