Subaru WRX: Limited run, maximum appeal

By Alastair Sloane

The Aussies get the WRX in tangerine orange, a colour Subaru has reserved just for them.
The Aussies get the WRX in tangerine orange, a colour Subaru has reserved just for them.

Subaru brings in one more WRX variant before the big change.

Subaru is expected to launch a limited-edition Impreza WRX in New Zealand this year. It will be a variant similar to the WRX Club Spec sedan that Australia is getting next month.

The arrival of the all-wheel-drive variant will coincide with a likely price rise for the WRX range of around $2000.

The WRX now costs $45,990 and the go-faster STi $63,490.

The special-edition WRX will be the last such variant before the all-new WRX range arrives in New Zealand in the second half of next year.

It will pick up unique cosmetic and equipment upgrades with extra features including leather trim, black-coated 17-inch alloy wheels and door mirrors, a black STi (Subaru Tecnica International) spoiler rear wing and numbered badges.

Australia is getting 300 Club Spec examples in black or tangerine orange with stitching on the seats and steering wheel in red on the black cars and orange on cars finished in tangerine.

Subaru NZ's office won't comment on the new variant and it is not known how many have been earmarked for here, or what colours will be available.

But tangerine orange almost certainly won't be one of them - it is said to be an Australian-only hue.

The equivalent Club Spec on this side of the Tasman will also be based only on the four-door bodystyle and offered only with a five-speed manual gearbox .

NZ buyers might also be given the option of fitting an STi kit, which adds a front lip under the spoiler, a shortened shift on the gearbox and the company's "flexible tower bar suspension".

The new WRX model is based on the previous-generation Impreza sedan rather than the new model Impreza introduced this year.

Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries wants to give the go-faster WRX range a different look to the Impreza line-up. The all-new WRX next year will show the company's direction.

The upcoming special edition WRX follows the appearance here last month of the Ace of Spades WRX, another "limited" variant with equipment upgrades and a 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine that delivers 212kW compared with the standard WRX's 195kW and the STi's 221kW.

Only seven manual-only Ace models (four sedans, three hatchbacks, priced at $49,990.) were imported. The upgrades included up-rated STi springs and an STi front suspension strut brace, special badging, 17-inch black alloy wheels, and full privacy glass.

The standard WRX only has rear window privacy glass.

The Ace gets Xenon fog lights and self-leveling headlights with an automatic off system. It has disc brakes all round - the fronts are ventilated - with a four channel antilock system, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, stability control, and six airbags.

Cruise control and the 10-speaker sound system can be controlled from the steering wheel. There is USB and Bluetooth connectivity and an auxiliary jack point to aid MP3 and iPod use.

- NZ Herald

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