Car Culture, Featured, Modified & Tuning

5 Colors Subaru Should Add to The 2017 WRX and STI

With the next generation of Subarus slowly making their way to production, we decided to put together a list of our favorite Subaru colors and fire up the ole’ Photoshop and see what they’d look like on the new batch of cars. Here are our top 5 colors we think Subaru should add to the mix.

#5 Acadia Green. This color on the 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, aka The Unicorn, is among the rarest. It’s even on our list of the rarest Subarus ever.

#4 Plasma Green. As seen on the 2014 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. This is one of my favorite colors Subaru has come up with in recent years. On the 2016 STI, it looks even better.

#3 Tangerine Orange. This color was seen recently on the Crosstrek and WRX, but was retired with the release of the latest models.

#2 Sonic Yellow. One of the biggest fan favorites among Subaru enthusiasts was last seen in 2003.

#1 Steel Blue Mica. This color was seen on the Subaru Impreza RB5 back in 1999. When the question “Which is the best color Subaru ever made?” is asked to Subaru enthusiasts, this one is usually near the top.

From : SubieNews

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2008-, Car Technology, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru recalls 26,000 Imprezas for Backup Camera Gremlins

Sure, you may not need a backup camera, but if it’s not working when it’s supposed to, it’s still a pain.

Subaru issued a recall for 26,564 examples of the 2017 Impreza in both sedan and hatchback guise. The vehicles in question have production dates between Sept. 12, 2016 and Feb. 23, 2017.

The issue isn’t actually related to any mechanical part of the vehicle — instead, it comes from Harman’s infotainment unit, which underpins Subaru’s Starlink system. The backup camera display might not show up properly.

It could be a black screen due to a memory error during the initial boot-up, or the screen might freeze if too much is happening at the same time. Either way, when putting the car in reverse, the camera might not show up on the screen when it’s supposed to, which can technically increase the risk of an injury or collision.

After discovering reports of a blank screen when putting the car in reverse, Subaru collected failed parts and sent them back to Harman, which investigated the issue and told the automaker how to fix it. Thankfully, the fix is easy — Subaru will fix the issue with a simple software reflash, which should take about an hour at any dealership.

Subaru notified dealers of the issue on February 24, and it will eventually mail out notifications to owners via first-class mail. The schedule for owner notification has not yet been established, however.

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Car Culture, Featured, History

6 Amazing Cars That Prove Prodrive Is Awesome

Generally associated with the world of rallying, Prodrive has recently revealed its latest motorsport project with the Renault WRX team. So, now seems like a good time to look over the illustrious past of this respected engineering firm.

The niche of developing bespoke vehicles for motorsport has been the forte of the British-based engineering firm Prodrive ever since the mid-1980s. At first tackling the world of rallying, the company soon branched out to circuit racing and with its expertise it wasn’t long before the biggest names in road car production sought Prodrive’s knowledge for tweaking even the most extreme of supercars. One example is the hydraulics within the active aero on the McLaren P1, with Prodrive developing the mechanisms for both the front and rear aero packages.

Often associated with many Rothmans-branded rally legends and multiple Subaru projects, Prodrive has asserted itself as a highly regarded advanced engineering firm that has built some of the most capable machinery ever to grace rally stages and race tracks. Having recently announced that the company is getting into bed with Renault by producing a 600bhp monster to compete World Rallycross, it doesn’t seem like Banbury-based Prodrive is slowing down.

Before the company’s latest project is unleashed, let’s take a stroll back down memory lane to highlight the all-time greats from the revered motorsport legends.

Subaru Impreza Group A

You can’t mention Prodrive without including the likes of Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg in the same breath, all of whom at some point drove a Group A Impreza to WRC success.

Prodrive’s relationship with Subaru started with the Legacy, before attention was switched to the Impreza. The 555-branded Impreza won its first event in 1994 at the hands of Carlos Sainz before taking the WRC contructor’s title in 1995. Further Prodrive Imprezas subsequently took the 2001 and 2003 constructor’s titles to add to the rally pedigree of the Subaru road cars.

Using a 2.0-litre flat-four boxer engine tuned to around 330bhp, the ‘555’ Group A car had the help of a VF15 RHB52 turbocharger which reached maximum boost (three bar) at just 2500rpm. Sporting a set of gold rims now synonymous with Subaru’s motorsport heritage, the first rallying Impreza was a quintessential piece of rally history, vastly orchestrated by the minds at Prodrive.

