We just gave you a deep dive look at the 2012 Subaru Impreza. Now, we get to see the fourth-generation Subaru in its four and five-door flesh on the floor of the 2011 New York Auto Show. The new car is lighter and more fuel efficient, boasting a very impressive 36 mile per gallon highway fuel-economy rating. How is the new 2012 Impreza able to claim the title of most fuel-efficient all-wheel-drive car in the United States? Dropping a few pounds doesn't hurt but there's a bit more to it than that.
Beneath the hood lies a brand-new 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, which produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. When paired with Subaru's new CVT, the Impreza achieves the aforementioned 36 mile per gallon highway fuel-economy rating, and also returns 27 mpg in the city. And though the 2012 Impreza occupies the same footprint as the model it replaces, the wheelbase has been pushed out an extra inch, which allows for more interior space yet no trunk room was compromised.
The lightened-up Subaru Impreza sedan and five-door hatchback are scheduled to arrive at your local dealership later this summer. Follow the jump to read the full official press release from Subaru and check out our galleries of high-res live images from the show floor below.
Live photos copyright ©2011 Jeff Glucker/AOL
- Bold New Sedan and Five-Door Designs Stand Apart from Mainstream Compact Models
- All-New 2.0-Liter Boxer Engine and Continuously Variable Transmission
- 30-Percent Boost In Fuel Economy Makes 2012 Impreza the Most Fuel Efficient All-Wheel Drive Car in America.
- Roomiest Impreza Ever With New Level of Comfort and Refinement
- Evolved Chassis Delivers Stable Yet Responsive Handling with Refined Ride Quality
- Cutting-Edge Infotainment Technology
- Wider Range of Models for Greater Customer Choice
NEW YORK, April 20, 2011 - Subaru of America, Inc., today introduced the all-new fourth-generation 2012 Impreza® four-door and five-door compact models at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. Debuting bolder, more dynamic designs and an all-new powertrain, the 2012 Impreza models offer a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing versions, along with increased room, greater agility and a higher level of refinement. New amenities, infotainment technology and higher-grade interior materials contribute to a more rewarding driving and ownership experience in the 2012 Impreza, which will arrive in Subaru dealerships this summer.
Powered by an all-new 2.0-liter Boxer engine, the 2012 Impreza comes with a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or the second-generation Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission). The 2012 Impreza will offer the highest fuel economy of any all-wheel drive car in America, with projected EPA ratings of 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Every 2012 Impreza is equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, an invaluable performance- and safety-enhancing system.
Built on a longer wheelbase, but with shorter overhangs, the 2012 Impreza provides a roomier interior in the same external footprint as the outgoing model. The new passenger cabin yields not only more room, but also a greater feeling of spaciousness and better visibility than before.
Bold Design Statement Also Enhances Functionality
The 2012 Subaru Impreza conveys a bolder, more confident design that emphasizes its sporty roots and standard All-Wheel Drive performance. In profile, the 2012 Impreza draws focus to its wheels with powerful arches, a theme that debuted on the 2010 Subaru Legacy®. Sharply sculpted character lines enhance the way light and shadows accentuate the design. Prominent wheel arches echo the power running through the Symmetrical AWD System. The sleek silhouette incorporates a larger greenhouse, which also aids visibility, a Subaru design priority.
In front, the Subaru badge centers the new hexagonal grille, a keystone of all new Subaru designs. The hawk-eye headlights continue a theme introduced with the 2010 Legacy. A range of new 15-inch wheel cover and 16- and 17-inch alloy wheel designs debut on the 2012 Impreza, all meant to accentuate the car's high-tech, sporty nature.
Numerous exterior and interior design elements combine to give the Impreza a sportier stance while also offering the driver and passengers a more commanding, confident view of the road. The windshield is more raked than in the previous model, with the bottom of the A-pillar moved 7.9 inches forward. This allows for a front door opening that is nearly five inches longer for easier entry/exit, abetted by doorsills that are 0.8-inch lower than before. Rear doors are also larger on both body styles.
To maximize driver visibility in corners, the Impreza features thinner A-pillars and partitioned front door side glass. This configuration allows for a slimmer secondary pillar – and therefore better visibility – compared to cars that use a pulled-forward windshield design and thicker secondary pillars. The top-of-door interior trim is 2.4 inches lower. These elements contribute to better visibility, which is also enhanced by a 0.67-in. higher front hip point and a 0.79-in. higher rear hip point for occupants. The instrument panel is lower and flatter than before, resulting in a wider field of view and a feeling of greater spaciousness. Exterior side view mirrors with 23-percent more surface area enhance visibility and driving safety, and relocating the mirrors from the A-pillars to the doors contributes to improved sight lines.
Improved Room and Refinement
The combination of a longer wheelbase and redesigned door and roof trim and front seats yields gains in passenger and cargo room, with additional details demonstrating Subaru's mastery of smart vehicle packaging. The Impreza's wheelbase grows to 104.1 inches compared to 103.2 in the outgoing model. Vehicle length and width remain the same as before for both sedan and five-door models, yet, thanks to redesigned door panels, the 2012 Impreza offers increased hip and shoulder room.
