First generation – “GC”/”GF”/”GM”
|Assembly||Ōta, Gunma, Japan|
|Body style||2-door coupe
5-door station wagon
|Layout||Boxer Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Engine||1.8 L 110 hp H4
2.0 L Turbo 208-280 hp H4
2.2 L 145 hp H4
2.5 L 155 hp H4
|Wheelbase||2520 mm (99.2 in)|
|Length||4375 mm (172.2 in)|
|Width||1705 mm (67.1 in)|
|Height||1410 mm (55.5 in)
1430 mm (56.3 in) (1999-2001 Outback Sport)
|Curb weight||1220 kg|
Introduced in November 1993, the Impreza was offered in either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) versions and as a four-door sedan/saloon or five-door station wagon/estate. According to a Motor Trend article written March 1992 on page 26, the name of Subaru’s new compact was, initially, to be called the Loyale, displaying an official photograph of the 4-door sedan. In late 1995, a two-door coupe was introduced. The Impreza, like many Subaru-built cars, was equipped with a flat engine, a distinguishing Subaru characteristic. Initial engine choices included 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engines as well as the turbocharged andintercooled 2.0-litre engine. The basic turbocharged motor, the EJ20, produced from 244 PS (179 kW; 241 bhp) to 210 kW (286 PS; 282 bhp) in Japanese market WRX trim depending on model and year. Outside Japan, the turbocharged model was initially rated at 211 PS (155 kW; 208 bhp) and marketed as the 2.0 Turbo, 2.0 GT, 2.0 GT Turbo, 2.0 WRX, or Turbo 2000 AWD in the United Kingdom.
Trim levels were LX, GL and Sport. LX models were front-wheel drive, and powered by a 1.6-litre engine; these were four-door only. GL trim levels were either front-wheel drive (Subaru badged these 2WD) or all-wheel-drive (badged AWD); cars launched in 1993 had a choice of 1.6 and 1.8 flat-4 engines, the 1.6 being available with 2WD, the 1.8 an AWD version only. From 1996, the 1.6 and 1.8 versions were dropped (in the European market), and replaced by a 2.0-litre engine. Sport versions had alloy wheels, and a 2.0-litre engine only. These were “warm hatch” versions which were similar to the WRX, albeit less adorned.
In 1994, Subaru introduced Subaru Technica International (STi) versions of the Impreza WRX in the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM). These models were upgraded from the standard WRX in many categories, including blueprinted performance-tuned engines, transmissions, and suspensions. The STi versions of the Impreza were immensely successful in rallies and popular among street racers. Special edition STi models such as the S201 featured higher power ratings than the standard WRX STi, while later versions of the WRX STi were rated at 280 PS (206 kW; 276 bhp) due to the Japanese manufacturers’ informal agreements around power ratings. Its top speed was electronically limited at 180 km/h (110 mph) and it had a 0–100 km/h time of 5.9 seconds in the UK Impreza Turbo 218 PS (160 kW; 215 bhp) version. 2006 WRX STI claimed 0 to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds. RA (Race Altered) versions of the WRX and STi were also available in the Japanese market. Targeted for race and rally, the RA versions were generally lighter in weight; featuring reduced soundproofing, manual windows, no air conditioning, and added racing features such as more robust engines, driver controlled center differentials, and shorter gearing.
Special editions of the Impreza were very common in Japan and Europe, many coinciding with a significant World Rally Championship victory. These editions included the Series McRae, 555, Catalunya, Terzo, RB5, P1, and 22B, the latter still considered by many to be the ultimate Impreza of all time with its wide arched rally style body.
During this generation, Subaru made a limited edition Impreza Sport Wagon called the CasaBlanca, which had a retro front and rear end treatment, which was inspired by the popular kei car Subaru Vivio Bistro styling package and Subaru Sambar Dias Classic. The Sport Wagon was also offered with the WRX turbocharged engine, and was called the Gravel Express.
The Impreza received an external facelift for the 1997 model year, followed by an interior redesign in 1998, using the new redesigned dashboard from the Forester.
The European 1999-2000 turbo model received further upgrades in the form of more parts from the STi range. The front brakes became Subaru branded 4-pot calipers with 294 mm discs, the wheels having become 16-inch (410 mm) lightweight alloys from 1998 – previously 15-inch (380 mm), vented rear discs, the Sti 4 high level wing was fitted to the saloon, Sti style front bucket seats and firmer suspension. The phase 2 engine now fitted developed 160 kW (218 PS; 215 bhp), an increase of 5 kW (7 PS; 7 bhp) over the previous model.