Ferrari 550 GTS

In 2001, Prodrive decided to turn its hand to track racing and that sports cars would be the perfect route in. Having purchased a standard road-going Ferrari 550 Maranello, the engineers set about race-prepping the Prancing Horse to form a GTS racing car. Running its own private race team, Prodrive used the Ferrari up until 2004, winning numerous races in the FIA GT and American Le Mans series.

The highlight of this escapade came in 2003 when the 550 raced to a class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Very few engineering firms would have the talent or drive to take on such a challenge without a manufacturer’s backing, but the sheer excellence of workmanship invested in the Ferrari truly paid off for the firm, seeing as Aston Martin subsequently hired the outfit to head its own motorsport division soon after.

Subaru Impreza P1

The cooking versions of the first generation Impreza have a place within many of our hearts and potentially the greatest variation was fettled by Prodrive. Known as the P1 (Prodrive One), this limited-edition rally car for the road was strictly a UK model with only 1000 examples built. Choosing the WRX Type R STI chassis due to its stiffer coupe layout, the suspension setup was tweaked to deal with the quality of British roads and power was also increased to a healthy 276bhp.

Built during an era when two British drivers won WRC titles behind the wheel of Prodrive-built rally cars, the P1 is a true B-road hero and has begun to appreciate in value due to its ties with the motorsport world. It also showed that Prodrive could easily turn its hand to road car tinkering, opening the door to some serious interest from other aspirational/jealous manufacturers.

Isle of Man TT Challenge 3 Subaru WRX STI

 

The Isle of Man record up until 2014 for a four-wheeled vehicle was set by a race-prepared Rover SD1 in 1992. Subaru decided this needed rectifying, and sent a mostly standard WRX STI around the road course. Safely beating that record, the company decided to call in Prodrive to produce a one-off time attack monster to have a pop even at the bike record.

Using a heavily modified 2.0-litre powertrain from Subaru’s WRC programme, the car developed 592bhp which when combined with active aero and a completely bespoke suspension setup made for a car that almost matched the suicidal speeds of the bikes. With rally driver Mark Higgins at the wheel, Prodrive’s creation managed an average speed of 128.73mph – an astonishing feat considering the bike record is 133.962mph.

Unfortunately, Subaru’s ‘lease’ at the TT has expired so it may be a while before we see Prodrive take on the mountain course again.

Aston Martin DBR9

 

After Prodrive’s Le Mans success with the 550 GTS, Aston Martin drafted the firm in to reassert the marque back to the top of sports car racing. Competing within the FIA GT1 category from 2005-2011, the DBR9 took its name from the successful DBR1 racer of the 1950s which won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. This success was furthered by the DBR9 which took class victories at Le Mans in 2007 and 2008. Unlike many of the bespoke motorsport creations from Prodrive, the Aston retained the basic chassis and engine from the DB9 road car but used carbonfibre bodywork, front and rear diffusers and a large rear wing.

The 5.9-litre V12 was tuned to 600bhp which – when coupled with the 1100kg kerbweight – resulted in a 0-60mph time of just 3.4 seconds. 16 of these endurance racers were made and provided a platform for Aston Martin to develop its motorsport involvement, with the Vantage GTE furthering success on track as well as inspiring the latest generation of the company’s hardcore road cars like the Vantage GT8.

Alfa Romeo Brera S

After initial reviews suggested that the stunning Brera was a bit caught between being a sports car and a comfortable GT, the UK branch of Alfa Romeo decided that the V6-powered beaut needed to be shunted more toward the former. After gaining permission by Alfa HQ, Prodrive was given the job of moulding the Brera into something a more performance- focused.

And so spawned the creation of the Brera S (the S meaning ‘Speciale’), with a retuned chassis sporting new Eibach springs, Bilstein dampers and overall tweaks in geometry which brought the car on par with its contemporaries. Trumping its rivals tenfold in terms of styling but with a much improved drive, the Brera was finally the car it should have been from the factory.

Only 500 examples were produced and the Alfa should now make for an appreciating limited-edition future classic in the coming years. Like the P1, this is a Prodrive project ‘normals’ can actually buy.

What’s your personal Prodrive highlight? Do you agree with our list? Comment with your thoughts and suggestions below!

