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Subaru Impreza WRX STI Type UK v Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

Could the new UK-spec STI really live with a Lamborghini? We find out on the rain-lashed roads of Snowdonia

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.

Comparison

 Subaru ImprezaLamborghini
EngineFlat-four, turbochargedV10, normally aspirated
LocationFront, longitudinalMid, longitudinal
Displacement2457cc4961cc
Bore x stroke99.5 x 79.0mm82.5 x 92.8mm
Cylinder blockAluminium alloyAluminium alloy, dry sump
Cylinder headAluminium alloy, dohc per bank, four valves per cylinder, active valve control systemAluminium alloy, dohc per bank, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Fuel and ignitionElectronic engine management, multipoint fuel injection, turboElectronic engine management, sequential direct injection
Max power296bhp @ 6000rpm522bhp @ 8000rpm
Max torque300lb ft @ 4000rpm376lb ft @ 4250rpm
TransmissionSix-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel drive, centre diff with viscous coupling, front and rear limited slip differentials, VDCSix-speed e-gear automated manual gearbox, four-wheel drive, rear limited slip differential, ESP, ASR
Front suspensionMacPherson struts, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll barDouble wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspensionMulti-link, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll barDouble wishbones, coil springs, gas dampers, anti-roll bar
Brakes330mm ventilated front discs, 305mm ventilated rear discs, ABS, EBD365mm ventilated front discs, 325mm ventilated rear discs, ABS, EBD
Wheels8x17in, aluminium alloy8.5x19in front, 11x19 rear, al alloy
Tyres235/45 R17 front and rear, Dunlop SP Sport 01235/35 19 front, 295/30 19 rear, Pirelli P Zero Corsa
Weight (kerb)1505kg1420kg
Power-to-weight200bhp/ton373bhp/ton
0-60mph4.8sec (claimed)3.7sec (claimed)
Max speed155mph (claimed)196mph (claimed)
Basic price£24,995£150,000
evo rating4/54.5/5
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