Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subaru's Huge Aggression Settles Spat

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Subaru's Huge Aggression Settles Spat

Article excerpt

Byline: Enda Mullen

THE modern history of the sporting saloon has essentially been about the battle between two legendary vehicles - the Mitsubishi Evolution and the Subaru Impreza WRX STi.

This spat has probably been a good thing as the keen competition between the two Japanese manufacturers has led to them continually pushing the boundaries further in the quest for perfection.

Anytime one gets an edge the other is determined to catch up. The upshot is that both cars just get better and better.

And both benefit massively from being based on rally cars that compete at the highest level.

In these grim economic times, things are changing. Subaru and Mitsubishi are pulling out of the World Rally Championships - so how the Imprezas and Evos of the future will shape up is anyone's guess.

Until then though you can be assured that just as your common or garden domestic cat has a bit of a tiger in them, the current Scooby and Evo have enough rally DNA to set them apart from any common or garden sporting saloon or hot hatch.

The big question always is "which one's better?" and in truth both have shared the honours over the years.

The big difference with the latest generation STi is the fact it is no longer a sporting saloon. For the first time since the Impreza came into being Subaru have decided to make it in hatchback form only.

Formerly you had a saloon and a 'sort of' estate (one with pretty limited carrying capacity) though the STi only ever came in saloon form.

I expect there are purists out there who would regard this as selling out, but I have to say from a practical point of view I welcomed the versatility it offered and added to this a wheelbase that has been stretched by a whole four inches makes for much more interior space.

The WRX STi has always been an extreme car. If you were a serious enthusiast you went for a bright metallic blue finish, with gun metal wheels and the huge spoiler at the back always distinguished it from the standard WRX.

No hatchback can look quite as menacing, though my test car still boasted the bright blue paintwork and eye-catching gold alloys, though the spoiler was toned down considerably. …

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