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1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Featured, History, Top 5

Our 5 Favorite WRX STI Models

Subaru Tecnica International (STI) began as the motorsports division for Subaru in 1988. Amidst growing success in the World Rally Championship (WRC), the first STI model emerged in 1994, and its rally-proven performance has influenced the Subaru lineup ever since. The first Subaru Impreza WRX STI had 10 more horsepower than the standard WRX, stiffer suspension, and better brakes. In the 20 years since then, STI models have remained true to the first car’s winning formula of affordability, durability and high performance. Now that Subaru is poised to launch the new 2015 Subaru WRX STI, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite rally-bred STIs over the years to honor the occasion.

1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STI

Widely known as the ultimate STI halo car, Subaru unleashed the Impreza 22B STI in 1998. It was intended to be a road-going version of the racer that won the 1997 FIA WRC title, Subaru’s third consecutive victory in the series. The year also intersected with the 40th anniversary of the Subaru brand.

The 22B featured a 2.2-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine modified from the regular 2.0-liter STI powertrain, with power ramped up to 280 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque. Subaru made the track wider with new wheels and tires, added flared fenders and rocker sill extensions to the bodywork, and increased the inclination of the rear-wing’s main plane by 17 degrees to produce more aerodynamic downforce. A twin-plate ceramic-disc clutch and close-ratio gears in the transmission made effective use of the increased power to help the car record a seriously swift 4.3-second sprint from 0-60 mph. Power peaked at a lofty 6000 rpm, and the engine would happily rev to its 7900-rpm redline.

Although the engine was perhaps the most distinctive feature of the 22B STI, Subaru did not overlook the car’s handling dynamics. Upgraded rack-and-pinion steering with a quicker ratio and a specially tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers were also part of the rally-based package. Bob Hall of Wheels magazine in Australia remarked that “nobody was quite ready for [the 22B’s] adhesion and cornering competence. In dynamics alone, the 22B comes very close to matching the classic Porsche 928 for chassis balance. It’s really that good.” High praise, indeed.

While the Impreza 22B STI’s performance set the formula for future generations of the WRX STI, the car’s looks were just as influential. The shape itself grew out of Prodrive’s Impreza RS, but the now-iconic livery of Sonic Blue Mica paint and 17-inch gold BBS wheels came from the original 555-sponsored Impreza rally cars of the mid-1990s. The trademark hood scoop and cherry-red STI badge continue to be visual signatures of the WRX STI even today. Subaru built just 424 units of the Impreza 22B STI, with 400 for Japan and the remainder for the export market.

2000 Subaru Impreza S201 STI

In April 2000, Subaru launched a 300-car run of a model inspired by the Electra One concept car. Called the S201 STI, the car set itself apart from the conventional WRX STI with a recalibrated engine computer, more turbo boost, a higher-capacity air-to-air intercooler and a larger, free-flowing exhaust, all of which pushed output to 300 hp.

The S201 STI also stood out in a crowd thanks to its bold body kit. A new front fascia included a wide lower grille opening and a much deeper bumper. New side skirts and a bi-level rear wing further transformed the exterior, while the car’s cabin featured a titanium shift lever, aluminum pedals and blue interior trim. The STI boffins also fitted the car with a hood scoop, a limited-slip front differential, height-adjustable suspension, red brake calipers, and 17-inch forged-aluminum RAYS wheels.

Though sold only in small numbers, the S201 is quite distinctive and is a seriously memorable version of the WRX STI.

2001 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Following the debut of the second-generation Impreza, the Subaru Impreza WRX STI launched in Japan in late 2000. The so-called “New Age” generation of STI proved to be quite popular worldwide, thanks to its excellent driving dynamics, standout looks, and everyday usability. It would also be the first STI to make it to U.S. shores, although when it arrived here in 2004, it had an engine different from the one with which the car had been introduced in Japan.

The second-gen Subaru Impreza WRX STI continued to use a 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine, but it featured a significant bump in power. Upgrades to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder included lightweight hollow camshafts, variable valve timing, and electronic throttle control, which together helped increase power and response lower in the rpm range to compensate for turbo lag. To cope with the heat of increased performance, the STI contained an intercooler 30 percent larger than the unit used in the standard WRX, and a larger hood scoop directed air to it.

When all was said and done, the STI engine developed 280 horsepower and 274 lb-ft of torque, an impressive step above the 250 hp and 245 lb-ft by the engine of the standard WRX. In keeping with the car’s rally-bred performance, a close-ratio, six-speed gearbox was available as an option. A computer-controlled center differential varied torque distribution to the front and rear wheels, while Brembo brakes delivered fade-free stopping power.

