|01-06-2003, 04:32 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: San Jose, CAVehicle:
2008 Impreza WRX STi
All the big guns from Japan were there!
Good afternoon. Thank you for joining us today. On behalf of Subaru, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year. And what a great year we have in store for Subaru, with exciting new vehicles to further strengthen our Driving Performance image. Exactly two years ago, we introduced the Subaru Impreza WRX here in Detroit. We knew it was a winner—time has proved us right!
You have seen—and read—the remarkable success that we have enjoyed with this vehicle. Today, we will be introducing the latest entries in our Driving Performance stable. But first, I would like to introduce a few special guests who have joined us today. From our parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries: Mr. Hideo Wada, Executive Vice President and Chief General Manager, Subaru Sales and Marketing Division; Mr. Hideshige Gomi, Executive Vice President and Chief General Manager, Subaru Product and Portfolio Planning Division; Mr. Kiyoshi Inoh, Senior Vice President and Chief General Manager, Subaru Strategy Development Division; Mr. Shunsuke Takagi, Senior Vice President and Chief General Manager, Finance and Accounting department. And from Subaru of America, our Chairman, President and CEO Mr. T.K. Saito; and Mr. Tom Doll, Executive Vice President and CFO. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us today.
Our goal is to achieve 250,000 units by the year 2006. The foundation of this goal is in crossover vehicles—with Outback, Forester and Baja, which continue to be successful in the marketplace. A key component of achieving this goal of 250,000 unit sales is the strengthening of our Driving Performance strategy. There's no doubt that Subaru has earned the respect the press, public and the tuner crowd with the WRX. We have significantly surpassed our sales goals with the WRX now representing nearly 50% of total Impreza sales.
We knew we created something special, but nobody could have predicted just how special. We forecast 10,000 unit sales in the first year. Well, you know the rest of the story. WRX was an out-of-the-park home run with just over 18,000 units sold in the first 8 months of 2001 and 18,376 sales in 2002. The WRX was a huge success right out of the gate, and it has never let up. The press has recognized the WRX with such accolades as:
Car and Driver magazine named WRX to its "10 Best" list in 2002 and again in 2003
Automobile magazine named WRX Automobile of the Year in 2002
Motorweek Television gave it a "Driver's Choice Award"
Sport Compact Car magazine named it one of their "Eight Great Rides"
Edmunds.com "Most Wanted Vehicles*Sports Sedan Under $30,000"
And if you have ever attended any SCCA events, there is no doubt that the WRX is the vehicle of choice. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery—and like our Outback and Forester—others have taken notice. As the competition is bringing more performance products to market, we plan to stay one step ahead.
As you know, we're not a company that rests on its laurels. In just its third model year, we decided to make our WRX even more appealing. And the result blends equal parts form and function. We have worked closely with the Subaru World Rally Team to improve aerodynamics on the 2004 Model year Impreza WRX, and give it a purposeful, more dynamic appearance with significant changes in front end appearance, headlamp, grill and hood design.
The most notable enhancement…the new four element headlights create a bolder, more aggressive appearance. To maximize airflow, we added sharp edge character lines beginning at the headlamps and grille area and extended them onto the redesigned aluminum hood. All restyled to provide a cleaner, more aerodynamic look. We also added larger air inlets on the lower front fascia to improve airflow, as well as standard projector beam halogen fog lamps. Also new for 2004 is the availability of a power glass moon roof, rear spoiler and all-weather package consisting of heated front seats, outside mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer.
But most important is what we didn't change. Underneath you'll find the proven performance of the 2.0-liter, 227-horsepower boxer engine and a symmetric All-Wheel Drive system second to none. For added safety, WRX now has front seat head/chest side impact airbags to provide even greater occupant protection to a vehicle that has already earned the highest rating in the IIHS frontal offset crash tests.
WRX changed the way people looked at Subaru, and that was our goal. As we move forward, Subaru Driving Performance will become a more prominent marketing thrust for Subaru, and you can look forward to additional product offerings to support this growth.
