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The Classic Tale of the Saabaru
In 2005 Saab wanted a compact vehicle to sell in North America against products like the Audi A3 and Volvo V50. At the time GM owned Saab completely and had an influential ownership share in Subaru. To fill the gap in Saab’s lineup, the company began to sell a version of the Subaru Impreza wagon with Saab family styling front and back as well as a more premium interior. Other than that, the vehicle was mechanically similar to the Subaru and features the Impreza’s basic body shell.
Like the Impreza, the Saab 9-2x was offered with the regular 2.5-liter horizontally opposed engine as well as the WRX’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four. In 2006, a few 2.5-liter turbocharged vehicles were produced and to this day are the rarest of the model line.
Street Legal Rally Car
For 2002, Subaru sent its rally-inspired WRX to North America. Based on the Impreza, the WRX brought in a new era of compact performance cars thanks to its all-wheel drive capability and a turbocharged horizontally opposed engine.
Subaru has just taken the wraps off of the 2015 WRX STI and it is more than just a WRX with a giant wing.
Freezing in the Woods has never been so Fun
“You are going to stand in the middle of a forest, in the dead of winter, for hours on end, to catch a glimpse of 30 cars driving by?”
Yup. This is winter rally racing and to those not involved in the automotive culture, spectating at such events sounds downright insane.
This week, AutoGuide revealed its Utility Vehicle of the Year, while a pair of auto shows kept plenty of automotive enthusiasts glued to our YouTube channel. From the LA Auto Show, the unveiling of the Subaru WRX drew excitement while viewers also wanted to catch the first glimpse at the 2015 Nissan GT-R and GT-R Nismo.
Watch the videos below and subscribe to the AutoGuide YouTube channel here.
Back when Ken Block still worked with Subaru, he built an outrageous WRX STi for the 2009 SEMA Show with a TRAX system. Clearly it inspired some enthusiasts to do the same, albeit three years later.
The 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX you’re feasting your eyes on isn’t the same body style that Block used, but the effect is all the same. American Track Truck, Inc. equipped the WRX with a Dominator Track System so it could perform on the snow, slush, ice, mud, swamp, marsh… you get the point. While Subaru has been synonymous with rally racing over the years, this might just be a tad over the top. Continue Reading…
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]
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 .
After having just set the Isle of Man TT record, Subaru can now add another to its list after driver David Higgins smashed the official hillclimb record at New England’s highest mountain, Mt. Washington over the weekend.
The record for the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington “Climb To The Clouds” Hill Climb was last set in 1998, with a time of 6:41.99 in the legendary Audi Quattro. This year, Higgins shattered the record in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI with a time of 6:11.47—handily beating out Travis Pastrana’s unofficial 6:20.47 record from last year, as well.
As per the 6,288-ft. mountain’s reputation, weather provided additional difficulties. ”It was a very big challenge because the road was still wet in spots and would turn very slick suddenly,” said Higgins. “With the clouds the visibility was so low I could hardly see past the hood of my car.”
The Subaru Rally Team moves on to Maine for the New England Rally, through the weekend of July 15th and 16th, where Higgins will defend his honor as Rally America’s points leader.