When the U.S. model of this car arrived, it featured a 2.5-liter boxer engine that made a burly 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. This gave it the power to prevail over the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which brought only 271 hp to the table with its 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four engine. Added power aside, the STI was also the better, more tractable day-to-day road car. As we said in a comparison test between the STI and a Mitsubishi Evo, “[The STI] is arguably more complete than any race-bred road car in history, and its owner needs to make very few sacrifices to enjoy it.”

2005 Subaru Impreza Prodrive RB320

As the builders of Subaru’s competition cars for the FIA World Rally Championship, the engineers at Britain-based Prodrive knew their way around a fast Subie. These Prodrive-built Impreza racers eventually racked up three championships in the WRC with Colin McRae, Richard Burns, and Petter Solberg behind the wheel.

Prodrive has also been behind numerous hot Subaru production models over the years, and in 2005, it brought to market the RB320, a specially prepared Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The high-performance RB320 had a Prodrive-engineered package for the boxer four-cylinder that produced 320 hp, plus an upgraded chassis setup for a lower ride height with Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers. All of this made for a truly special STI, not to mention an aggressive appearance thanks to its mesh grille and 18-inch black wheels.

Only 320 units of this high-performance car were built, and all were sold in Britain. The RB designation honored Richard Burns, who died of brain cancer in 2005 just four years after winning the WRC championship with Subaru and Prodrive.

2011 Subaru Cosworth Impreza CS400

Prodrive isn’t the only British racing company with links to Subaru, as Cosworth – the noted British builder of purebred racing engines – helped create the Cosworth Impreza CS400.

Cosworth had cast the aluminum blocks for Subaru’s rally engines, so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to prepare a total engine package. The turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four under the hood of the regular WRX STI was thoroughly upgraded with new crankshaft bearings, steel connecting rods, stout pistons with a lower compression ratio, new head gaskets and fortified head studs. These modifications helped the engine withstand increase boost from the new turbocharger, and the further addition of free-flowing intake and exhaust helped produce 395 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, a bump of 90 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque over a U.S.-specification STI engine.

Cosworth also applied its magic touch to the WRX STI’s chassis. Eibach coil springs lowered the ride height by a half-inch, Bilstein dampers controlled the suspension action, and hard suspension bushings delivered sharper handling response. Heavy-duty, six-piston AP brake calipers produced stronger, crisper action from the front brake discs, and the 18-inch wheels were wrapped in super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tires.

The Cosworth Impreza CS400 was never sold in North America, but Autocar got to sample the car in Britain. After the CS400 reached 100 km/hr (62 mph) in a scant 3.7 seconds and reached the end of a quarter-mile right on the back bumper of an Audi RS6, the magazine proclaimed this car to be “the fastest, most powerful and most expensive Subaru Impreza that’s ever been offered for sale in the UK.” Cosworth limited production to 75 cars — but had it not, the $83,000 asking price would likely have limited sales anyway.

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2008-, Featured, News&Reviews

Subaru Sees Impreza as Gateway to Young Buyers

Safety, reliability, all wheel drive could sell them on it

Subaru began airing commercials including “More,” shown, for the 2017 Impreza on national TV this month.

A puppy, a college-aged kid and the ability of a car to stop itself.


These are some of the images Subaru of America is using to reach millennials in its national ad campaign for the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza. The company began airing three 60-second spots on national TV this month.

The campaign for the Impreza sedan and hatchback underpins Subaru’s goal of a 9 percent sales increase this calendar year and a ninth-straight year of record U.S. results. “Subaru is a much larger brand than the last time the Impreza launched four years ago,” said Alan Bethke, Subaru of America’s senior vice president of marketing.

He acknowledged the compact competes in a tough, high-volume segment filled to the brim with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze.

“But Subaru still has opportunity for growth,” he said.

The fifth-generation model is significant for the automaker, Bethke said. It’s the first Impreza to be built in the U.S., and the first Subaru to use the company’s strategic flexible underpinning, called the Subaru Global Platform.

But he says the Impreza is important for another reason: “It’s a gateway to young shoppers,” Bethke told Automotive News. The 25-30 age group is the single largest for Impreza sales.

Core brand attributes such as safety, vehicle longevity and all-wheel drive are found in the Impreza campaign, Bethke said, noting that these “appeal to millennials.

“Getting these buyers when they’re young is a great way to keep them in the Subaru family,” he said. 

The TV spots, dubbed “More,” “Moving Out” and “Rewind,” are similar to previous Subaru spots in that they each have an emotional pull based around a vehicle. 

