Subaru Impreza WRX 2011 Review

February 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Possessing genuine rally sport pedigree is something a few car companies have attempted to trade on over the years, but it’s never been more believable than in Subaru’s WRX. While Subaru is taking a recession induced break from the WRC scene it’s go-hard Impreza continues the rally-breed evolution that began back in 1992 with its first generation. While the rally bloodlines run stronger in the uncompromising Impreza STI the WRX remains far from a standard run about. The STI will always be the choice for those who aspire to performing dirt road power slides but the WRX is now closer aligned to its more coveted sibling than ever before. But does this mean the updated 2011 WRX is a balls-to-the-wall excitement machine? Car and SUV got belted into a WRX hatch to take a voyage of discovery… rapidly.

Over the years the WRX has seen more drastic costume changes than a Madonna concert and not all the different looks have been sexy, but the third-gen model has a definite raw charm. The big changes for the facelift are the inclusion of a wide body kit distilled from the STI, this has been like a course of steroids for the WRX and has resulted in a stockier more muscular look. While there are still thoughtfully placed clues on the STI like a more pronounced rear wing, only hardcore fans could now tell the difference between the two variants with a single glance. Continue reading “Subaru Impreza WRX 2011 Review” »

Toyota and Subaru FT-86 sports car likely launch late 2011

January 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

There is little doubt that the FT-86 sports car is the most exciting new model to wear a Toyota badge in nearly ten years. But there has been doubts on when and if the FT-86 will enter production. Those concerns have been addressed in a recent article by a Japanese newspaper which revealed that the FT-86 will make its debut later this year, along with its jointly developed Subaru twin.

Developed in a unique partnership between Toyota and Subaru, the upcoming FT-86 sports car won over audiences and gathered much interest in concept form at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, but its road to production has been broken up by uncertainty and a ‘on-and-off-and-on-again’ battle.

Speaking with the Japanese paper, Fuji Heavy Industries President, Mori Ikuo, reportedly confirmed that both models are nearing the end of testing.

Ikuo claimed that the production FT-86 (which some reports suggest may be called ‘FR-S’ in Toyota form) will be “very comfortable and fuel-efficient”, benefiting from a low centre of gravity for proper sports-car handling.

Exact technical details haven’t been announced, although it is known that both models will be powered by a Subaru-developed 2.0 litre turbo-charged boxer engine. The Toyota version will be a rear-wheel driver while Subaru’s model is likely to receive an AWD system. Some reports claim power figures in the region of 200kW.

Check back for more updates on this new model, till then feel free to drool over the images in the gallery below. Continue reading “Toyota and Subaru FT-86 sports car likely launch late 2011” »

Gran Turismo 5 racing game finally released – return of WRX STI sedan

November 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Sony has finally released Gran Turismo 5 in the NZ market and while there are hundreds of cars to choose from the new Subaru WRX STI sedan is that little bit special.

The much anticipated racing game launched last week and had the WRX STI sedan included in its extensive car list. An STI sedan has not been available since 2007, but has now made its comeback.

So what? Well, the original Playstation was credited with popularising the WRX STI in North America, before it was launched into that market several years after it first appeared in New Zealand.

The new WRX STI has also been a sales success since its launch, when four-door sedan variants were reintroduced. In Japan, 2400 sedans and hatches have been sold since debut in July, double those initially forecast.

Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru vehicles, says featuring the WRX STI in Gran Turismo 5 is an effective and entertaining way to raise awareness of the model and introduce more people to the adrenaline-pumping WRX STI.

Since the first series was introduced in 1997, Gran Turismo has been highly popular not only among video game fans worldwide, but also professional racing and rally drivers.

So now you know what to ask Santa for Christmas this year – Gran Turismo 5. You could ask for a Subaru WRX STI but it may not fit in his sack.

Subaru Impreza Design Concept takes step in new direction

November 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The current Subaru Impreza is, no doubt, a solid choice for new car buyers but for all its virtues it’s not know for its good looks. Subaru has a long and storied history of producing vehicles with faces only a mother could love, but that’s all set to change with Subaru dropping details and images of its new Impreza Design Concept. In a total reversal this model looks sharp and sexy.