The story of the North American Impreza is much different than the rest of the world. North American markets never received a turbocharged version of the first generation Impreza (it was heavily rumored in 1998 and 1999). Subaru never had a performance image in North America, so Subaru initially offered the Impreza with the 1.8L engine only, with either front- or all-wheel drive; a 2.2-liter engine became optional in 1995. Subaru later decided to emphasize all-wheel drive, making it standard on every Impreza (and Legacy) from 1997 onwards.
There was a minority that knew of the Impreza’s accomplishments overseas and was very interested in having a high-performance Impreza. To test the waters for a full-fledged turbo model Subaru showcased a turbocharged version of the Impreza at various car shows around the country. The vehicle was named the 2.5RX and is now located in Subaru of America’s Cherry Hill, NJ storage facility. Subsequently the 2.5RS performance model was introduced in 1998 (the same year the 1.8-liter engine was dropped). A naturally aspirated 165 bhp (123 kW; 167 PS) 2.5L DOHC engine and larger brakes, borrowed from the Legacy, were fitted into the coupe body with gold-colored 16″ five-spoke wheels. The 2.5RS also featured several external cues from its overseas brethren such as hood vents, a hood scoop, and a rally-inspired rear spoiler. The 1999 model featured several changes: the newly designed “Phase II” SOHC version of the same 2.5L engine featured a slightly higher peak torque (225 N·m (22.9 kgf·m; 166 ft·lbf) vs. 220 N·m (22 kgf·m; 160 ft·lbf)), the wheels turned to a standard silver, the interior got an update, and US versions became visually similar to their Japanese contemporaries with an updated front bumper borrowed from the Japanese Version 6 Impreza WRX STi. 2.5RS models became available in sedan form in 2000.
Subaru Impreza WRX GC8V, JDM version.
Second generation – “Bug Eye, Blob Eye, Hawk Eye” / “GD”/”GG”
|Assembly||Ōta, Gunma, Japan|
|Body style||4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
|Layout||Boxer Front engine / four-wheel drive|
|Engine||1.5 L 125hp (EJ15)100HP
2.0 L 125hp (GX)
2.5 L 165 hp H4 (2001–05)
2.5 L 173 hp H4 (2006–07)
2.0/2.5 L Turbo-charged 227 hp H4(WRX 2002–07)
2.5 L Turbo-charged 300 hp H4(WRX STi 2004–07)
|Length||173.4 in (2002–03)
173.8 in (2004–05)
175.8 in (2006–07)
|Width||66.7 in (wagon, 2006–07 sedan)
68.1 in (2002–03 sedan)
68.5 in (2004–05 sedan)
67.3 in (Outback Sport)
|Height||58.5 in (2002–05 wagon)
57.7 in (2005–07)
56.7 in (2002–05 sedan)
60.6 in (2004–07 Outback Sport)
60.2 in (2002–03 Outback Sport)
Subaru introduced the “New Age” Impreza to the world market in 2001. The second generation Impreza was intended to be larger, safer, stiffer, more refined, and more responsive. The WRX Sedan had a 20 mm wider track than its predecessor to aid handling, while the wagon remained the same. The coupe model was no longer available. The headlamp styling of the New Age Impreza was polarizing, but the improvements to the car brought greater mainstream acceptance.
For quick and easy reference to the different exteriors, some Subaru Impreza owners use nicknames based on the headlights. Each relates to a creature that has similar looking eyes: 2002–2003 are ‘bug eyes’ / 2004–2005 are ‘crocodile eyes’ or ‘blob eyes’ / 2006–2007 are ‘hawk eyes’ / 2008-2011 are ‘shark eyes’.
In the United States, release of the basic 227 bhp (169 kW; 230 PS) 2.0 L turbocharged Impreza, the WRX, did not occur until the 2002 model year, and the Impreza WRX STi was delayed until the 2004 model year. The US version of the STi includes various departures from the Japanese and European counterparts, such as a turbocharged 2.5 L EJ257 engine, rather than the twin scroll turbo2.0 L engine sold elsewhere. All 2006 American Imprezas use some form of the 2.5 L EJ25 engine since naturally aspirated and turbo charged are available.
