- The Washington Times - Friday, March 26, 2010

New York, N.Y. | Subaru of America Inc. has just introduced the new 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX models, which use a wide-body design like the brand’s iconic WRX STI performance flagship model.

An approximately 1.5-inch increase in front and rear track, firmer rear subframe bushings and wider 17-inch wheels and tires deliver improved grip in the 2011 WRX. The standard wheels are now 17-x-8-inches vs. 17-x-7-inches in the 2010 model, and tire size is now 235/45R17 vs. 225/45R17.

“The new wide-body designs mark another major step on the continuous evolution of the WRX to give driving enthusiasts an even more compelling all-wheel-drive performance package,” said Tom Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Subaru of America Inc.

The 2011 Impreza WRX four- and five-door models arrive in Subaru dealerships this summer. Both are powered by a 265-horsepower turbocharged/intercooled 2.5-liter four-cylinder Subaru-Boxer engine teamed with a five-speed manual transmission. This highly responsive engine produces 244 pound-feet of peak torque at 4,000 rpm.

The WRX has been the focus of continuous improvement since its introduction. Most recently, the 2009 model received the 265-horsepower engine and a significant chassis tuning upgrade. For 2010, the new Limited trim lines expanded the WRX model’s appeal to a broader range of driving enthusiasts.

The 2011 Impreza WRX uses the Continuous AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A viscous coupling locking center differential nominally distributes torque 50:50. Should slippage occur, this system transfers more power to the wheels with the best traction.

The Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction-control system is standard. Incline Start Assist, featured on all Impreza models equipped with a manual transmission, can momentarily prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.

New designs for 2011

Both the WRXfive-door modelandfour-doormodelwill feature awide-body design for 2011 similar to that of the WRX STI,underscoring the high-performance character ofbothmodels.The new design is based on a “wide and low” concept and gives both cars an aggressive street presence. The design also maintains a consistent flow from front to rear bumper, creating a distinctive identity and a sense of stability in the vehicles.

Significantly, curb weight for the 2011 WRX models increases by just 33 pounds over the “original body” 2010 models, preserving their powerful acceleration performance.

In front, the 2011 WRX models feature sharpened bumper corners and wider, blacked-out fog-lamp nacelles to accentuate the “wide and low” profile. A jutting lip spoiler with three-dimensional detailing emphasizes the cars’ sporty intent. The newly designed front grille with black base and blacked-out Subaru wing highlights the headlights’ shape to give the entire front end a more powerful appearance, accentuated by larger grille and bumper intake openings.

For the 2011 WRX four-door model, the wider fenders are stretched out on the side more than the taillamps, accentuating a look of stability. The new design details contribute to an improved drag coefficient.

Sporty, spacious and versatile interior

In the WRX models, exclusive carbon black checkered upholstery accented by red stitching sets the tone for the sporty interior. The compact layout of the double-wishbone rear suspension helps minimize intrusion into the cargo area, providing a wide and deep luggage compartment. In the five-door, the wide and flat load floor can accommodate two Tour-size golf bags with the rear seat backs in the upright position. In the four-door, which is 6.5 inches longer than the five-door, the trunk can accommodate three Tour-size golf bags. A 60/40-split folding rear seat further boosts cargo capacity and convenience in both models, and the four-door also features a rear seat fold-down center armrest.

All WRX models are equipped with standard aluminum-alloy pedal covers and driver’s footrest. Performance-design front seats integrate the backrest and head restraint into a single structure. As a sporty accent, the instrument panel electroluminescent gauges use indicator needles that sweep the gauge faces upon engine start-up.

The standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel is a three-spoke, leather-wrapped design and features control switches for Bluetooth hands-free phone function. A new AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player features Bluetooth audio streaming and hands-free calling, iPod control capability, a USB port, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack and has XM/SIRIUS satellite radio capability. (Subscription is extra.) An available navigation system integrates a vehicle information center and Bluetooth hands-free calling.

Proven Subaru safety

The Impreza models are built around the Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure with front and rear crumple zones. This design has been proved in Subaru models for more than a decade to provide outstanding crash protection. Side-curtain air bags are standard on all Subaru models, as is a four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.

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