Subaru introduces 2011 Impreza WRX models with new wide-body designs and
enhanced handling performance

    - New WRX 4-Door and 5-Door Models Adopt STI Wide-Body Design
    - Wider Track and Tires Enhance Grip

NEW YORK, March 23 /CNW/ - Subaru today introduced the new 2011 Impreza WRX models, which for the first time share the wide-body design of the brand's iconic WRX STI performance flagship model, including the new-for-2011 wide-body 4-door sedan.

The wider body design gives the 2011 WRX an aggressive road presence and also allows wider track dimensions. An increase of 35 mm in the front and 40 mm in the rear track, firmer rear subframe bushings and wider 17-inch wheels and tires deliver improved grip.

"The new wide-body designs for the 2011 WRX give this performance icon a new level of street presence," said Katsuhiro Yokoyama, president and CEO of Subaru Canada, Inc. "This is one more step on the continuous evolution of the WRX to give driving enthusiasts an even more compelling all-wheel drive performance package."

The 2011 Impreza WRX models arrive in Subaru dealerships this summer. All are powered by a 265-horsepower turbocharged/intercooled 2.5-litre Subaru Boxer engine teamed with a 5-speed manual transmission. The highly responsive engine produces 244 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The WRX has been the focus of continuous improvement since its introduction. For example, the 2009 model received the 265-horsepower engine and a significant chassis tuning upgrade. For 2010, the new Limited package expanded the WRX model's appeal to a broader range of driving enthusiasts.

New Designs for 2011

The WRX will now share the WRX STI wide body design, including the newly developed 4-door version. This change underscores the high-performance character of these models when compared with the rest of the Impreza model lineup. Significantly, curb weight for the 2011 WRX models increases by just 33 pounds over the 2010 models, preserving their powerful acceleration performance.

The WRX 4-door design is based on a "wide and low" concept that gives the car an aggressive road presence. Like the wide-body design already used for the 5-door WRX STI, the new 4-door has widened front and rear track dimensions and wider, more projecting front fenders and rear quarter panels. The design maintains a consistent flow from front to rear bumper, creating a distinctive identity and a sense of stability.

In front, the 2011 WRX models feature sharpened bumper corners to accentuate the "wide and low" profile. A jutting lip spoiler with three-dimensional detailing emphasizes the cars' sporty intent and the headlights now have a silver-painted inner housing. 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. The WRX also features its own version of Subaru's polished stainless steel quad-tailpipe exhaust, with tailpipe diameter enlarged to three inches.

For the 2011 WRX 4-door model, new, wider fenders are stretched out on the side more than the tail lamps, and this accentuates a look of stability. The new design details contribute to an improved drag coefficient.

Wider Track Enhances Handling

Giving the 2011 WRX the same widened body design as the WRX STI allowed Subaru to also widen track dimensions and install wider wheels and tires. These changes, along with firmer rear subframe bushings, help to reduce body roll and improve cornering stability.

In the 2011 WRX models, front track measures 1530 mm versus 1495 mm for the 2010 WRX; rear track is now 1540 mm versus 1500 mm for the 2010 model. The standard wheels are now 17 x 8 inches versus 17 x 7 inches in the 2010 model, and tire size is now 235/45R17 versus 225/45R17.

Symmetrical Full Time All-Wheel Drive and Vehicle Dynamics Control

Standard Symmetrical full time All-Wheel Drive, which forms the common core technology on all Subaru models, gives the Impreza WRX a significant handling and performance advantage over front-wheel drive competitors. Symmetrical full time All-Wheel Drive is a complete system comprised of the Subaru Boxer engine and the full-time power distribution system (which varies by Subaru model and transmission). The aluminum boxer engine and efficient, symmetrical drivetrain layout help to lower the vehicle's centre of gravity, which in turn contributes to its sporty handling characteristics.

The 2011 Impreza WRX uses the Continuous AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A viscous coupling locking centre 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. Hill Holder 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.

It is important to note that, in Subaru vehicles, traction control plays a second line of defense against wheel slip after AWD torque distribution. In contrast, some all-wheel drive systems on the market lack the performance advantage of a locking centre differential and rely solely on traction control to redistribute torque away from slipping wheels.

Sporty, Spacious and Versatile Interior

In the WRX models, exclusive Anthracite Black checkered upholstery accented by red stitching sets the tone for the sporty interior. 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's electroluminescent gauges use indicator needles that sweep the gauge faces upon engine startup.

The compact layout of the double-wishbone rear suspension helps to minimize intrusion into the cargo area, providing a wide and deep luggage compartment. In the 5-door model, the wide and flat load floor can accommodate two Tour-size golf bags when the rear seat backs are in the upright position. In the 4-door model, which is 165 mm longer than the 5-door model, the trunk can accommodate three Tour-size golf bags. A 60/40 split-folding rear seat further boosts cargo capacity and convenience, and the 4-door model also features a rear seat fold-down centre armrest.

Proven Subaru Safety Technology

Every Impreza is built using Subaru's unique Advanced Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure with front and rear crumple zones, proven in Subaru models for over a decade to provide outstanding crash protection. All Impreza models feature a 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The WRX has larger front brakes than other Impreza models. Brake Assist analyzes the force and stroke on the brake pedal and increases hydraulic boost to provide enhanced emergency braking, also activating the ABS system early if needed.

All seats provide 3-point seatbelts (height-adjustable for outboard positions), and the front seatbelts have electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters. Side-curtain airbags are standard on all Subaru models. The Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System (SRS) features front seat side impact airbags and a driver's side front airbag that deploys according to the driver's proximity to the steering wheel. In the passenger side front seat, a sensor module detects weight - first determining if the seat is occupied, and if so by a child or adult - to control airbag deployment. As part of the system, the dashboard features an "Airbag" indicator light.

About Subaru Canada, Inc.

Subaru Canada, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of over 85 authorized dealers across Canada.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Subaru Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Elaine Griffin or Jen Giller, (905) 568-4959

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