Some customers’ and the press’ negative reaction to the New Age Impreza’s styling forced Subaru to facelift the car in 2003 for 2004 model year,[weasel words] with more conventional, rectangular headlamps, nicknamed ‘crocodile eyes’ (although many still use the ‘blob eyes’ nickname). For the US market, the facelifted Impreza was offered as 2.5 RS Sedan and TS Wagon, 2.5 Outback Sport Wagon, WRX Sedan and Wagon, and the new WRX STi Sedan. Sport Package was optional for the RS, and the WRX could be ordered with Premium Package. The RS, TS, Outback Sport, and WRX are available with manual or automatic transmission, while the sole transmission for the STi is 6-speed manual.
All 2006 Imprezas, including the performance models, have been redesigned again with the controversial “flying vagina” grille first debuted on the Subaru B9 Tribeca crossover SUV, along with new headlights (nicknamed ‘hawk eyes’), taillights, and bumpers. Opinion on this style is split, but is generally regarded as better applied on the Impreza than the Tribeca. The grille design was dropped in the 3rd generation Impreza, due to the restyling. The 2.5 RS was dropped from the line up, and replaced by the base model 2.5i.
The most basic Impreza in Japan is 1.5 i with 1.5 liter EJ15 SOHC engine. The 1.5 R comes with the 1.5 L DOHC engine with AVCS, but is only available with automatic transmission, whereas the 1.5i model is available with either automatic or manual transmission. For both models, AWD and 2WD versions are available. Option packages for either the 1.5i or 1.5R include wheel type, size, bucket seats, and white LED illuminated gauge meters. Starting with model year 2006, the EJ15 was replaced with the new EL15
In 2005, Subaru made their AVCS standard on all engines used in the Impreza.
For export market, the all-wheel-drive 1.6 TS is offered in Asian countries and in Singapore, where Subaru won a major tender to replace the Singapore Police Force‘s large fleet of Fast Response Cars with the model. The 1.5 sedan is normal body similar to the Sports Wagon. The TS shares wide body with WRX and WRX STI.
Models offered in Australia in 2004 included the GX (2.0 L engine, this model has become the baseline Impreza in Australia), RV (2.0 L engine, styled for active lifestyles, similar to the USA-spec Impreza Outback Sport), RS (2.5 L engine, sport model) along with the WRX and STi version thereof. The RX model has been abandoned in Australia, and its position in the Impreza line-up has been subsumed by the GX (which had formerly been a sparsely outfitted budget model). A variant of the RS for Australia is the RS-X, which whilst technically not a naturally aspirated version of the WRX as is often claimed, does feature many WRX components, including wheels and brakes, in a package powered by the 2.5 litre drivetrain.
In late 2004 a new range was released; including the entry-level 2.0i (formerly GX), RV, 2.0R (formerly RS), WRX and WRX STi models. The 2.0R changed from a 2.5 L engine to a slightly more powerful 2.0 L engine; while the turbocharged WRX changed from a 2.0 L engine to a 2.5 L engine. The automatic transmission was dropped from the WRX, despite the popularity of the sports shift automatic in other Subarus such as the Outback. In 2006 the automatic transmission was added to the Limited package, which includes heated leather seats, power mirrors, heated wiper blades and a sunroof. Side airbags were added as standard across the range. Subaru Impreza WRXs have been bought by French Gendarmerie for its Motorway patrols. At the New York Auto Show, Subaru introduced a new WRX.
