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You’ve been lusting after if for two long weeks, suffering for want of that which keeps you going. The withdrawal symptoms have probably been unbearable; we’d hazard to bet you’re shaking like a James Bond martini still in the mixer. You’ve been patiently waiting and finally we’re happy to oblige your carnal yearnings… but for God’s sake leave your trousers on!
It’s hard to believe but this is the fourth installment of “Ask AutoGuide.” For an entire month now our certified experts have provided the finest motor-vehicle shopping advice available for the price. Our crack team of automotive oracles has been at our readers’ beck and call for 30 straight days, though admittedly it’s been mostly “beck” since they don’t have phones. We’re still trying to sort out the billing situation to get their Jitterbugs connected again.
2012 is starting to look like the year of the new hachi roku as both Toyota and Subaru ready for an onslaught of marketing events for their joint sports car. For the upcoming Tokyo Auto Solon, held from Juanuary 13 to 15th, two special Subaru BRZ’s will be on display.
First the BRZ Concept STI will feature suspension upgrades, Brembo brakes tower bar, front and rear spoilers, sport muffler, 18-inch rims, as well as prototype carbon-fiber components including carbon front hood and a carbon roof.
Next, Subaru has collaborated with aftermarket tuner Prova for a BRZ Black Edition. Despite carrying over a name meant for elite AMG cars, Prova and the fellow tuning community will no doubt continue to create exciting new products for the new sports car.
As for factory Subaru, a new Impreza G4 STI will join the exhibition floor with all manners of performance upgrades. A GT300 BRZ and the outgoing GT300 Legacy will join the floor as well. What’s more, Subaru has announced its motorsport resurgence with the entry of an Impreza STI in the Nurburgring 24 as well as the return to rally competition with its participation in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Discuss this story at SubaruBRZForum.com
Subaru announced today that they’re stopping sales and issuing out a recall on 2012 models of the Impreza, Legacy and Outback due to complaints about increased brake pedal travel. Around 3,000 cars will be recalled with notices being sent to vehicle owners within the next couple of days. A stop-sale was also put into affect on November 25th with Subaru making it a priority to fix the 3,000 recalled vehicles and those still in inventory.
Those that own the vehicles have no serious reason to be concerned, as the brakes do work but the pedal travels farther than it should due to a faulty master cylinder. There has been no failure issues or accidents as a result, and the fix will take about an hour at a local dealership.
Subaru also believes that the production line in both Indiana and Japan’s plants have already been fitted with the new brake cylinders. Subaru expects the sales freeze to be lifted by early next week, once they’re assured all vehicles affected on the lot are fixed.
Since the inception of the Subaru WRX and STI models, they have thus far been linked to the ho-hum Impreza compact sedan/hatch. While that saved Subaru a lot of money in developing a new platform in the past, and they have done a phenomenal job transforming a boring family car into a supercar hunting sportscar, for some the Impreza link is this car’s only downfall.
Subaru too wants its WRX and STI models to now be taken more seriously and hence from 2013 are going to unveil new versions which will be based on a unique platform.
We first reported on this news back in July, when this was just in a speculation stage. But now it seems the WRX and STI will form their own models, separating them from the Impreza.
So while there is a brand new Impreza being launched for the 2012 model year, the old (or shall we say current) WRX and STI will soldier on for one more year.
As for the 2013 WRX and STI models, lots is still being speculated about what powertrain this car will have. One rumor circulating the web is that it’ll be powered by a 1.6-liter, boxer four-cylinder motor with a massive turbo-charger, and it will be capable of producing 270-hp. Could the next STi sport around 350-hp? Only time will tell.
GALLERY: 2011 Subaru WRX STI
[Source: Car and Driver]
For 2012, the outgoing Subaru Impreza Outback Sport will merely consist of a limited set of trim options before it will make way for a completely redesigned model known as the Subaru XV.
While it features the requisite all wheel drive, a taller ride height of 8.6 inches, and body cladding, the XV’s appearance is a grand departure from its predecessors and really provides a splash of excitement for the Impreza range.
Available under the hood are a 1.6-liter or 2.0 liter boxer-4 engine with Subaru’s new start/stop technology. The XV will also have a CVT transmission to optimize its fuel economy.
While it is unclear whether the name “XV” will be kept, expect to see the Outback’s new replacement in showrooms by 2013.
