Fifth-gen Subaru Impreza details revealed
SUBARU has unveiled its fifth generation Impreza sedan and hatchback models at the 2016 New York Auto Show, ahead of their Australian arrival towards the end of this year.
The incoming Imprezas are particularly important to the brand as they're the first to use the company's new Subaru Global Platform, designed to "significantly enhance body and chassis rigidity, and strength".
Subaru says the new all-wheel-drive Imprezas will offer world-class collision safety and hazard avoidance, as well as far more driver-responsive handling and ride comfort. The 2.0-litre direct-injection Boxer engine has also been given plenty of attention, with around 80% of the current powerplant being revamped to make the unit lighter as well as delivering more power (up 2kW to 112kW) and efficiency.
We're also told the Lineartronic CVT auto transmission has been improved for the new cars, with greatly enhanced ratio coverage and lightness to help boost acceleration performance and fuel efficiency. Noise and vibration from these oily bits should also be greatly reduced, Subaru says.
The new platform increases rigidity through the body and chassis by between 70 to 100% over present Imprezas. There's an improved suspension system, lower centre of gravity and more responsive steering, while Subaru claims body roll is reduced by 50% over current cars.
There's a new design language for the incoming Impreza's skin, with an emphasis on a sporting wide and low stance, flared guards, new hawkeye headlights and a character line from the front guard to the door panels and rear shoulder. It's still a conservative design, but certainly sharper than the current Impreza models.
Cabins also receive a refresh. Subaru says the instrument panel gives a "feeling of refinement," while the design and construction delivers "an interior that far surpasses its class." Meanwhile, an 8-inch touchscreen display sits in the centre of the instrument panel for the infotainment system, which should be a significant technological step up with the new car.
Subaru is also targeting a big leap in safety systems. Active safety (preventing you crashing in the first place) is boosted by that improved rigidity and suspension system, while the passive kit (helping you when you do have a bingle) will be "world class" although no details have been revealed. Specification for Australian Imprezas isn't yet known, but available (standard or optional) will be pre-collision braking control, blind spot detection, adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, steering responsive headlights and a new automatic braking system to prevent reversing accidents.
Impreza's 2015 sales were down more than 20% from the previous year, so a new-generation model with updated style, performance, economy, safety and infotainment will be a welcome arrival for Subaru later this year.