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It has to be said that the Impreza Turbo, as a rally car, has rewritten the record books in the past decade, but I'm here to talk about the road car.
Just like the rally car, the road car has had its fair share of success. 1999 saw the Impreza take the JC Power/BBC Top Gear Manufacturers' Gold Award for the second year running. Now this has to say something about the car and the potential that comes with it. As well as this it has won Japanese car of the year many times over.
The Impreza Turbo shares the same flat four 'boxer' engine and the perfectly linear All-Wheel Drive system with the rally car. This means that the Impreza road car has huge amounts of power and grip. However, unlike the rally version, the road car only has around 218bhp. Nevertheless, this car is no slouch when it comes to delivering the goods. Subaru claim a 0-62mph time of just 6.3 seconds and a top speed of around 143mph. I think you'll agree that these are some damn good statistics considering this car is effectively a family saloon.
Due to its performance, the Impreza has been put up against some stiff competition in its time, yet it has never failed to disappoint. Both in its sheer speed or its huge amounts of grip. Auto Express once said; "… its phenomenal grip cheats the laws of physics". Now that is some statement!
On to the other stuff…
Exterior styling is largely the same as that of the rally car, except for the two extra doors on the saloon version. All of the stuff that makes this car what it is has been left alone. You have the huge circle fog lamps (no to some peoples' taste) set into the lower valance. Along side these are the indicators, with the main lights directly above both.
The car also boasts discreet side skirts and a not so discreet rear spoiler, but the main show is on the bonnet. You have the stylish, yet purposeful bonnet scoop coupled with some fairly discreet vents. The vents are situated towards the front of the bonnet, while the scoop is located further up nearer the windscreen.
As I have said the vents and the scoop are both stylish and purposeful, but why? Well they both play quite an important role. The scoop allows cold air to be forced in directly over the intercooler. While the vents allow hot air to escape from the engine bay.
Without these, the engine would suffer from what is known as 'heat-soak'. This is where the engine is forced to use the hot air from the engine, instead of cooler denser air, thus hampering performance. Therefore, if the car is to perform at its best it is important to get the hot air out and he cool air in!
What about the interior?
Well, urm, it has one… It has to be said that the interior is not the best to look at. Although the optional leather does make a bit of a difference, and is a lot easier on the eye, as well as adding a bit of a luxury feel.
True that the interior may not be the best to look at, but it does what it should and that is, allow the driver and passengers to get through their journey. What's important here is that you should judge a book by its cover. Yes does appear to be made of cheap plastic and the like, but it is purposeful.
Ok so the interior is bland, but this car is Japanese and lets face it, the Japanese have never been up there with the best when it comes to interior styling. Their main priority is functionality. After all the whole point of this car isn't about home comforts, it's about pure performance. Something that the Japanese do know how to do, and well! Just look at the Nissan Skyline - this is a true Japanese super-car…
All the colours of the rainbow… Well not quite.
The Impreza Turbo is available in six different colours: Pure White, Bright Red, Mica Red, Royal Silver Metallic, Green Metallic, and Dark Mica Blue. Not the best range I agree, but hay just go with the one that suits you and be done with it!
I thoroughly recommend that you but this car, you won't be sorry. As soon as I can afford one I'll be buying it. Although it'll be a second hand one because the new one is not the most pretty car on the road, but that's another review…
Some useful stuff there but there could be more. What's the fuel economy like, how big is the boot etc. Sam.
Infinity 12.11.2001 23:24
Not quite sure why Ciao have moved this into the wrong section. It was written under the Turbo 2000 section, but that seems to have disappeared and Ciao have put it in the Estate section. Oh well the mind boggles. :-S Justin...