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22nd April, 2011

Subaru’s next generation Impreza has been unveiled in New York (USA) with a new look, major technical innovations, fuel efficiency gains and a cabin featuring soft touch finishes and computerised information displays.

The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Imprezas unveiled at the New York Motor Show, boast fuel efficiency gains from the all-new 2.0 litre horizontally opposed Boxer engine.

New Impreza offers improved cabin space – cleverly designed within the same exterior dimensions as the superseded car. It has a longer wheelbase, but shorter overhangs.

For the first time, Impreza will offer a Lineartronic™ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) in addition to a six-speed manual.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “New Impreza is the product of an exciting new design direction for Subaru that will be reflected in a whole family of future vehicles.”

“It’s also a massive technological leap, with an incredibly lean petrol engine, new generation Lineartronic CVT transmission and some other exciting technologies that we’ll reveal on Australian spec versions in due course.”

“Inside, new Impreza takes Subaru interiors to a new level of refinement, with classy soft-touch plastics and a fantastic new computerised dashboard display.”

“And as you’d expect with Subaru, there’s a full safety suite that we’re confident will maintain our five-star safety rating right across the range.”

He added: “This is a cutting edge car for Subaru as it gives us the ammunition to fire a few salvos in the small car category.”

“It is Australia’s biggest segment in terms of volume and competitors, with nearly 30 nameplates clamouring for share.”

“With contemporary external styling, fantastic interior design, amazing improvements in fuel consumption, thanks to engine and transmission technology, and a few other surprises, this new Impreza has the credentials to appeal to a far wider audience than previously.”

“And while nearly 30 entrants in the small car category have the same ‘me too’ front wheel drive formula, our new Impreza stands out in a crowded market with All-Wheel Drive on every model.”

“And All-Wheel Drive is not only a great active safety feature, it also brings the drive ‘alive.’”

“There’s been a huge amount of work on handling and ride, and I believe dynamically, it will be the best small car on the market.”

“The small car segment covers a broad spectrum of buyers – the changes I have outlined will make the new Impreza appeal to a greater number of buyers, without alienating our existing customers.”

“We’ve also improved our infotainment to attract a younger audience.”

“Our Impreza has just become a whole lot more fun.”


New Impreza features a bolder, more confident design that emphasises its sporty past and safety-enhancing All-Wheel Drive performance.

In profile, Impreza displays powerful wheel arches that draw on the design theme from last year’s Impreza concept car.

Sharply sculpted character lines enhance the way light and shade play on the design.

The sleek silhouette incorporates a larger cabin glass area, which also aids visibility - a Subaru design priority.

The hexagonal grille, now a keynote feature of all new Subaru designs, features a honeycomb pattern, accentuated by the hawk-eye headlights.

Impreza debuts all-new wheel designs, highlighting the car’s high-tech, sporty and fun nature.

Numerous exterior and interior design elements combine to give Impreza a sportier stance, while also offering the driver and passengers a more commanding, confident road view.


The windscreen is more raked than previously, with the base of the A-pillar moved 200 millimetres forward. This enables a front door opening nearly 127 mm wider, for easier entry/exit, aided by doorsills that are 20 mm lower than before. Rear doors are also larger in both body styles.

To maximise driver visibility when cornering, Subaru Impreza features thinner A-pillars and partitioned front door glass. This allows for a slimmer secondary pillar – and therefore better visibility – compared to other cars using a “pulled-forward” windscreen design and thicker secondary pillars.

The top-of-door interior trim is 60 mm lower. These elements contribute to better visibility, which is also enhanced by a 10 mm higher front hip point and a 20 mm higher rear hip point for occupants.

The instrument panel is lower and flatter than before, resulting in a wider field of vision and a feeling of greater spaciousness. Exterior rear-view mirrors with 23 per cent more surface area enhance visibility and driving safety. Relocating the mirrors from the A-pillars to the doors contributes to improved sight lines.


The combination of longer wheelbase, redesigned door and roof trim, and front seats, produces significant gains in passenger and cargo room.

Impreza’s wheelbase grows to 2,644 mm compared to 2,621 mm in the outgoing model. Vehicle length and width remain the same as before for both sedan and hatch, yet, thanks to redesigned door panels, the 2012 Impreza offers increased hip and shoulder room.

Rear seat passengers gain nearly 50.8 mm of legroom, thanks to both the longer wheelbase and a new, scalloped-style front seat backrest design.

Sedan boot space and hatch cargo room are both increased – the hatch now provides a completely flat load floor when the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks are folded.

The 2012 Impreza interior is not only more spacious than the outgoing model, but also delivers a major step up in refinement.

The sporty instrument panel and three-spoke steering wheel are augmented in some Impreza models by a multi-function display with trip computer, located in the centre of the dashboard.

Richer looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and centre console armrest. In higher specification models, the armrest features a slide adjustment for greater comfort and versatility.

Optimising the shape of the cargo area trim and nearby components enables three golf bags or a large baby stroller to be easily loaded.

In the hatch, it is easier to load and unload heavy objects, thanks to the removal of a stepped section under the opening. The cargo area cover can now be stored under the cargo floor.

In the sedan, boot functionality is improved with support arms - reshaped and enclosed within the boot interior trim - ensuring they do not make contact with stored items when the lid is closed.

When the boot release is activated from within the car or via the remote control, the lid opens wider than before.

Subaru designers paid special attention to increasing not only cargo area and boot room, but also carrying space and utility throughout the vehicle.

Larger door pockets can hold plastic drink bottles and large maps.

Numerous compartments located in and around the centre console hold a variety of items, such as phones, USB drives and MP3 players. For those who still prefer to listen to music on compact disc, the console compartments provide ample storage for CD cases.


More spacious than before, the 2012 Impreza also offers greater comfort, versatility and advanced yet easy-to-use infotainment technology.

New front seats are designed with long-distance comfort in mind and feature higher seatbacks, increased lumbar support and cushions that more effectively distribute pressure. The seats are optimised for a rear-end collision.

A tilt/telescopic steering wheel is standard on all 2012 Imprezas.

Standard comfort and amenities are increased across the Impreza range.

The U.S. entry level model, for example, features power windows, door locks and side mirrors, a 60/40-split/fold rear seat, outside temperature gauge, a multi-function display with fuel economy information, remote keyless entry, security system with engine immobiliser, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, variable intermittent windscreen wipers and a low windscreen washer fluid warning light.

U.S. Impreza premium models add more amenities, including alloy wheels, steering wheel audio and Bluetooth® control switches and adjustable console armrest. They also cater to the latest demand for versatile and easy-to-use infotainment technology. The standard audio system in premium U.S. models features Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, iPod® control capability, USB port, 3.5mm aux. input jack and six speakers.

Range-topping variants feature 17-inch alloy wheels, leather trim, climate control air conditioning, upgraded instrumentation and fog lights.

A power sunroof and factory-fitted satellite navigation are available as options on premium variants. Models equipped with Lineartronic CVT also feature a six-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters.


The 2012 Impreza is powered by an all-new 2.0-litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed Boxer engine, with the choice of either a six-speed manual transmission or the new ultra-efficient Lineartronic CVT.

With either transmission, the 2012 Impreza delivers significantly higher fuel efficiency than the car it replaces.

However, new Impreza has not yet been tested to Australian Design Rules, so no local figures are yet available.

The new engine produces 110 Kilowatts of power and 196 Newtonmetres of torque and is expected to be quicker than previously.

Subaru’s new engine family, which debuted in the 2011 Forester in 2.5-litre form, uses a double overhead-cam design.

The Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves to optimise performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions.

Impreza employs a more efficient exhaust system that allows an optimised catalyst placement for faster heat-up, to reduce emissions immediately after engine start-up.

The new-generation Boxer features a longer stroke to maximise low- and mid-range torque, as well as producing environmental benefits. It is even more responsive, especially when equipped with the new Lineartronic CVT.

Subaru first introduced its Lineartronic CVT in the 2010 Liberty and Outback models, and now the 2012 Impreza debuts a lighter, quieter and more compact version that delivers both enhanced driving performance and environmental friendliness.

Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, which uses fixed gear ratios, the CVT provides infinite variability between the highest and lowest available ratios, with no discernable steps or shifts.

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The lighter, more compact CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range.

Compared to CVTs used in other brands, the Impreza CVT provides wider ratio coverage, due to a greater difference between the largest and smallest pulley diameters.

Subaru developed the new CVT in the 2012 Impreza to deliver smooth, linear acceleration, closer to a conventional automatic transmission, while still delivering the efficiency benefits of a CVT.

Low-speed acceleration in particular feels even stronger than a comparison of performance figures alone might suggest.

Premium Impreza models with the CVT also feature a six-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, allowing the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.

The driver can engage manual mode with the shift lever or, when in “D” mode, temporarily access manual mode by operating an up or downshift shift paddle. In that instance, the transmission will return to automatic mode once the vehicle is travelling at a constant speed.


Besides the new engine’s greater efficiency, Impreza adopts additional technologies to minimise fuel consumption. Among these is the new electric power steering system, which contributes a 2.0 per cent efficiency increase.

A further efficiency gain comes from reducing disc brake drag by using a spring-type pad return mechanism.


Strengthened front and rear suspension components enhance agility, while new liquid (hydraulic) engine mounts help to damp out vibration.

A new front support, connecting the front cross member and rear bushing section of the front arm, enhances stability, agility and ride quality.

The double-wishbone rear suspension features new, strengthened components and pillow ball bushings for improved ride, straight-line stability, handling and vehicle response.

Range topping models add special rebound springs in the front dampers, as well as a rear stabiliser bar, for even more responsive handling. The enhancement of body rigidity and the new suspension design help to reduce levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The stiffened rear subframe ensures greater resistance to twisting, also contributing to enhanced stability and handling. New sound insulators in the toe board and around the floor tunnel also contribute to interior noise reduction.


Subaru’s Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame safety structure, proven over a decade in all Subaru models, again forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety in the new-generation Impreza.

The new body structure makes greater use of high-tensile strength steel and features special stiffening elements at key locations.

Impreza includes as standard equipment front seat side impact airbags and side curtain airbags that offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants. The new driver’s front airbag offers added protection for drivers. Immediately after deployment, the driver’s airbag spreads thin and wide, then thickens as deployment reaches completion. The passenger-seat front airbag, features a shell-type design with a centre groove, exposing the passenger to less impact force upon deployment. All 2012 Impreza models add a new driver’s knee airbag to the roster of safety features.

All new Imprezas are equipped with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control functions. They also have standard four-wheel disc Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist.


Subaru offers two different Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems in the 2012 Impreza. In models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking centre differential to distribute power 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power (up to 100 per cent) to the opposite set.

Impreza models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT feature the Active Torque Split AWD version that uses an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively control power distribution in response to driving conditions. This system can transfer more power to the rear wheels under acceleration and can transfer up to 100 per cent of available torque to the rear wheels in response to road conditions.

NOTE: Details in this news article relate to the US specification version. Australian prices, release date and specifications will be published by Next Car once the details have been confirmed.


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