Subaru Impreza

EQ The same aggressive, wide-body styling as its highperformance STI brother. PMK'.'M.-MiH To fill the beefy wheel wells, the "Rex" now has standard seventeen-inch lightweight wheels that grow one inch in width to eight inches. Track has been widened by about 1.5 inches front and rear, and the rear subframe bushings are stiffer. There's also a new grille and rear spoiler. Power from the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is unchanged and is still routed to the ground via a dated five-speed manual transmission.

■ ON SALE: Now BASE PRICE $26,220 SPECS 2.5L turbo flat-4,265 hp, 244 Ib-ft; 4-wheel drive the twitter feed

Look-alike styling makes the WRX an even better value for those who can't afford an STI.

After a three-year absence, the sti sedan is back. And so is the boy-racer wing. The STI shares the same wide body as the WRX sedan, but underneath the chiseled Subaru wrapper is a more nimble, rallv-bred car. Differences include stiffer antiroll bars, increased spring rates, and new suspension bushings in the front control arms to provide quicker turn-in and improve overall steering feel. It's not enough, though, to give the Subaru's steering—which still feels overboosted and artificial—the crisp precision of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution's. The extroverted rear wing can't hide, but at least it's high enough not to affect rearward visibility, and it does provide valuable downforce. Completing the handling makeover are new eighteen-inch wheels that are four pounds lighter per corner than those on the 2010 car.

Other improvements for 2011 are inside the cabin. Subaru has finally given the STI an interior worth showing your friends. New amenities include Bluetooth with audio streaming plus USB and auxiliary audio inputs. Other luxury items like leather seating and a sunroof are available with the Limited trim level, but the dash is still plagued by hard plastics. One of the few things untouched for 2011 is the engine. The familiar turbocharged boxer four-cylinder retains its 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque, and the only transmission available is a six-speed manual. Unlike the competition, Subaru has no plans to offer a dual-clutch automatic anytime soon.

the twitter feed

Subaru is still playing catch-up to the Lancer Evolution, but we might have to wait for an all-new model until that's achieved.

■ ON SALE: Now BASE PRICE: $34,720/$36.720 SPECS 2.5L turbo flat-4,305 hp, 290 Ib-ft; 4-wheel drive

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