Subaru Adds Impreza WRX Limited for 2010

When the then-new Impreza WRX debuted in 2008, Subie fans had a tough time accepting a slightly softer version of a car so many felt so passionate about. Quick to react, Subaru got the WRX back on track with a host of improvements for the 2009 model year.  2010 looks to be a quiet year for the WRX, with the only notable change being the addition of a Limited model.

Mechanically identical to the base and Premium WRX, the Limited adds HID headlights, Sirius satellite radio and leather seats. Pricing for the WRX Limited 4-door will be $28,495USD, and $28,995 for the 5-door. While some WRX diehards may consider these superfluous items, buyers want, and are willing to pay for them. I doubt it is accidental that a WRX Limited costs about the same as a similarly optioned VW GTI.

BIGGSB Racing Subaru having some challenges

biggsb racing burnt

As I mentioned, the BIGGSB Racing Subaru have had some challenges at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Twitter user @kplaird has shared a bunch of photos of the rather forlorn looking WRX sporting numerous wounds. The fuel cell is bent, and the hood is sporting some creative new coloring thanks to a leaky turbo oil line leak. I’m not sure what the deal is with the garbage bag over the fuel filler.

Ken Block and Monster Energy set to switch from Subaru to Ford

block subaru tall pines 08

We all have fun watching Ken Block wreak havoc at airports, docklands and logging roads and I’m sure he has about 10 times as much fun doing it but let’s not forget there is something larger at stake here. Namely, cubic money. As any racer will tell you, playing in a car (or cars) of that magnitude costs big money and big money has to be replenished or you don’t get to play any more.

To that end, Block needs to sell shoes, hats and tee shirts. He also needs to sell more than a few cans of Monster Energy drink. Oh yes, selling the odd car here and there would help too. The conundrum here is that while Subaru enjoys the spotlight block’s antics place on their brand, they seem content to remain a niche brand and the WRX models are a niche within that niche. Given that the best way for KB to sell more DC and Monster products is to go to the world stage, Block has had his eyes set on the WRC series for some time now. Not only does it offer him more challenge as a driver, but it offers exposure to the world outside of North America. Trouble is that Subaru have backed out of the WRC. Time to find a new manufacturer, one who is hungry to sell a car that is destined to be sold world wide.

Enter Ford.

If you recall, Ford has made motorsports an integral part of their resurrection plan. Mustang models for grass roots road and drag racing and Euro Focus models in X-Games and Pikes peak bring the Ford name to a new, youthful audience. They have also been winning just about everything they have entered. Perhaps the time has come for Ford to return to the top of the WRC heap with a rally star who is a household name in North America instead of small town Europe.

And so it seems that Ken Block and former Subaru driver Chris Atkinson are close to a deal which would see the Monster Energy Drink World Rally Team compete in roughly half of next year’s World Rally Cup in a 2009 spec Ford Focus. Speculation is that the 2011 season will see the team campaign the new Ford Fiesta on the full calendar.

Looks like we might start seeing WRC on TV here in North America again soon!

Source autosport via Autoblog

Best sounding race car ever: Subaru Impreza 555

I’m bringing this argument back for just a second. Watch this video. This is what gets my blood pumping. The early nineties marked the dawn of what I’m going to call the “technology era” of rally. The Subaru Impreza was one of the top cars of the decade, due to its low center of gravity, excellent drivetrain packaging and light weight.

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First Annual Willowdale Subaru Show

While our man on the West Coast, Gary Faules was cavorting at the Monterey Historics this weekend, here in Ontario The Garage was deep in car show land. We helped organize the first annual Subaru show at Willowdale Subaru along with the folks from the Toronto Subaru Club.

With the freaky weather we’ve been having in the GTA this summer, we were lucky to have a bright, sunny day with the exception of a few sprinkles in the afternoon. The sun was more than welcome in the park like setting that we enjoyed courtesy of Toronto Hydro. Not only did the grass and shade trees to keep things cool, but don’t black cars look better in the shade?

The sporting side of the Subaru community was well represented with all manner of street tuned cars and a couple of special guests. Planet Motorsport graciously sent over a couple of full on rally cars to show what the truly hard core enthusiasts have to offer. The 95 Subaru Impreza of Mark Williams is quite a special car, with a very unique history that will be the subject of an upcoming post. It was joined by the Impreza 2.5RS campaigned by MaNick Rally.

With a DJ pumping out tunes, great food, great cars and an enthusiastic crowd. We had all the makings of a great day. Here at Willowdale Subaru, we couldn’t be happier with how the day went and can’t wait until next year’s event.

After the break, we have a huge gallery of the day’s fun.
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Video: Canadian rally drivers spend a day testing in the woods

Friends of The Garage Travis Allison and Andrew Harvey recently spent a day at the edge of a snowy while a handful of rally teams tested their machines for the upcoming season. The resulting combination of photography and video is very cool. The sequence photos are so smooth they look like video.


Rally Test Day from Travis Allison on Vimeo.

2008 WRX STi has arrived

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As I mentioned on the weekend, the 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi has finally arrived in stores. I know that many folks are iffy about the switch to a hatchback format, but I think the car looks great. The only complaint I have is the front fenders end too abruptly, looking more like a homebuilt GT-3 car rather than a world class rally car.

Gallery after the break
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Subaru Canada teams up with Patrick Richard to campaign 2008 STi

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It was only a matter of time before the new Subaru WRX STi hit the trails in North America, so it makes sense that Subaru Canada is partnering with Rocket Rally Racing and past champion Pat Richard. Both a show car and the rally car will be built, in an effort to capture the 2008 Canadian Rally Championship.

Press release after the break
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Quick blast in a 2008 WRX STi

I just got back from a vary quick blast in a 2008 Subaru WRX STi! On cold, salty roads it’s hard to get too much of a feel of a car. Suffice it to say that the thing is very fast. Autocrossers will like the super short first gear, followed by a slightly longer second. The shift throws are one of the shortest I’ve seen in a production car.

Unfortunately, I don’t have my camera with me today.

Spied: 2008 Subaru Impreza

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After a number of poorly photo shopped pics of the next gen Subaru WRX, finally we get some honest to goodness shots of Scoobie Doo in the raw. The quick shooters over at Autoblog.it got their shutters clicking in the face of the new Subaru flagship. I hate to say it, but the mini wagon looks like a cross between the Mazda3 and the previous Protege5, rather than a world killing rally car. That said, the car in the shots look remarkably close to production.
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