RAC Cars News


Saloon version of new Subaru Impreza hinted at

By raccars Published

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The 2016 iteration of the Subaru Impreza may arrive in a four door format, with a saloon concept tipped to appear at the LA Motor Show.

Although the five door version of the next-generation Impreza was given its public unveiling during the recent Tokyo Motor Show, Subaru now looks set to show off the saloon equivalent, with an image hinting at the styling of this car released ahead of the LA Motor Show, according to AutoCar.

The arrival of the next Subaru Impreza is relevant not just for fans of this particular range, but as an indication of Subaru’s strategy for the next five years. The Japanese manufacturer is attempting to develop its brand and build a strong foundation for the future. It appears to be starting with the Impreza update and is likely to extend to all models over time, including the likes of the Outback. And interestingly Subaru will actually be using the same basic platform for all of its upcoming vehicles. This will not only save money during the development process but will also allow every model to share a number of fundamental benefits, such as lower weight and better structural strength.

The image of the four door Impreza concept does not give fans a huge amount of information to go on, but there have also been recent shots of the fully fledged model in testing on public roads which give a really good idea as to how it will appear from just about every angle. And as with the hatchback variant, it will feature a dramatically re-designed front end with more angular and aggressive headlights, a larger grille and sharper lines across the bodywork. In short, it should appeal to those who love the Impreza because of its motorsport ties.

Boosting Subaru’s prestige

The new Impreza is intended to kick-start Subaru’s reinvention of its brand in a major way, so the company is thought to be planning a significant number of changes on the inside, focusing more on using premium materials and high-tech components rather than opting solely for a value-oriented approach to design. The company admits that while it has a loyal core of fans around the world, it is not enough to simply meet their needs with each new model; new audiences must be reached.

To this end, Subaru is re-aligning its brand and its cars to help it compete against European marques, with a spokesperson mentioning BMW, Alfa Romeo and Audi as being targeted in its nascent attempt to become more prestigious. So while the prototype of the new Impreza was spotted alongside models such as the Ford Focus and Mazda 3 during testing, it might actually be setting out to rival ranges such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series when it launches next year.

Cost control

In spite of its ambitions, Subaru is thought to be keeping a firm grip on the costs of the new Impreza, with the base model expected to arrive for just under £18,000 in the UK. This would give it the edge over its European rivals, although may come at the expense of standard equipment and trim levels, to some extent. So buyer attention may be focused on the models higher in the range, including the mooted saloon version which may reach the UK in the next 12 months.

New engines will accompany the overhauled platform, which should allow the next Impreza to out-perform its predecessor in terms of fuel efficiency. And while it may be an iconic model range in its own right, its success is far from assured.

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