Subaru Impreza 1.6 TS used by the Singapore Police Force
Third generation – “Shark Eye” / “GE”/”GH”/”GR”
|Assembly||Ōta, Gunma, Japan|
|Body style||4–door sedan
|Layout||Boxer Front engine / all wheel drive|
|Engine||1.5 L 107 hp H4
2.0 L 150 hp H4
2.5 L 170 hp H4 (2.5i)
2.5 L Turbo-charged 224 hp H4(WRX (2008) & GT (2009-2010))
2.5 L Turbo-charged 265 hp H4(WRX (2009-present))
2.5 L Turbo-charged 305 hp H4(WRX STi (2008-present))
2.0 L DOHC turbodiesel 148 hp H4
|Transmission||4–speed automatic (w/SPORTSHIFT manual-mode)
or 5–speed automatic(w/SPORTSHIFT manual-mode) (WRX STi A-line only)
or 5–speed manual
or 6–speed manual
|Wheelbase||103.1 in (2620 mm)|
|Length||sedan: 180.3 in (4580 mm)
hatchback: 173.8 in (4415 mm)
|Width||68.5 in (1740 mm)|
|Height||58.1 in (1475 mm)
Outback Sport: 58.3 in (1,481 mm)
|Curb weight||1,394 kilograms (3,073 lb)|
On 2 April 2007, Subaru officially unveiled the next generation Impreza WRX at the 2007New York Auto Show. In contrast to its usual rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer, the Impreza WRX is increasingly being positioned as a ‘practical’ performance car – the suspension for instance is more accommodating of everyday roads. Similar to the marketing of the Lancer, Subaru plans to offer a lower volume of slightly upscale, well-equipped, sportier Impreza models, unlike other contemporaries such as the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Toyota Corolla that offer no-frills base trims.  The new Impreza is offered as both a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback.
The new base model Impreza is slightly longer, wider and has a longer wheelbase. The dashboard in the Impreza is much more open and is easy to configure. Two Subaru traditions have been ended with the new Impreza: the parking light switch atop the steering column is no longer present, and for the first time the windows have frames to improve NVHlevels.
In the Japanese domestic market the range comprises the 1.5 litre 15S using the EL15series engine, the 2.0 litre 20S and the 2.0 litre turbocharged S-GT using the EJ20 series engine. Variations are found in other markets around the world: In Australia the range at launch included three 2.0 litre models (the R, RX and RS) and a 2.5 litre turbocharged WRX.
In the United States market (the US and Canadian markets were the only ones to receive the sedan until it made its Japanese debut in fall 2008 as ‘Impreza Anesis’) for the 2008 model year, the model range consists of the 2.5 liter, 2.5i and Outback Sport and the 2.5 liter turbocharged WRX. Both the 2.5 and the 2.5i are electronically limited from surpassing 190 km/h (120 mph). The EJ253 engine carries over from the previous generation to power the 2.5i and the EJ255 engine carries over from the previous generation (although it now uses many external engine components from the Legacy GT) to power the turbocharged WRX trim levels. In the Canadian market, the base Impreza 2.5i model received upgrades for the 2009 model year, including rear disc brakes, electronic stability control and traction control, and body-colored door handles, features previously only found on the 2.5 Sport and more expensive trims.
From September 2007 the Impreza range in Australia has been changed with models designated R, RX, RS and WRX. Initially only hatch models were offered. The R, RX and RS all share the same engine – a new 2.0 L, with 110 kW (150 PS; 148 bhp) @ 6400 rpm and 196 Nm @ 3200 rpm. Subaru recommends that the new engines be run on 95 RON premium unleaded fuel. Another noticeable difference from the Japanese Impreza is the removal of the “Engine Start” button from the Australian model. The iconic WRX has largely unchanged engine power output of 169 kW (230 PS; 227 bhp) and 320 Nm from its 2.5 L engine. As with previous versions, there will only be a manual version of the WRX. The weight of the car also has been lightened (by ~50 lbs) to just 1400 kg, and gives the WRX a 0–100 km/h time of 5.8 seconds. In contrast, curb weight of the standard Impreza model is ~60 lbs heavier, although still lighter than the WRX trim level.
In Israel, the Impreza is denoted as the B3, and three styles are offered: the B3 1.5, with a 1.5 liter engine, the B3 2.0 and the B3 2.0 Sport, both with 2.0 liter engines. Four-door and five-door models are available for each engine type, ranging from the basic R class, to the medium RX and top RXI class. No 2.5 liter engine option is available.
The third generation Impreza is sold in certain Asian countries in 1.5 R, 2.0 R, 2.0 S-GT, 2.5 WRX, and 2.5 WRX STI trim levels. In Indonesia, the Impreza is only available as 5-door Hatchback only, but all trim levels are offered. The 1.5 R and 2.0 R can be ordered with Dual Range 5-speed manual, or 4-speed automatic SPORTSHIFT electronically controlled transmission. However, in Singapore and Thailand, the Impreza 1.5 R, 2.0 R, and 2.5 WRX are also offered as 4-door Sedan.
