AT the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, visitors will get to see the new 6th generation of the Subaru Impreza. The Los Angeles event was the same place that Subaru first launched the Impreza 30 years ago, the only vehicle in the compact class at the time to offer all-wheel drive. The Impreza also laid the foundation for the legendary WRX, the performance car with rally championships spanning four decades.
For this new generation, Subaru has dropped the sedan bodystyle and will only offer the Impreza as a 5-door hatchback. Compared to the fifth generation’s hatchback, the new bodystyle is less bulbous with sportier looks and styling elements like the new Crosstrek.
The Subaru Global Platform (SGP) began with the 5th generation Impreza in 2016 and continues to be used for all the brand’s models, including the new Impreza. It has been enhanced with 10% higher torsional rigidity. A full inner frame construction and additional structural adhesive contribute to better body rigidity and lighter weight. The updated architecture gives improved dynamic performance, a smoother ride and quieter cabin.
EyeSight Technology is the name of Subaru’s integrated driver-assist system which has been available in most Subaru models over the past 12 years. As the name suggests, it uses ‘eyesight’ – of a camera – to scan the road ahead and identify hazards and potential collisions. In the event of a likely collision, the system can take autonomous action to apply the brakes.
The system in the new Impreza has been updated with a wider field of view and updated control software. It has smoother and quicker operation and operates under a greater range of conditions. The camera can now identify bicycles and pedestrians at intersections sooner to allow for analysis of the situation earlier.
Other driver-assist features include Automatic Emergency Steering, Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Working with Eyesight and Blind-Spot Detection, the emergency steering can activate to help avoid a collision at speeds less than 80 km/h.
Now with STARLINK
Within the spacious cabin afford by the Subaru Global Platform, the STARLINK Multimedia Plus system has been added to the Impreza for the first time. The system uses an 11.6-inch high-resolution touchscreen equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with full screen display. The multimedia system is also integrated with the combination to show vehicle functions.
Improvements to the climate control system now direct more cool air to the seats that are occupied, instead of being spread throughout the cabin. This not only improves comfort but as there is no ‘waste’, fuel economy can also be improved.
The RS returns
The carmaker has also revived the Impreza RS, a legendary version that was last offered in 1998. Unlike the WRX which came after it, the RS was a coupe and had a 2.5-litre engine. The new Impreza also comes with a 2.5-litre 183 bhp engine – Boxer, of course. It is paired with a Lineartronic CVT featuring an 8-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters.
Besides the 2.5-litre engine, there will also be a 2-litre direct-injection engine with 152 bhp output. All powertrains will use a CVT (no more manual transmission) and a revised Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with faster response time will also be available throughout the range.
The new Impreza also receives a version of the dual-pinion electronic power steering rack of the WRX. This offers more direct and natural steering feel and greater responsiveness. The RS also gets SI-Drive performance management system, 18-inch alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension.