September 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The 2011 Subaru WRX STI has been launched in NZ and for the first time is being offered with a automatic transmission.
It’s a sign of the times, with the new STI auto providing a solution for buyers who spend time in commuter traffic, but still want a performance car to do some weekend excursions or get leery on NZ backroads.
To enhance the automatic driving experience the STI auto comes with steering column mounted paddle shifters so manual gear changes can be made.
But Subaru has not forsaken its high performance roots either and the 2011 model year sees the return of an STI sedan model with a large boot mounted rear wing, which has not been available since 2007.
With the choice of a close ratio six speed manual and five speed automatic gearbox and sedan and hatchback bodies, the STI is now available in four different models.
“STI is still great value for money and should now appeal to more potential buyers,” said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand. “It gives us the opportunity to meet performance car buyers’ needs for daily ease of use in our bigger cities where most of our sales occur, but provides the enjoyment factor for weekends away or trips that have a great driving experience attached.”
At a launch price starting from $59,990 until the new GST regime kicks in the STI auto comes with 221 kWs at 6200 rpm from the 2.5 litre turbocharged quad cam Boxer engine, which produces 350Nm of torque between 3000 and 6000 rpm. The manual has the same 221 kWs of peak power at 6000 rpm but boasts a larger 407 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm.
The STI comes with Subaru’s programmed SI-Drive with its three different performance characteristics. The Intelligent mode with gentle response produces the best economy, while the Sport is ideal for daily use and Sport # (sharp) gives you the most direct throttle response and precise rev control across the entire rpm range. This is done by changing the behaviour of the electronic throttle control and the engine control unit.
Continue reading “2011 Subaru WRX STI launched in NZ with auto box” »
September 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The 2011 model Subaru WRX received its official NZ launch at a special press event held in Auckland yesterday. The WRX, is 18 years old with the introduction of the 2011 model and is now a more direct sibling to Subaru’s flagship performance car, the STI, than ever before.
The Subaru WRX will now come with the same wide body styling of the STI and more importantly the same wide track suspension with wider tyres to produce greater stability, handling and road holding.
At a quick glance the WRX looks just like an STI, although keen Subaru fans will notice the rear wing on the hatch and sedan is not as big as the STI and the still generous wheels and tyres are “only” 17 inches in diameter.
“The WRX still offers the best bang for the buck in the performance car market,” said Wallis Dumper, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand. “At $44,990 until the end of September its unbeatable value for money whether you want a sedan or hatch.”
Both the WRX sedan and hatch have the same design front spoiler which merges into the bumper and dark finish grille to produce a wide, low aggressive look. The car’s sides are highlighted by the wider flared wheel arches that lead to the sedan’s rear diffuser with centre rear fog light. Both hatch and sedan have four exhaust tail pipes. It is the same system as the STI.
WRX comes with a 195 kWs version of the 2.5 litre quad cam turbocharged Boxer engine and a five speed manual gearbox with Symmetrical All Wheel Drive. Maximum torque of 343 Nm is available at 4000 rpm. It is distributed by a Torsen rear limited slip differential and an open front diff.
Braking has been increased with larger 16-inch front calipers and pad return springs. The system has ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).
Continue reading “New 2011 Subaru WRX officially launched in NZ” »
August 18th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Subaru of America, Inc. posted its best July result in history with 23,983 sales — a 10 per cent increase over July 2009.
Year-to-date sales now total 149,943 compared with 115,145 through the same period last year — marking a 30 per cent increase.
The Subaru Outback continues to be the stellar performer for the company selling 9030 in July — a massive 82 per cent increase over July 2009.
In Canada, Subaru continues to be the fastest growing Japanese brand. Subaru Canada had its best ever July sales of 2336 vehicles, up 28.1 percent over July 2009. Year to date, Subaru’s sales in Canada have increased 31.8 percent this year over 2009.
Across the Tasman Subaru achieved all-time record July sales of 3253 vehicles, according to official VFACTS figures released.¨¨ Subaru sales were up 16 per cent for the month and the innovative Symmetrical All Wheel Drive brand has a 4 per cent share of the market year-to-date (YTD).