Subaru worked with Minneapolis-based agency Carmichael Lynch on the ads. 

“Our relationship started in 2007, which in ad years is quite a long time, but we’ve had a lot of consistency with them,” he said, adding that the campaigns have become more refined and advanced. 

The automaker also rolled out a content-driven site called MeetAnOwner.com, designed to feature owners of various Subaru models of different ages, lifestyles and backgrounds to provide a reference point for nonowners. Bethke believes millennials find third-party reviews important when making purchases, and they rely heavily on word-of-mouth. 

In addition to the website, #MeetAnOwner will have a social media presence on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, the automaker said. 

Sales of the Impreza, which began reaching dealers in late November, totaled 5,105 units in January in the U.S., a 17 percent increase from last year.

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Car Culture, Car Technology, Featured, News&Reviews

A Self-Driving Subaru Impreza May Be Coming Soon!

The Subaru Impreza may soon be among the self-driving test vehicles roaming the streets of LA. The automaker was recently granted a DMV permit to conduct self-driving vehicle tests in the state of California.

The Tech Portal reported that Subaru has recently joined the long list of car companies with self-driving permits in the state of California. The Japanese automaker will join twenty-two other companies including the likes of Tesla, Nissan, Ford, Nvidia, Faraday Future, and Google’s Waymo.

California is one of the favored destinations for carmakers who want to conduct public self-driving tests due to the state DMV’s permit program introduced way back in September of 2014. The companies need to only pay the very low price of $150 for them to put their autonomous vehicle on the road to test and collect the necessary data. Additionally, all of the test data must remain public and should be disclosed to the DMV after the end of their testing.

The Japanese automobile manufacturer now has advanced driver assist features thanks to its “EyeSight” options. This technology can monitor traffic movement, optimize cruise control, and warn the drive when they sway out of their lane. Also, there is also a Pre-Collision Braking feature that will automatically apply full braking force in case of an emergency situation. According to Digital Trends, these features are currently available on certain Subaru Impreza, Crosstek, Forester, Legacy, WRX, and Outback models.

The EyeSight technology will likely reach new heights now that Subaru is all cleared for on-road autonomous vehicle testing in California. The Japanese automaker plans to debut several new functionalities, including traffic jam autonomous steering and navigation. The new features will allegedly work in traffic at speeds of up to 40 mph. Additionally, Subaru also hopes to provide semi-autonomous driving capabilities by 2020. The cars will be able to control lane switching and follow basic roads around curves all without human assistance.


The self-driving Subaru Impreza and other vehicles to be tested by the Japanese carmaker will soon be testing on the public roads of California. Are you excited for a self-driving Impreza or would you rather have a Crosstek, Forester, Legacy, WRX, or Outback model? Share your thoughts and comments below!

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- 1992, 1992-2000, 2001-2007, 2008-, Automobiles, Featured, History, Limited Editions

Why Every Car Enthusiast Needs To Drive A Subaru Impreza

It doesn’t look like much, but the Subaru Impreza has one of the strongest fanbases and reputations in the internet car world. Drive one hard and you’ll understand why.

(Full Disclosure: I’ve never owned a Subaru Impreza, but I’ve driven a few. Bill Petrow of Broken Motorsports let me drive his runaround for a week. Team O’Neil Rally Schoollet me cut loose in a slightly modified Hawkeye sedan and a Prodrive-built WRC-spec rally car. I didn’t pay a dime, other than for gas in Bill’s car. Thanks, Bill. Come to think of it, I’ve also driven a new Subaru STI for a day across Wales on a press trip set up by Subaru a year back. I got to run a rear-wheel-drive-converted Impreza rally car on a muddy stage at the Higgins Rally School on that same trip. Subaru covered all my costs for those two.)
I get the feeling that Imprezas are often driven for the wrong reasons. When I was growing up in Northern California, I only saw these little sedans getting driven around by crunchy granola types who I think were mostly afraid of putting on snow chains when they drove up to the Sierras. They had lots of bumper stickers. They were basically Corollas that got worse gas mileage. Also they can be quite homely. And their interiors are garbage.

And over the past, ugh, what is this now, five years I’ve been writing about cars on the internet, I’ve mostly seen Imprezas in the performance community getting driven like little muscle cars. The big draw for a lot of Subaru fans is the power you get from Subaru’s turbo motors and the speed off the line of its AWD system. Go to any ski resort and you’ll hear the BRAAAAAAAP of a blacked-out STI clone with most of an exhaust. Go to any rich kid suburb in the Southwest and you’ll hear it, too. Tuned Subarus with boosted boxer motors are fast, and that’s enough for most leadfoot drivers.

