Subaru: ultra-fast Imprezas

Words By Jim Holder

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Subaru is rolling out some really heavy-hitting versions of its Impreza at the London show, with power outputs rising up to 375bhp in a bid to topple the Mitsubishi Evo X.

The WRX STi S380 - so called because of its 380PS power output - is technically a concept at this stage, but it will go on sale in the UK this November for around 40,000. No performance figures have been released.

Expert performance-tweaking company, Prodrive, has worked on the car to a real nuts-and-bolts level, rebuilding the engine to produce the headline power output.

Suspension, exhaust, bodykit, wheels and tyres are all also new, and designed to give the Impreza a real shot in the arm.

Other WRX STi versions
In September a slightly less powerful version called the WRX STi 330S arrives for 29,995 with 323bhp and 347lb ft of pulling power. Sadly it's not on the stand.

Top speed drops from 4.8 secs to 4.4. Prices are expected to begin at 30,000, a rise of around 3500 over the standard car, with extra kit including sports seats, 18-inch alloys, sat-nav and a push start button.

Finally there's the WRX S, which is on the stand, and also goes on sale in September. The S features extras worth 4500 for an increase in price of 2500 to 22,495, chief amongst them the Prodrive Performance Pack, which increases output from 227bhp to 247bhp, reducing the 0-60mph time from 6.1secs to 5.5.

The S also features bigger wheels and tyres than the standard car, an STI-badged front grille and bigger spoilers.

Subaru's Boxer diesel engine
If you haven't had a poke around the Subaru's boxer diesel engine - the world's first - the British International Motor Show is your chance.

What's a boxer engine, you might be asking? Well, imagine taking a V4 engine and pushing the cylinders flat so they punch out from the crank like two boxers stood back-to-back.

Why has Subaru gone to the trouble of developing a diesel like this? Well, since the manufacturer's petrol engines are all boxers it's the only design that will fit under the bonnet. And since diesel engines are pretty crucial to sales in Europe, if not in Japan, Subaru thought it had better design one.

More from Subaru
You can see the engine on show in the company's Legacy and Outback cars which got the engine in May.

The new Forester - first seen at Geneva - is also in London and will also get the option of the engine in September ahead of the Impreza next January.