GALLERY: Subaru XV
Subaru may decide to have a separate WRX line different from the Impreza family in a move to create a more dedicated performance range for the automaker. The new Impreza goes on sale this fall and is expected to be a significantly higher volume model than any of its predecessors. Subaru may chose to separate the WRX and Impreza for the first time in nearly 20 years.
With plans to launch a new sporty car in 2014, there is speculation that the new performance model will actually be the next generation WRX. “Apart from a few nuts and bolts, every part on the WRX will be unique. Even the engine and body. Obviously the WRX’s platform will be inherited from the new Impreza, but it will be radically modified and significantly shortened,” according to a Subaru insider.
Motor Trend has also speculated that the new WRX may use a 1.6-liter four-cylinder boxer engine, with a massive turbo, producing as much as 270-hp. The new model would be sized more like a subcompact and would feature extra-wide tires. Subaru is also said to be considering returning to the World Rally Championship from which the Impreza WRX got its name. Subaru pulled out of the series in 2008 because of the economic downturn .
Subaru’s version of the Toyota FT-86 front-engine, rear-wheel drive sports coupe will finally debut at this December’s Tokyo Auto Show. Toyota will sell its version as a Scion in the U.S. As for the Subaru model, well, according to the latest reports, there won’t be a powerful, turbocharged STI version.
Subaru has planned to produce a version of the STI, but it won’t be like previous high-powered STI’s that typically offer massive turbos. The issue with turbocharging the engine is that it goes against the vehicles original plan to be naturally aspirated, according to Subaru.
Power will be supplied by Subaru’s new generation 2.0-liter, four-cylinder boxer engine. The same powerplant will be used in the redesigned Subaru Impreza arriving this fall. The engine will be positioned 5-inches lower than in the Impreza to keep weight and handling as low and as balanced as possible. Both a manual and automatic transmission will be available.
No official price has been announced, however the sporty coupe will likely sell in the mid $20,000 range.
[Source: Automotive News]
Approximately 50,000 Sorrentos from 2011 could lose power because of a transmission intermediate driveshaft that could fail, according to four complaints received by the feds. Five more complaints allege that a closely-related driveshaft failure could cause the transmission to break.
Approximately 84,000 2011 Subaru Imprezas are being examined for a control arm that could fail due to excessive corrosion. Seven complaints have noted that this has happened at speeds of 50mph or greater, and two complaints resulted in a loss of vehicle control. No recalls have been issued yet.
[Source: Detroit News]
While we’re thrilled to have the new 2011 WRX STI on sale here, as usual, Subaru Japan has one-upped the U.S. offering with the new 2011 WRX STI Spec C. The Spec C packs 304-hp and 317 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0L powerplant thanks to a revamped ECU and ball-bearing twin-scroll turbocharger.
In addition to the revised turbocharger and ECU, Subaru equips the Spec C with a mechanical rear limited-slip differential and the front chassis has been reinforced with a new cross member. To lighten up the load on the WRX, the hood has been swapped out for an aluminum version, there is a smaller battery and lightweight 18-inch wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires. Optional equipment includes the ever-popular Recaro seats.
GALLERY: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C
Subaru just revealed what they had been hiding under that sheet the past little while at the LA Auto Show. It was the Subaru Impreza Concept.
A thinly veiled mockup of the future Impreza sedan, the car looks a bit like a bigger Mazda3. Actually it looks closer in size to the Mazda6. It has definitely bulked up. No matter, it looks just fine, sporting what we’d have to say is closer to WRX trim than a base Impreza has any right to wear.
GALLERY: Subaru Impreza Design Concept
See the official press release plus live video from the LA Auto Show after the jump:
With seven years of roaming the streets (in Japan), the second generation Subaru Impreza body became a familiar sight to many. And now that the third generation Impreza STi is out, we’re expecting to see less and less of the second gen bodies. But leave it to the crazy tuners in Japan to come up with this idea: taking a second generation model and outfit it with a front end from the the current model.
Some of us here at AutoGuide think it’s just too weird. The second-gen STi is notorious for its boxy shape and large headlights while the new generation is more streamlined and bubbly. Pairing the two together doesn’t quite flow well. (Some other crazy folks here in the office are big fans and made me write this sentence).