The design retains the puffed-up wheel arches of the current Impreza, but merges in the more subdued mature Legacy styling for a much more handsome look. The front fascia is dominated by two aggressive air intakes which look large enough to swallow a whole possum. Those intakes are framed by the new trapezoidal grille and squinting headlamps. Interestingly, the silver fins that spread across the air inlets are actually fully functional fog lights.

For motivation, the design study makes use of the company’s new 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, which is rather unfortunately bolted to a CVT gearbox. Will it be built just like this? Who knows, but the styling is a large step in the right direction.

Subaru teases mysterious concept model before LA Motor Show

November 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show (November 19 -28), Subaru will officially pull the covers off a never-before seen concept model that will show the firm’s new global brand statement, called “Confidence in Motion”.

It’s very mysterious at this stage with just a single teaser image released, there’s not really anything else we can tell you about the concept model at this stage. However, if you’re in the mood for some marketing hype the Subaru press release below concentrates on explaining the new slogan. Check it out and check back as we bring you more on this exciting concept. Continue reading “Subaru teases mysterious concept model before LA Motor Show” »

Subaru reveals STI-equipped Forester tS exclusively for Japanese market

October 28th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It probably won’t ever make it down here to NZ, or any other market outside of Japan, but the new JDM Subaru Forester tS deserves a closer look. Based on the Forester S-Edition, the tS is given the go-faster treatment with a range of upgrades and STi parts including a modified suspension that sits 15 mm lower than usual, 17-inch alloys, a front spoiler and some special tS badging.

In the cabin there are STI sport seats that use a combination of leather and Alcantara as well as a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and a modified instrument panel.

Motivation comes from a 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine matched up with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Japanese customers won’t be limited to just Subaru Blue for colour choice with  four exterior colors offered. It will be an exclusive ride too with Subaru planning on producing just 300 examples. The cost? Well it’s not a cheap steer with the base-model costing 3,450,00 Yen ($56,550 NZ).

Check out the gallery below for more images of the Subaru Forester tS.

Continue reading “Subaru reveals STI-equipped Forester tS exclusively for Japanese market” »

Subaru releases A-Ha styled WRX STI commercial (+video)

October 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Here at Car and SUV we are already big fans of the 2011 WRX STI, that won’t surprise you much. But what may surprise you is that Subaru seems to be a big fan of 80’s pop band A-Ha and their old school video for Take On Me.

How do we know? Well, we’ve seen a new ad for the sporty Japanese sedan that shows the car taking on a robot spider drawn in a familiar sketchbook form. The ad labels the WRX STI as “pure performance”, and the 227kW turbocharged boxer and symmetrical all-wheel drive system do clearly appear useful in fleeing the grips of a fictional mechanical spider.

Check out the new video below. Continue reading “Subaru releases A-Ha styled WRX STI commercial (+video)” »

Subaru Forester S-Edition concept unveiled in Sydney

October 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When word came out that a new, more performance focused Subaru Forester vehicle was to be unveiled at the Sydney Motor Show many badge fans were hoping for a Forester STI. While a concept vehicle has been revealed it doesn’t come labeled with a STI badge, instead it’s named the Forester S-Edition concept.

According to Nick Senior, Managing Director of Subaru Australia, the more potent Forester “points towards an exciting development in our Forester range early next year.”

In building the S-Edition concept, Subaru has boosted the Forester turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine up to 193Kw of power and 347Nm of torque. These figures account for gains of 32kW and 20 Nm over the standard Forester model.

The upgraded power is put through a five-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters (no stick-shift at this stage), and a new variable torque distributing all-wheel-drive system which will keep it nicely on the road. Other enhancements include a reworked sport suspension, 17-inch STI wheels, Alcantara seat trim and special S-Edition badging throughout.

While it’s not badged as a Forester STI it seems almost as good on paper. There’s no word yet on the S-Edition making it to NZ in production form, hopefully Subaru doesn’t make this hot new Forester a JDM-only offering.

Continue reading “Subaru Forester S-Edition concept unveiled in Sydney” »

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