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Subaru Impreza WRX

A high-powered version of the Subaru Impreza, a small sedan, this vehicle has become an icon for automobile enthusiasts wherever it is sold for its high performance, excellent grip and handling, practicality, and relatively affordable price (approximately 45,000 Australian dollars).

Originally released in 1992 (?) in Japan, then soon after in Australia and Britain (countries which, like Japan, have cars with steering wheels on the right-hand side of the vehicle), it had a turbocharged 2-litre engine originally producing 155 kilowatts, constant four-wheel-drive, wide, low-profile tyres, larger brakes (further improved in later versions with the fitment of four-piston calipers and larger discs), and firmer, better quality suspension components. Offering the performance and handling of vehicles of far higher cost, it rapidly became popular with enthusiasts across those countries. Indeed, it rapidly gained the reputation of being the most popular getaway car for robberies, as even inexpert drivers were able to drive it very quickly.

A series of low-volume versions with even greater power and grip were built by Subaru's inhouse modifier, Subaru Tecnica International (STi). These higher-specified versions are raced, largely unmodified, in production-car circuit racing and stock classes of car rallys, to great success. A highly modified version is raced in the prototype class of the World Rally Championship, in which it has been competitive for many years.

In 2000, an all-new version of the car was released, finally appearing in the United States. While more comfortable, quieter, better handling, and more refined, it has not been as popular with enthusiasts as its greater weight has hampered performance slightly (although a higher-powered engine fitted to Japanese-market version remedies that problem) and the styling is regarded as somewhat unattractive; as a result, in an unusually early revamp Subaru have updated the style again for 2003, and have largely overcome the stylistic objections, and a 168 kW engine upgrade has returned performance to pre-2000 levels. It still remains by far the fastest-accelerating, grippiest, and in many people's eyes the most exciting sports car available for the price. It is regarded as perhaps the definitive sports car of the 1990s.

The Subaru Impreza WRX is to be the base for the Saab 9-2.

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