New Zealand is having an equally successful year, with sales for the first seven months to the end of July totaling 1251, a 60 percent increase over the 784 sold at the same time last year. This July’s sales were 42 percent in front of 2009, with 149 cars being retailed.
“Subaru’s strong success in New Zealand is due to the dedication and hard work of our dealer network combined with outstanding models such as the Outback and Forester. Our vehicles provide kiwi’s a mix of practicality, versatility and total driving confidence thanks to the invisible advantages of Subaru All Wheel Drive” says Wallis Dumper, Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand.
Click here to read Car and SUV reviews of the current Subaru model range.
August 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Recent reports are stating that the Subaru version of the upcoming Toyota FT-86 (aka Toyoburu) will sit on a revised Legacy platform with an Impreza rear suspension. This isn’t a bad option at all and it means the car should have a chassis that isn’t too soft when the roads get windy.
Under the bonnet on the Toyota FT-86 will be a hard-revving naturally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine with around 149 kW of power, the Subaru model is instead expected to use an updated 2.0-litre turbo with 194 kW. Both models will use the six-speed manual box from the Impreza, but an automatic transmission will most likely be on offer as well. Strangely for Subaru, all-wheel drive doesn’t seem to be included in the initial package.
Styling won’t differ from the Toyota FT-86 very much, as all body panels will be shared, but the Subaru version will feature a unique grille, modified bumpers, and unique wheels.
Expect to see this much anticipated ride on our streets sometime in 2013.
July 29th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Contrary to recent rumours, Toyota’s eagerly anticipated FT-86 is still scheduled for a 2011 launch. Toyota recently held at press event in Japan in order to get some things straight about its Toyota G’s performance vehicles. Naturally, there were many questions about the FT-86 (or FR-S). Although it was reported a few months ago that the sports coupe would be delayed until 2013 for design and powerplant reasons, now it’s back on schedule with a release date of November 2011.
Clarity on the lineup was offered as well, there will be three spec levels with at least two engine options, and the mid-range model is expected to cost around 2.5 million yen ($39,550 NZ). The top dog model will be a turbocharged variant which will add appeal to drifters and tuners. Apparently, there will be no hybrid drivetrains — that tech is being reserved for a different sporty product.
Check back as we bring you more info on the development of the FT-86.
July 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
New Subaru WRX ad featuring pro driver Dave Mirra and a blonde passenger who brought her own airbagsï»¿
July 14th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Quick review of the new 2011 Subaru WRX STI
July 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Subaru’s 2011 Impreza WRX STI will be available with a five speed automatic gearbox when it arrives in NZ this September.
It is the first time Subaru’s performance flagship model has been available in New Zealand with an automatic, which will have steering column mounted paddle shifts. Until now the STI has only had a manual change transmission, which will continue in six speed form.
“The introduction of an automatic transmission will generate wider appeal for those in search of high performance and profound stability without compromising everyday driving comfort,” said Graeme Woodlands, the Managing Director of Subaru of New Zealand. “These people spend a lot of time in city traffic during the week and appreciate the auto’s ease of operation.”
And for 2011 the STI will see the return of a sedan model with a large rear wing. For the last three years it has only been available as a hatchback.
In other changes the STI will come with a new stiffer wide track suspension and front bumper which integrates into the front wheel arches. The latest STI will sit on new design alloy wheels.
In the cabin Bluetooth hands free calling and Bluetooth audio streaming will be standard and there will be USB and auxiliary connection for iPod and MP3 players.
There will also be changes to the Impreza WRX for 2011, although it will still only be available with a manual gearbox.
It will have a wider body more akin to the STI to set it apart from the standard Impreza models. Like the STI it will come with Bluetooth capability and USB and auxiliary ports.
Performance of both cars 2.5 litre turbocharged engines will be similar to the current WRX and STI models. Full technical details, specification and pricing will be announced at the time of the launch.