The Subaru Impreza is a compact automobile that has been manufactured since 1992 by Subaru. Subaru introduced the Impreza as a replacement for the Leone, with the Leone’s EA series engines replaced by the newer EJ series versions.
Now in its fourth generation, Subaru has offered four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body variants since 1992; the firm also offered a coupe from 1995 until 2000. Mainstream versions have received naturally aspirated “boxer” flat-four engines ranging from 1.5- to 2.5-liters, with the performance-oriented Impreza WRX and WRX STI models uprated with the addition of turbochargers. Since the third generation series, some markets have adopted the abbreviated Subaru WRX name for these high-performance variants. The first three generations of Impreza in North America were also available with an off-road appearance package titled Subaru Outback Sport. For the fourth generation, this appearance package became known as the Subaru XV, and is sold internationally.
Subaru has offered both front- and all-wheel drive versions of the Impreza. Since the late-1990s, some markets have restricted sales to the all-wheel drive model—therefore granting the Impreza a unique selling proposition in the global compact class characterized by front-wheel drive. However, Japanese models remain available in either configuration.
- 1 First generation (1992–2000; GC, GF, GM; “N” series)
- 1.1 WRX
- 2 Second generation (2000–2007; GD, GG; “S” series)
- 2.1 WRX
- 3 Third generation (2007–2011; GE, GH, GR, GV; “G3” series)
- 3.1 WRX
- 3.2 WRX STI
- 4 Fourth generation (2011–present; GJ, GP; “G4” series)
- 4.1 XV
- 4.2 WRX (VA)
- 4.3 WRX STI
- 5 Motorsports
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
- 8 External links
First generation (1992–2000; GC, GF, GM; “N” series)
Late-model Subaru Impreza RX sedan (Australia)
|Also called||Subaru Outback Sport|
|Designer||Tetsuya Hayashi, Hidefumi Kato (1990)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe (GM)
4-door sedan (GC)
5-door hatchback (GF)
|Wheelbase||2,520 mm (99.2 in)|
|Length||4,340 mm (170.9 in)|
|Width||1,690 mm (66.5 in)|
|Height||1,405 mm (55.3 in)|
|Curb weight||1,220 kg (2,689.6 lb)|
Announced on 22 October 1992, the Impreza was released in Japan in November and offered in either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) versions and as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback/wagon. According to a Motor Trend article written March 1992 on page 26, the name of Subaru’s new compact was, initially, to be called the Loyale, displaying an official photograph of the four-door sedan. In late 1995, a two-door coupe was introduced in Japan. Initial engine choices included 1.6 L, 1.8 L and 2.0 L naturally aspirated engines.
Subaru chose to continue their longstanding use of the boxer engine in the Impreza. According to Subaru, their configuration of the engine inline with the transmission minimizes body roll due to the lower center of gravity compared with offset engines in most other vehicles. The boxer design provides good vibration mitigation due to the principles of a balanced engine because the movement of each piston is largely countered by a piston in the opposing cylinder bank, eliminating the need for a counter-weighted rotating crankshaft (harmonic balancer), but with some vibration from offsets. Torque steer is also reduced with this type of powertrain layout since the front drive shafts are of equal length and weight.
The Outback Sport was introduced to North America in 1994 for the 1995 model year as an updated Impreza “L” Sport Wagon. It was the top trim level of the Impreza wagon model with no significant mechanical or performance changes from the lower trim levels aside from a slightly lifted suspension. Subaru found some sales success with the Outback Sport as a smaller companion with similar ride height changes, body colors and trim levels to the larger, more successful selling Legacy-based Outback. For the first time the 2.2 engine was used in the American Impreza. Later, the 2.5 engine was introduced. In Japan, the Impreza Sport Wagon was offered with a similar approach to the Outback Sport, calling it the “Impreza Gravel Express” with the WRX turbocharged engine. Subaru discontinued the Gravel Express when the second generation Impreza was introduced due to very limited sales. The hood-scoop found on the American Outback Sport was non-functional but was probably included because the American and Japanese versions were built at the same factory in Japan. The Outback Sport was offered with optional equipment, such as a gauge pack installed on top of the dashboard, that included a digital compass, outside temperature and barometer or altimeter readings.