Complementing the transformation is also a full body kit from Charge Speed, which definitely gives the car a much sportier and more aggressive profile. Thumbs up for being unique, but much like the R35 front end on an R34 Skyline, we think they should belong on their respective bodies.
GALLERY: Car Service Hiro Converted Subaru Impreza STi
[Source: Farm Of Minds]
As we reported two weeks ago, GST Motorsports set a new Super Lap Battle record around Firebird’s main racing circuit. Well, the boys from Hayward, California have done it again, this time setting a new Redline Time Attack lap record at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s outside road course, posting a best time of 1-minute 39.657 seconds.
“The entire GST Motorsports crew worked very hard to provide me with a capable car,” said The G-STig, the mysterious and anonymous driver of GST’s famous Time Attack Subaru Impreza L, rumored to be famed Japanese Time Attack driver Tarzan Yamada. “The car ran very well for me all weekend and all the changes we have been working on are keeping us moving in the right direct. I only wish we were able to run the car on a clean track at full power to show everyone just how well it’s coming together”
Mike Warfield, owner and engine tuner of GST Motorsports, had this to say about their accomplishment in Vegas. “Given the limited seat time we have been able to give our driver to date and some of the major changes we have made to the chassis I am extremely happy with the teams progress thus far and really look forward to the next event where we hope to be able to turn up the wick considerably. To take the win here this weekend with so much more left on the table really gives us something to look forward to.”
In fact, GST’s amazing Impreza ran a 1:38.1 during qualifying earlier in the day, and in-car data suggests a 1:36.8 was well within grasp had track conditions not deteriorated during the final so-called Super Session.
For in-car video evidence of GST’s flying 1:38.1 qualifying lap, check out the video after the jump.
[Source: GST Motorsports]
While Subaru-fans in North America love the STI-tuned Impreza WRX, they are deprived of other STI cars offered in Suby’s home-market of Japan. One such model is the STI-tuned Legacy Wagon, sold as the Exiga 2.0 GT STI in Japan.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter boxer engine, the Exiga 2.0 GT STI makes 221-hp and 240 ft-lbs of torque. Additional highlights include an STI sport exhaust, 17-inch wheels, a leather shift knob, Alcantara seats, a subtle STI aero kit and a MOMO steering wheel.
This was also our first chance to see Suabru’s new Impreza WRX STI R205. The R stands for “Road Sport” and positions this model as the top STI in Suby’s lineup. Under the hood there’s a new turbo and ECU, along with a new exhaust system to deliver 316-hp and 319 ft-lbs of torque. The suspension has also been upgraded, as have the brakes, with new shocks and springs, as well as a a new front strut tower bar and lower arm brace. The brakes are six-piston front and four-piston rear units, with 18-inch cast aluminum wheels and special Bridgestone Potenza RE070 245/40/18 tires. Outside the R205 gets some new aerodynamics include a new front lip spoiler, new rear diffuser and rear spoiler, while inside the car remains stock except for some R205 badging.
The entire package has also been tested on the Nürburgring, where Subaru ran an R205 spec STI at last year’s 24 Hour race.
Just 400 Impreza WRX STI R205 models will be offered in Japan at a price of 4,510,000 yen (roughly $49,000).
Sadly, but not surprisingly, neither of these will be offered in North America.
GALLERY: Subaru Legacy Wagon STI
GALLERY: Subaruy Imreza WRX STI R205
If the recession is slowly beginning to end, it’s companies like Subaru that are leading the charge. The Japanese automaker recorded its best sales ever in July with 21,839 units sold, compared to 16,271 units during the same period last year. That’s an increase of 34 percent!
While a lot of credit can be given to the fact that in July Subaru brought the new 2010 Legacy and Outback to dealerships, both the Forester and Impreza out-paced the new models. Outback sales were up 33 percent over last July, while Legacy sales were up 34 percent. The Forester posted a 36 percent increase while the Impreza wracked up an amazing 41 percent climb. In fact, the only model to suffer decline was the Tribeca SUV, which is sold in such small volume anyway that it doesn’t have much of an effect on overall sales.
“Our sales reflect that our brand has solidly connected with customers,” said Subaru of America executive VP and COO Tom Doll. ”We have been consistent with everything we have done to build not only safe, durable, fun-to-drive vehicles, but also the Subaru brand.”
Official release after the jump: