2008 Impreza: Facts, not opinions.
By: Ryan Douthit, Subiesport Magazine
Related Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP6s8VhayVk
At last we had a chance to test drive the 2008 Subaru Impreza. What do we think of it? Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until August for our driving impression, which will be available at Subiesport.com
. The in-depth review will appear in an upcoming print edition of the magazine. In the meanwhile, we have some solid facts we wanted to share with you about this new car.
First, the automatic transmission is new. Out with the 4EAT, in with the ACT-4 with Sportshift. When asked, Subaru claimed the new transmission was lighter than the 5EAT, performed better than the 4EAT and was a cost effective solution. For manual-tranny fans, the 5MT has received some additional improvements, though these are evolutionary design changes.
The motor, too, is new to the Impreza. Basically it’s a Subaru Legacy GT 2.5 flat-4 with a Mitsubishi TD04 turbo. According to Subaru engineers any current LGT turbo should fit the plumbing no problem. VF40 upgrade anyone?
Moving to the back, there are even more fresh changes. The rear suspension is now a sophisticated double-wishbone configuration. This opens up trunk space and, “enhances driving dynamics.” For buyers looking to immediately upgrade to coilovers, the market will need time to respond to this new design. The 2007 coilovers simply will not fit.
In addition to a new suspension setup, the car is also riding on a longer wheelbase. This adds greater legroom for both front and backseat occupants.
Gone is the rear limited-slip differential in the WRX. Instead Subaru chose to focus on the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), standard on the WRX, and an option on the non-turbo 2.5i. Again, we asked the Subaru engineers if the 2007 differentials will work in the new chassis, and they said it should be an easy installation, if someone was so inclined.
The stereo is trick. The optional navigation system will play DVDs (when the handbrake is engaged, of course), or your choice of video when plugged into the RCA jacks located in the elbow rest. Otherwise, it is very similar to the navigation system previously available in the 2007 Tribeca and other upscale Subaru models.
There is a whole laundry list of new features designed to create a more enjoyable driving experience. Pricing has not been officially announced, but it was suggested that pricing will be similar to the outgoing 2007 models. The 2008’s will be available near the end of August.