It’s been a long time coming, but finally, after the teaser photos and Tokyo Show debut, Subaru’s radically reinvented Impreza STI has finally landed in the UK.
We’re treating the opinion-splitting all-wheel-drive hatchback to a good old-fashioned evo-style welcome, with a two-day thrash across the relentlessly testing tarmac of North Wales. And to add some spice we’ve also invited the Impreza STI’s ideological enemy: an Italian supercar, in this case the hard-as-nails Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.
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It’s a mouth-watering meeting cunningly engineered to test that fondly held belief that on the right day, on the right road, and in the right conditions, twenty-five grand’s-worth of plucky all-wheel-drive icon can harass a bona fide member of the automotive aristocracy. It’s a peasants’ revolt the old STI saloon was always more than capable of pulling-off. If the new STI can do the same, it’ll go a long way to appeasing those who question Subaru’s sanity in ditching four doors, a boot and a ruddy-great wing in favour of a dumpy five-door hatchback.
|Engine||Flat-four, turbocharged||V10, normally aspirated|
|Location||Front, longitudinal||Mid, longitudinal|
|Bore x stroke||99.5 x 79.0mm||82.5 x 92.8mm|
|Cylinder block||Aluminium alloy||Aluminium alloy, dry sump|
|Cylinder head||Aluminium alloy, dohc per bank, four valves per cylinder, active valve control system||Aluminium alloy, dohc per bank, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing|
|Fuel and ignition||Electronic engine management, multipoint fuel injection, turbo||Electronic engine management, sequential direct injection|
|Max power||296bhp @ 6000rpm||522bhp @ 8000rpm|
|Max torque||300lb ft @ 4000rpm||376lb ft @ 4250rpm|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel drive, centre diff with viscous coupling, front and rear limited slip differentials, VDC||Six-speed e-gear automated manual gearbox, four-wheel drive, rear limited slip differential, ESP, ASR|
|Front suspension||MacPherson struts, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar||Double wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Rear suspension||Multi-link, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar||Double wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar|
|Brakes||330mm ventilated front discs, 305mm ventilated rear discs, ABS, EBD||365mm ventilated front discs, 325mm ventilated rear discs, ABS, EBD|
|Wheels||8x17in, aluminium alloy||8.5x19in front, 11x19 rear, al alloy|
|Tyres||235/45 R17 front and rear, Dunlop SP Sport 01||235/35 19 front, 295/30 19 rear, Pirelli P Zero Corsa|
|0-60mph||4.8sec (claimed)||3.7sec (claimed)|
|Max speed||155mph (claimed)||196mph (claimed)|