Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subaru Sets the Pulse Racing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subaru Sets the Pulse Racing

Article excerpt

Byline: By Edward Stephens

SUBARU'S managing director called the new 'discre et' version of the Impreza WRX STI a 'steel fist in a velvet glove'.

What then, I wonder, would he make of the WRX STI with the Prodrive-developed Performance Pack fitted? For while the standard STI is one of the quickest cars on the road today the pounds 1,700 pack adds warp speed. It boosts the bhp from 281 to a massive 320 and drops the 0-62mph acceleration time from 5 seconds to 4.8 seconds.

The pack is fitted by the dealer and can be added before customers take delivery of a new car, or even be retro-fitted.

The extra power and torque are achieved by reprogrammed Electronic Control Units (ECU) plus removal of a rear catalytic converter and fitment of a high-flow catalyst and sports silencer.

The change makes the car blisteringly fast off the mark and through the gears, hitting 100mph in just over 12 seconds.

In fact, there's so much power at the wheels that the four-wheel-drive of the Impreza is essential to tame it, and only just manages it.

The 'discreet' version of this car is actually listed as the Impreza spec D. It's designed for people who want the performance this car can offer but don't want to shout about it.

Or perhaps they are aware that the more overt version could be a magnet for villains looking for a fast car.

Either way, the discreet version comes without the large boot spoiler - a more moderate one replaces it - and silver instead of gold 17-inch alloy wheels.

However, the large air scoop on the bonnet stays, and is still a bit of a giveaway and the throaty roar from the sports silencer is hardly discreet.

This car is only available in Crystal Grey metallic and comes with a SmartNav satellite navigation system with touch-screen and 12 months' TrackStar and SmartNav membership.

It is also fitted with a 200 watt Pioneer allsinging all-dancing audio system which will appeal to gadget enthusiasts, and anyone buying an STI before the end of the year gets pounds 3,000 of free petrol. …

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