My boss used to have a WRX sedan. I think he, like thousands of other mad-at-the-world dudes, just wanted the speed. It’s not hard or expensive to get a Subaru that’s loud and fast, a step up in price and prestige from cheap Hondas on the affordable enthusiast car scale. For a lot of people, Subarus are for bros and lady-bros. You know, these people.

Up until a few years ago I had never driven a Subaru Impreza of any generation, so I only vaguely desired something like an early two-door 2.5RS, mostly because I thought it looked cool. But now I’ve driven everything from a Prodrive-built rally car to a non-turbo ‘Blobeye’ sedan and there’s something deeper about these cars that every enthusiast should know first hand.

This is going to sound weird, but it’s the normalcy of the Impreza that makes it so good to drive. I did a couple hundred miles in that Blobeye I mentioned, road tripping out to Pennsylvania to co-drive in a rally a few years back. The car didn’t have much of anything but lots of room and AWD. It drove and functioned, like I said before, like a Corolla with worse gas mileage.

I had that road trip in mind two weekends ago when I was fully and completely sideways in an almost identical Impreza, a Hawkeye used as a trainer car by Team O’Neil Rally School up in New Hampshire. At its roots, it was still the same plain car too look at and to drive around like any other car.
Huck it into a corner in snow, though, and the car becomes one of the best driver’s cars around.

If you’ve never gone sideways in an all-wheel drive car, you won’t really understand the sensations of it. The feeling and the responses aren’t like anything else you might drive. Turn in to the corner with a big lift off the gas, even a brush of the brakes with your left foot, and the nose of the car dives down and into the turn. Get back on the gas and the car will pull you out of your slide and in to the next bend.

You can do the same trick with a front-wheel drive car, but you always have the feeling there that the car is operating in two halves. You can feel the undriven rear slide out and you can feel the driven front pull you free. An all-wheel drive Impreza doesn’t have that sensation. It feels like the entire car, wrapping around you in a single motion, evenly slips in and out of a corner as one.


There’s no big drama about it. Subarus have viscous differentials, sort of juggling the power around the corners of the car, and it all sort of meshes and globularizes into unified motion. It’s not abrupt. It’s not sharp. It’s creamy peanut butter plastering over all the little holes on a piece of bread. Your little mistakes at the wheel and the little undulations of the road all get processed by the Subaru’s AWD. All it leaves you with is sideways speed.

The sensations were largely the same even when I drove a full-on rally spec car, one owned by O’Neil and built by some Prodrive meachnics out in the midwest. Prodrive, if you’re not familiar with Subaru lore, was the British race shop that built Subaru’s winning World Rally Championship cars. Prodrive gave the world the 555 Imprezas, sideways over crests and on into the collective unconscious.

The dog box transmission whined and the engine thundered when Tim O’Neil, riding shotgun with me, flicked on the anti-lag button. Flames shot out the exhaust. We took off like nothing else. The handling was so neutral, so plain. Like any other Impreza, it made getting sideways in the snow as easy as possible. The big difference was that the torque of the thing hungered for more speed. First. Second. Third. Already too fast on the little slalom/skidpad course O’Neil had laid out. The car wanted to be doing a hundred miles an hour through the woods. Everything on the car was designed to make that happen as quickly and as simply as possible.

Don’t get me wrong. These cars do not fix all drivers. One icy corner did leave me tapping a snow bank, taking some paint off the back bumper of this (eek) reasonably historic car. Subarus make driving like this easy. They do not make it idiot-proof.

I’ve driven all kinds of other performance cars. I’ve been sideways in front-drivers and rear-drivers. I’ve driven more analog, old-school all-wheel drive cars like an ‘80s Audi 4000 Quattro. I’ve driven more digital, new-school all-wheel drive cars like the current Ford Focus RS. Drift cars. Race cars. Off-roaders and ex-military vehicles. Getting an all-wheel drive drift going in an Impreza stands out as one of the most accessible and interesting experiences you can have in a car.

Look past the vapes and flat brim hats of Subaru bro-ism. Leave the hippie associations of Foresters and Outbacks aside. If you’ve never gone sideways with all four wheels lit up, find a way to get yourself behind the wheel of an Impreza.
It won’t seem like much at first, but that’s the whole charm.

From : Jalopnik

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