New York Preview: Official Subaru Impreza pics and info surface

click above image to view both pics of the 2008 Subaru Impreza

The amount of time that's passed since we first laid eyes on the 2008 Subaru Impreza has not served to sooth our gag reflex upon seeing it again. Though cast in a different hue this time, the general shape of the new hatchback body style in conjunction with the new chrome grille make the '08 Impreza look like the bastard offspring of a Kia Spectra5 and Toyota Camry. Since Motor Trend spilled the beans this week, Inside Line decided to drop with all the details they have on the new Impreza so far, and unfortunately there's no silver lining to report on this storm cloud.

[Source: Inside Line]

IL apparently got seat time in the car already and report that interior build quality has been vastly improved, as well as the overall packaging and useability of the vehicle. The wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer, while the interior width grows by 2 inches. The hatchback is 1.7 inches shorter than the current Impreza wagon, while the new sedan will actually be a whopping 4.9 inches longer than the four-door it replaces. Apparently much of that length goes into an extra large trunk.

A new double-wishbone rear suspension frees up some space in the back for more cargo, while the new front suspension is an almost direct port from the Legacy model. Base models will roll on 16-inch wheels, while the WRX makes do with 17-inchers.

Unfortunately, Subarua spent all that money on improving the quality of the Impreza's interior and messing with its design that no funds remained for upgrading the important mechanicals. Thus, all engines and transmissions will carry over with nary a change. That means the WRX model trudges on with its 2.5L turbocharged flat-four producing around 225 horsepower and transmission choices remain but a five-speed stick or four-speed auto.

We admit we're harshing on the 2008 Subaru Impreza, perhaps a bit more than it deserves considering we have not seen it in person yet. That will be corrected next week in New York, and for Subaru's sake we hope the new Impreza makes a killer first impression in the flesh.

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