Subaru is set to shock both enthusiasts and grey importers with the announcement of a scorching 280 PS Impreza Turbo two door saloon – exclusively available in its UK dealer showrooms alongside regular models in March 2000. The new Impreza P1 leaves Subaru’s Japanese factory to a specification extensively modified to suit UK driving conditions.
Painstaking development work over the last year has resulted in a car which not only meets the most stringent European Whole Vehicle Type Approval regulations but gives class-leading levels of ride and handling. Banbury-based Prodrive Limited dedicated a team of chassis engineers to create the best real world drivers car.
Called Subaru Impreza P1 (Prodrive One) the ultimate real world driver’s car is planned to be the first in a line of ultra high-performance models which comply with all official noise, emission, environmental and safety rules. By contrast, the various Japanese specification Impreza Turbo derivatives – which are not designed for UK driving conditions – can only be sold by grey importers via the less demanding Single Vehicle Approval regulations.
But instead of developing a car which merely scraped through legal requirements, Subaru UK also set out to beat benchmark cars such as the latest Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI and BMW M3 for performance, ride and handling and genuine B-road thrills.Power leaps from the standard Turbo’s already outstanding 218 PS at 5,600 rpm to 280 PS, while torque has increased to an estimated 260 lb.ft compared to the normal model’s 214 lb.ft at 4,000 rpm. Precise power and torque figures will be released at the London Motor Show.
Performance significantly improves on the standard car’s 143.5 mph top speed and 0-62 mph time of 6.3 seconds. Top speed for the P1 is estimated to be in excess of 150 mph, while a 0-60 mph time has been recorded at 4.8 seconds.
Tests have also recorded the 0-100 mph sprint in 12.27 seconds, with a standing quarter mile in 13.49 seconds and standing kilometre in 24.54 seconds. The much-quoted 50-70 mph time in 5th gear is dispatched in 6.9 seconds.
Fuel consumption is a respectable 19.0/30.4/25.0 mpg for the Urban/Extra Urban and Combined cycles.
The new Impreza P1 will debut on Subaru’s Stand F6 in Hall One of the London Motor Show (Earls Court, 20-31 October).
Naturally, the new P1 will enjoy the same comprehensive three year/60,000 mile warranty as any other Subaru model, supported by a highly-trained and widely respected 110-strong dealer network.
Fundamental to the Impreza Turbo’s cult car reputation for dynamic – yet safe – handling and grip in all weather conditions is its all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.
This features a centre differential with viscous coupling. In normal and dry road conditions torque is distributed 60/40 between the front and rear wheels.
But in wet, muddy or icy conditions, the viscous coupling senses which axle has the most grip and distributes torque accordingly. The new P1 also shares the Impreza Turbo’s limited-slip rear differential. This further distributes torque – this time to whichever rear wheel offers the most grip.
Key Impreza P1 features include
-Two door saloon body -Peter Stevens-designed deep front and rear spoilers -Available exclusively in Sonic Blue – similar to the Impreza World Rally Car -Colour-keyed mirrors, door handles and side skirts -Special 90 mm diameter Hella H4 front driving lamps – just like 2000 Season Impreza WRC -New Peter Stevens-designed titanium-effect 10-spoke O.Z. wheels -Standard 205/45 Pirelli P-Zero tyres on 17×7 ins rims -Specific Prodrive-developed spring, damper and geometry settings -Interior features grey suede-effect door and seat trim -Prodrive-branded interior and boot mats plus exterior badging -Faster 13:1 steering ratio -powerful ventilated front and rear disc brakes -Four-channel ABS -Shorter-throw quick-shift gear change