Rear seat passengers gain nearly two inches of legroom, thanks to both the longer wheelbase and a new, scalloped-style front seat backrest design. Sedan trunk room and five-door cargo room are both increased, and the five-door now provides a completely flat load floor with the standard 60/40 split rear seatbacks folded. Relocating the car's electronic control units (ECU's), power window motors and fuel vapor charcoal canister are "behind the scenes" details that helped make the new gains possible within the same exterior package as the outgoing model.
The 2012 Impreza interior is not only more spacious than the outgoing model, but also delivers a major step up in refinement. The sporty instrument panel and three-spoke steering wheel are augmented in all Impreza models by a multi-function display with trip computer located in the center of the dashboard. Richer looking appointments and details abound, including soft-touch materials for the dashboard, door trim and center console armrest. In the higher line models, the armrest features a slide adjustment for greater comfort and versatility.
Optimizing the shape of the cargo-area trim and nearby components enables three golf bags or a large baby stroller to be easily loaded. In the five-door, it is easier to load and unload heavy objects, thanks to the removal of a stepped section under the opening. The cargo area cover can now be stored under the cargo floor, as on the Forester.
In the sedan, trunk functionality is improved with support arms that are reshaped and enclosed within the trunk interior trim, ensuring that they do not make contact with stored items when the trunk is closed. When the trunk release is activated, from within the car or via the remote control, the trunklid opens wider than before. Subaru designers paid special attention to increase not only cargo area and trunk room in the 2012 Impreza, but also carrying space and utility throughout the vehicle. Larger door pockets can hold plastic drink bottles and large maps. Numerous compartments located in and around the center console hold all manner of today's personal items, such as phones, USB drives and MP3 players. For those who still prefer to listen to music on CD, the console compartments provide ample storage for jewel cases.
Highest Level of Comfort, Convenience and Luxury Ever Offered in a Subaru Impreza
More spacious than before, the 2012 Impreza also offers greater comfort, versatility and more advanced yet easy-to-use infotainment technology. New front seats are designed with long-distance comfort in mind and feature higher seatbacks, increased lumbar support and cushions that more effectively distribute pressure. As in the 2010 Legacy, the seats are optimized for a rear-end collision. A tilt/telescoping steering wheel is standard on all 2012 Impreza models.
Standard comfort and available amenities are increased across the Impreza line for 2012. The entry model, for example, features power windows, door locks and side mirrors, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, outside temperature gauge, a mutli-function display with fuel economy information, remote keyless entry system, security system with engine immobilizer, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, variable intermittent windshield wipers and a low windshield washer fluid warning light. Even carpeted floormats, often an option in many cars, are standard equipment in all 2012 Impreza models.
Impreza Premium models add more amenities, including 16-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel audio and Bluetooth® control switches, a rear stabilizer bar for crisper handling, adjustable console armrest, body-color exterior mirrors and chrome interior door handles. The Premium models also cater to the latest demand for versatile and easy-to-use infotainment technology. The standard audio system in the Premium models features Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), iPod® control capability, USB port, 3.5mm aux. input jack and six speakers.
The Premium models can be further equipped with an optional All-Weather Package (heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer). An available Alloy Wheel Package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, single tailpipe outlet with stainless steel tip for sedan model, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter handle. When equipped with the optional Lineartronic CVT, the Impreza Premium, Limited and Sport models also feature a 6-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters.
A power moonroof and a navigation system are available as separate options for the 2012 Impreza Premium models. The new navigation system includes a 6.1-inch touch screen LCD display, voice control, iTunes® tagging, SMS text messaging capability, XM® Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic (both XM services require subscriptions). Updated map data can be downloaded to a personal computer and then transferred into the system via secure digital (SD) card.
The Impreza Sport Premium is a five-door model that combines standard 17-inch alloy wheels and the All-Weather Package with fog lights, roof rails, unique seat fabric and rocker panel spoilers.
At the top of the Impreza range for 2012, the Limited and Sport Limited (five-door only) models deliver the highest level of comfort and convenience ever offered in a Subaru Impreza. Building upon the Premium content, the Limited and Sport Limited add the Alloy Wheel Package and All-Weather Package, plus the luxury of leather upholstery, automatic climate control, upgraded instrumentation, chrome exterior door handles (the Limited four-door and five-door models), fog lights and auto on-off headlights. A further audio upgrade (above the Premium) features a 4.3-inch display screen and standard HD Radio. The power moonroof and navigation system are separate options on the Limited, as well.
All-New Boxer Engine With New Available Lineartronic CVT
The 2012 Impreza is powered by an all-new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Boxer engine, teamed to a five-speed manual transmission or the available new Lineartronic™ CVT (standard on Limited and Sport Limited). With either transmission, the 2012 Impreza delivers significantly higher fuel economy than the car it replaces.