Almost from the time we launched the WRX, the question has always been "When will Subaru bring the STI version to the U.S. market?" And our answer has always been "Just as soon as we can overcome the engineering challenges of combining high performance and emission regulations." Today I am proud to announce that challenge has been met. The Subaru Impreza WRX STi version is ready for the U.S. market. And one without compromise. When it arrives in dealerships this summer, STi will set the new standard for providing world-class levels of acceleration, handling and braking performance.
The STi isn't for everybody. It's a street legal rally car for the driver who appreciates, and understands, pure driving performance.
STi stands for Subaru Tecnica International: the high-performance and motorsports subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. And what they have delivered is a technological driving marvel with performance and engineering characteristics that rival those of supercars priced significantly higher. The WRX STi version is much more than a high performance version of our successful WRX—it's a vehicle designed and engineered from the ground up to compete with the best the world has to offer. It's bloodlines start with the sophisticated technology that Subaru has long been known for worldwide. Impressive and respected engineering credentials bridled with a rich rally-sports heritage—a winning heritage of proven success.
Subaru is the most successful manufacturer on the world rally circuit today—with more wins than all other manufacturers combined. We have taken knowledge gained from the WRC, built upon the WRX, and derived a specialty vehicle with unparalleled performance and control.
The Subaru WRX STi version is the crowning flagship of an already impressive performance lineup. The exterior leaves no doubt about its performance potential—from the extra large hood scoop that provides additional airflow to the larger intercooler, to the dual element rear wing that helps reduce lift and improves stability at high speed.
And under that hood, is a 2.5-liter turbocharged and intercooled double overhead cam 4-cylinder boxer engine versus the 2.0-liter engine found on the WRX. It's teamed with a close ratio six-speed manual transmission—the only transmission available on STi. And performance? How about 300 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. And 300 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. This advanced powerplant features forged aluminum alloy pistons, forged high carbon steel connecting rods and sodium filled exhaust valves. It also features Subaru Active Valve Control System, or AVCS—a variable valve timing system to optimize torque throughout the power band. The larger capacity intercooler includes a manually operated water spray feature for additional cooling when needed.
All that power is transferred to the road via our most performance-oriented All-Wheel Drive system ever, that features a Driver Control Center Differential. In automatic mode, the computer varies the front to rear torque split automatically based on driving conditions and driver input. In manual mode, the DCCD allows the driver to transfer up to 65% of available torque to the rear wheels. A Suretrac limited-slip front differential helps to increase traction and reduce understeer. And a mechanical limited-slip rear differential maximizes available traction.
STi also features one of the most advanced braking systems available in any segment. Four-wheel disc Brembo Brakes with 4-piston front calipers and 2-piston rear calipers are coupled with Electronic Brake Force Distribution system and a new Super-Sports ABS that helps reduce stopping distances and understeer when compared to conventional ABS systems. This combination provides one of the most advanced and performance-oriented braking systems on the market today. And STi performs with 225/45 R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE 070 tires mounted on 17-inch by 7.5-inch wide BBS forged aluminum alloy wheels. The four-wheel independent suspension is derived from the one found on the Subaru World Rally car, but has been optimized for maximum grip on paved roads. The STi features inverted struts front and rear to reduce unsprung weight and improve performance under hard cornering.
Inside, you are reminded that Impreza WRX STi version is a special vehicle. The sport-design interior is upholstered in an exclusive blue Ecsaine fabric with black knit bolsters and integrated head restraints. A Subaru World Rally Team designed leather-wrapped MOMO brand steering wheel is unique to the STi. There's also an exclusive instrument cluster with a 160 MPH speedometer, and a 9,000 RPM center position tachometer with an adjustable redline warning buzzer and shift light.
STi engineers went to great lengths to help minimize weight, and eliminated several items that did not enhance performance. Therefore, the STi will not have a standard audio system. How better to enjoy the sweet sound of that turbo boxer engine? So there you have it. Proof that all good things come to those who wait. Uncomprised performance, with power and control that rival the world's best. This is pure Driving Performance on Subaru's terms. And this is only the beginning. As I mentioned earlier, Driving Performance will play an integral role in our future product strategy. As the WRX has shown, it's a proven formula for our continued success. That's the Beauty of Subaru All-Wheel Drive.
Thanks for joining us.
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