The latest-generation of the WRX STI which is built as “wide body” hatchback only debuted in the Tokyo Auto Show in October 2007. The release date for a US launch was in March 2008. The WRX STI chassis code is GR, different from the GH used for the “standard body” hatchback WRX chassis. The Japanese WRX STI is powered by 2.0 liter improved EJ207 engine with twin scroll turbo, while the American and other export models has 2.5 liter EJ257 with single scroll turbo. The Impreza WRX STI features a Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD).
A facelifted 2010 model of the Subaru Impreza went on sale in late 2009, receiving a new grille insert.
In the 2010 New York International Auto Show, Subaru unveiled the 2011 model year “wide body” Impreza WRX Sedan and Hatchback, as well as the Impreza WRX STI 4-door Sedan. The new STI Sedan features high rear spoiler similar to the old STI.
Safety of the car has been increased with range wide inclusion of Stability/Traction control as standard in some markets. In early September 2007, the IIHS crash-tested the 2.5i 5-door Impreza and gave it the highest ranking available due to the test results the car achieved, continuing Subaru’s reputation for producing cars that consistently earn the institute’s highest rating.
The Impreza also achieved a 5 Star Safety Rating, and a 4 Star Pedestrian Safety rating in the ANCAP crash tests.
A boxer diesel engine, called the Subaru EE, for European Impreza models was introduced at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The diesel Impreza was made available for sale in several European countries in early 2009, with the 2.0 litre turbodiesel engine of 150 horsepower. Two models are available as of July 2009, 2.0 TD and 2.0 TD Sport, which is better equipped.
|Assembly||Ōta, Gunma, Japan
Lafayette, Indiana, United States
|Body style||4–door sedan
|Layout||Boxer Front engine / all wheel drive|
|Engine||2.0 L 148 hp H4|
or Lineartronic CVT
|Wheelbase||104.1 in (2644 mm)|
|Length||sedan: 180.3 in (4580 mm)
hatchback: 173.8 in (4414 mm)
|Height||57.6 in (1463 mm)|
|Curb weight||1,320 kilograms (2,910 lb)|
The fourth generation Impreza was unveiled on 20 April 2011 at the New York Auto Show, as its predecessor was, with a launch scheduled for autumn of the same year. It will be primarily an evolutionary design, remaining nearly the same size but being lighter and more fuel efficient and featuring a host of technical improvements as well as better packaging (Leading to greater interior space), higher quality materials in the interior, and new styling sharing a family resemblance with the fifth generation Subaru Legacy. The last-generation high-performance WRX variants will continue production until new versions are released at an unspecified date. This is also the first Impreza to be assembled in Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc.
The Impreza chassis has been more successful in rallying than Subaru’s previous contenders. Prior to the introduction of the Impreza into World Rally Championship racing in 1993, the Subaru World Rally Team had fielded its larger mid-size Legacy. However, with the rest of the rally competition increasingly shifting towards smaller and lighter chassis, Subaru introduced the smaller Impreza, immediately achieving a podium on its debut on the 1993 1000 Lakes Rally. To jumpstart its early rally efforts, and to develop the Impreza into a competitive rally car, Subaru teamed up with its current preporatory firm, British motorsports company Prodrive, in 1989.
Immediately following the first overall WRC event win for both the fledgling Subaru team and its young driver, the late Colin McRaeaboard a Group A Legacy on the 1993 Rally New Zealand, the Scotman‘s team-mate and childhood idol, 1981 World Rally Champion,Ari Vatanen of Finland, went on to finish second in the debut rally of the first ever factory Impreza. New recruit for the following season,1990 and 1992 World Champion, Carlos Sainz brought the Impreza its inaugural victory on the 1994 Acropolis Rally.
The Impreza brought Subaru three consecutive WRC constructors’ titles (1995–1997, the latter season the first for the newly introduced World Rally Car class) and a driver’s championship for McRae in 1995, the late Richard Burns in 2001, and the Norwegian, Petter Solberg in 2003.
Another evolution of the Impreza WRC made its debut in the 2007 Corona Rally Mexico. Unfortunately, the team had several major problems with reliability as the car experienced mechanical difficulties in almost every rally from its first.
However, the Subaru Rally Team USA is still competing in the Rally America National Championship. Also, there are still several teams using Subaru models in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.