Driving thrills, yes. Interior, not so much.
I’m in for it.
The Subaru Impreza WRX owners’ community will probably send a scary fat guy with a baseball bat to visit me for this comment, but it’s gotta be said: for years before its latest 2011 update, the WRX has looked a little bit awkward. Ok, a lot awkward.
Now, with many body elements borrowed from the ultra high-performance WRX STI, Subaru’s latest WRX is notably more focused and aggressive. It’s wider, fitted with new front and rear fascias, and includes four grapefruit launcher-sized exhaust pipes. Looks like some kids got their hands on mommy’s Visa and took the standard Impreza on an all-expenses-paid trip to Go-Fast-Goody Land.
Functional styling upgrades
The widened body gives the latest WRX a fantastic and striking stance, and has allowed engineers to increase track width for more-planted handling. That’s backed up by heavy suspension modifications. And wider tires. And of course, ‘always-on’ all-wheel drive.
WRX was far from lacking in the handling department in the first place—but where dynamics are concerned, the 2011 model cranks the dial to eleven.
Powering up your rally-driving adventures is Subaru’s staple 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine, which gets an intercooled turbocharger for WRX duty. The turbo forces cool, compressed air and high-octane gas into the engine on command to crank out 265 horsepower.
The engine is torquey and responsive in gentle driving, where it’ll also turn in decent fuel mileage and operates with minimal noise. But that’s no fun.
Hammer down, and the Subaru boxer engine makes its trademark lumpy V8 sound effects off the line before delivering a delightful high-RPM growl, overlapped by whining noises from the turbocharger and gearbox. At full throttle, it sounds just like a rally car and makes a noise that’ll put a smile on your face if you’ve got one. This is one of those engines you’ll be turning the radio down for.
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