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2008-2009 Impreza WRX STI

28th October 2007

2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Hatchback

2008 SUbaru Impreza WRX STI

Subaru has at last revealed details of its hardcore new 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI which is substantially different to the non-turbo five-door models now being delivered to first customers. Price at time of publication £25090.

Developed by a dedicated team of performance-loving engineers, the stunning new 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI debut at the Tokyo Motor Show on 24 October 2007 but if you want one of these babies you will have to wait until next spring.

With a heavily-revised new 300 PS turbocharged 2.5 litre "boxer" engine, totally new platform and suspension plus even more advanced symmetrical all-wheel drive system, the World Rally Championship look-alike is sure to satisfy Subaru traditionalists even though the makeover has transformed the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi into a hatchback.

Its proportions are radically altered compared to both the previous Impreza and mainstream new 1.5 and 2.0 litre models.  For example, the wheelbase is 95 mm longer than the old car despite overall length being 50 mm shorter. This reduces front and rear overhangs and enhances stability.

And at 1,795 mm wide (70.7 inches), the new 2008 STI is even 55 mm wider than the new model thanks to heavily blistered wheelarches, while front and rear tracks are 45 and 40 mm greater for a ground-hugging stance.

Apart from the extended front and rear wings, key visual differences include a mesh front grille and a new, deep bumper design with sporty vertical air vents at either side to help cool the intercooler.  Immediately behind each front wheel is a vertical air outlet for the intercooler, topped by an "STI" moulding plate.

Specially-designed side skirts neatly blend into the extended wheel-arches, while an oversized roof spoiler with high-mounted stop lamp further distances the 2008 Subaru WRX STI from the mainstream Impreza R and RX. In addition, an integrated rear bumper diffuser reduces high-speed lift.

At the rear, four exhaust pipes twinned in pairs at either side of the body not only give a distinctive look but reduce exhaust air-flow resistance by 38 per cent, increasing power and reducing noise.

The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi is equipped with full-time all wheel drive (AWD) a limited-slip, planetary gear-type center differential augmented by an electronically controlled center limited-slip differential Driver-Controllable Center Differential System (DCCD), provideing a performance-oriented 41/59 torque split front-to-rear under normal conditions. The mechanical limited slip differential has a quicker response and activates just prior to the electronic limited-slip differential.

In any of the three automatic modes, the electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch can vary the distribution ratio through the center differential as needed to suit driving and road-surface conditions. The DCCD AWD System has three automatic modes in the 2009 WRX STI: “Auto” is the same as in the previous-generation model. The new “Auto (-) Active Sport setting shifts the torque bias to the rear and also opens the center limited-slip differential (no locking factor), which improves steering feel. For driving on slippery surfaces, such as gravel or snow, the Auto (+) setting tightens the LSD. In manual mode, which offers six driver-selectable settings, DCCD allows the driver to vary the front-to-rear torque distribution to optimize All-Wheel Drive performance to suit specific driving conditions.

Auto mode is the default setting on engine start-up. This mode is an all-round control mode appropriate for the majority of driving conditions. It automatically adjusts front/rear torque split to accommodate variations in traction, individual wheel speed, and yaw.

Auto (+) mode biases front/rear torque toward a 50/50 setting but does fluctuate slightly for flexibility on clear patches. This near-neutral setting is ideal for rough roads and slippery conditions or situations when safety through traction is of the utmost concern.

Auto (-) mode biases front/rear torque distribution toward 41/59, increasing steering response for quick and agile driving due to the near-consistent rear-wheel bias.

Manual mode offers drivers a precise choice in torque split to exactly suit driving conditions and their individual driving preferences by pressing the Auto/Manual button and toggling forward (+) or backward (-) to adjust front/rear torque split. Only the real experts will get the most from this feature as it puts total decision-making in the hands of the driver.

The 2008- Subaru WRX STi is equipped with multi-mode VDC. Normally, the VDC button simply turned the stability control system on and off. Multi-mode VDC offers drivers three different combinations of stability control, traction control and ABS performance to suit any driving condition or driving style.

  # Normal mode delivers VDC’s full capabilities for maximum safety in everyday conditions.
  # Off mode allows some wheel spin to enable throttle steering in corners, and wheel spin on ice or snow.
  # Traction mode minimizes the intrusiveness of VDC (traction and stability control).

"At the same time our transmission was being serviced, we had our dealer perform a mandatory ECU reflash required by Subaru of America. The manufacturer states that under certain harsh driving conditions “abnormal combustion could occur, resulting in serious internal engine damage in the form of broken piston ring lands.” Car & Driver

SPECIFICATIONS 2008 Subaru WRX STI (See below for WRX)

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door wagon

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
Displacement: 150 cu in, 2457cc
Power (SAE net): 305 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 290 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

Wheelbase: 103.3 in Length: 173.8 in Width: 70.7 in Height: 58.1 in
Curb weight: 3386 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 5.1 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 13.0 sec
Zero to 140 mph: 36.1 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 6.6 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.6 sec @ 102 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 155 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.93 g
Top speed (governor limited): 151 mph
EPA fuel economy, city/highway driving: 17/23 mpg
C/D-observed fuel economy: 20 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt

Zero to 60 mph: 5.1 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 12.9 sec
Zero to 140 mph: 38.9 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.6 sec @ 102 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 158 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.92 g
Top speed (governor limited): 151 mph


Specifications of 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX  Hatchback  5 dr  £20,090 on-the-road (at time of publication)

Manufacturer Subaru
Model Impreza WRX
Type Hatchback
List Price 20,090 on-the-road £
Length 4,415mm
Length  wheelbase 2,620mm
Height 1,475mm
Width 1,740mm
Insurance Group 18
Engine Capacity 2,457cc
Fuel Petrol
Transmission Manual
Doors 5
Nil to sixty 6.5 seconds
Top speed 130mph
Miles per Gallon 27.2 miles/gallons
C02 246 g of C02/km


  Standard Optional
Alloy Wheels Yes  
Air Conditioning Yes  
Front Electric Window Yes  
Rear Electric Window Yes  
Satellite Naviga   £No
Bluetooth   £No
Stereo System Yes  
Tinted Glass Yes  
Leather   £No
Leather Interior   £No
CD Player Yes  
Central Door Locker Yes  
Cruise Control   £No
Electric Door Mi Yes  
Manual Sunroof   £No
Electric Sunroof   £No
Power Steering Yes  
AntiLock Brakes Yes  
Anti Theft Device Yes  
Driver Air Bag Yes  
Passenger Air Bag Yes 

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