Road & Track magazine has come clean with its take on (and photos of) the all-new Subaru Impreza WRX. The previously-released Motor Trend photo spread did absolutely nothing for the car, and was largely met with cries of anguish, pulling of hair and much gnashing of teeth. The new Subie's 5-door appearance has proven to be controversial so far, mostly because it just didn't look good in those particular photos. R&T's pics cast it the car in a different light, and it fares better.

The new front end design is a lot more appealing than the Motor Trend cover led us to believe. Road & Track's pictures, taken outside in sunlight, show that the grillework is not overly shiny. In fact, it appears to have a predominantly matte finish, with a little extra shine on the side and lower borders. The car's substantial hood scoop is wide and mean-looking, and it appears ready to ingest any unlucky birds, roadside wildlife, and possibly small children that happen to venture too close. We like what we see.

In profile, the car still looks enormous (note the driver's size compared to the rest of the car), and we get the impression that it probably is, when compared to the outgoing Impreza. One of Subaru's goals was to make the new version more practical and appealing to the masses, and it's obviously grown accordingly. That all said, the hatchback is looking a lot better in our eyes after seeing these new photos. Whether or not the car truly presents well "in the metal" is something we'll be able to tell you in a few days.

The irony of all this is that the hatchback, a car every auto writer and pundit had been waiting for with bated breath, is practically old news now. Who'd have thought that the big Subie surprise awaiting us in New York would be the new WRX sedan, which has remained very much off the radar during the runup to the show?

Road & Track's photo gallery can be found here.

Props to Dino for the tip!

[Source: Road & Track]

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