The new 2.0-liter engine produces 148 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of peak torque. This new Subaru engine family, which debuted in the 2011 Forester in 2.5-liter form, uses a double overhead-cam design, compared to the previous SOHC configuration. The Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS) controls valve timing on both the intake and exhaust valves to optimize performance, fuel efficiency, and emissions. The 2012 Impreza employs a more efficient exhaust system that allows an optimized catalyst placement for faster heat-up to reduce emissions immediately after engine startup.
Compared to the outgoing Impreza's 2.5-liter Boxer engine, the new-generation 2.0-liter Boxer features a longer stroke to maximize low- and mid-range torque, as well as environmental friendliness. The new engine feels even more responsive than the 2.5-liter engine it replaces, thanks to lighter vehicle weight – and especially when equipped with the new CVT.
Subaru first introduced its Lineartronic CVT in the 2010 Legacy and Outback® models, and now the 2012 Impreza debuts a lighter, quieter and more compact version that delivers both enhanced driving performance and environmental friendliness. Unlike a conventional automatic transmission, which uses fixed gear ratios, a CVT provides infinite variability between the highest and lowest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. The CVT continuously and smoothly adapts to performance demand, helping to keep the engine in its most efficient operating range. Compared to CVT's used in other brands, the Impreza CVT provides wider ratio coverage, due to a larger difference between the largest and smaller pulley diameters.
Subaru refined the CVT in the 2012 Impreza to deliver smooth, linear acceleration, closer to a conventional automatic transmission while still delivering the efficiency benefits of a CVT. Low-speed acceleration in particular feels even stronger than a comparison of performance figures alone might suggest. The engine now also supports standing-starts in the pre-selected "second gear" ratio to reduce the likelihood of wheel spin on slippery surfaces.
Impreza Premium, Sport and Limited models with the CVT also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios. The driver can engage manual mode with the floor shift lever or, when in "D" mode, temporarily access manual mode by operating an up- or downshift shift paddle. In that case, the transmission will return to automatic mode once the vehicle is traveling at a constant speed.
New Technology for Better Fuel Efficiency
In addition to the new engine's greater efficiency, the Impreza adopts additional technologies to maximize fuel economy. Among these is the new electric power steering system, which by itself contributes a 2-percent efficiency increase. The tires, in 15, 16- or 17-inch sizes, exhibit lower rolling resistance for better fuel economy without compromising braking distance or other performance parameters. A further efficiency gain comes from reducing disc brake drag by using a spring-type pad return mechanism.
Because the 2012 Impreza offers such a significant increase in fuel economy over the outgoing vehicle, Subaru was able to use a smaller-capacity fuel tank (now 14.6 gallons compared to 16.9 before) while also increasing driving range. The smaller fuel tank, in turn, enabled Subaru to relocate the charcoal vapor canister, which helped increase cargo room.
Confident, Agile Handling and Safety for Any Road
Strengthened suspension components in front and rear -- some inherited from the Legacy -- enhance agility, while new liquid (hydraulic) engine mounts help to damp out vibration. A new front support connecting the front crossmember and rear bushing section of the front arm enhances stability, agility and ride quality. The double-wishbone rear suspension features new, strengthened components and pillow ball bushings for improved ride, straight-line stability, handling and vehicle response. Highline models add special rebound springs in the front dampers, as well as a rear stabilizer bar, for even more responsive handling. The enhancement of body rigidity and the new suspension design help to reduce levels of noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). The stiffened rear subframe ensures greater resistance to twisting, also contributing to enhanced stability and handling. New sound insulators in the toe board and around the floor tunnel also contribute to interior quietness.
Continued Safety Leadership
Subaru's Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame safety structure, proven over a decade in all Subaru models, again forms the foundation for crash protection and occupant safety in the new-generation 2012 Impreza. Building on Subaru's renown for safety (all 2011 Subaru model lines are IIHS "Top Safety Picks"), the 2012 Impreza was designed to excel under the more stringent NHTSA testing regimen. The new body structure makes greater use of high-tensile strength steel and features special stiffening elements at key locations.
The 2012 Impreza includes as standard equipment front seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags that offer additional head protection for front and rear occupants. The new driver's front airbag offers added protection for drivers who position themselves close to the steering wheel. Immediately after deployment, the driver's airbag spreads thin and wide, then thickens as deployment reaches completion. The passenger-seat front airbag, features a shell-type design with a center groove, thus exposing the passenger to less impact force upon deployment. All 2012 Impreza models add a new driver's knee airbag to the roster of safety features.
All Impreza models for 2012 are equipped as standard with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control functions. Likewise, all 2012 Impreza models are equipped with a standard 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist safety system.
Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive A Key To Brand Identity
Subaru offers two different Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems in the 2012 Impreza. In models equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, the Continuous AWD system uses a viscous-coupling locking center differential to distribute power 50/50 front to rear. Slippage at either set of wheels will send more power (up to 100 percent) to the opposite set.
Impreza models equipped with the Lineartronic CVT feature the Active Torque Split AWD version that uses an electronically managed continuously variable transfer clutch to actively control power distribution in response to driving conditions. This system can transfer more power to the rear wheels under acceleration and can transfer up to 100 percent of available torque to the rear wheels in response to road conditions.