Subaru has revised its Impreza range for the 2005 model year.
Chassis revisions for Subaru’s iconic Impreza range deliver an even sportier drive, while the interior has undergone an upgrade for a plusher ambience.
Biggest changes are to the high-performance Impreza WRX STi Type-UK which now costs £25,995 on-the-road – £1,000 more than before.
The STi gets a revised suspension and all-wheel drive system which now features a fast-acting helical front limited-slip differential (LSD), driver’s control centre differential (DCCD) and standard yaw-rate sensor.
The DCCD is operated via a switch mounted next to the handbrake and allows the driver to manually select the torque distribution front to rear, reverting to automatic mode every time the ignition is turned off. This allows the driver to choose between having a sharper cornering turn-in or more stable straight-line running.
The new front LSD is quicker-acting than the previous type and improves steering stability when cornering near the limit. It also improves the car’s steering behaviour on slippery surfaces with less side-to-side tug. Meanwhile, the yaw rate sensor enhances the balance between straight-line stability and turn-in.
The 2005 Impreza WRX STi also has a completely revised suspension with new geometry including a caster angle raised by 1.5 degrees and a 15 mm wider rear track and 10 mm longer wheelbase.
Spring and damper rates have been retuned and the front and rear lateral links are now made from aluminium to reduce unsprung weight. Also changed are the anti-roll bars which are now bigger, further reducing body roll and increasing handling sensitivity.
In addition, the suspension mounting points are more rigid including the support arm for the front cross-member and jack-up plate which are now a single unit. The front axle hub units and housings have been redesigned to improve the capacity of the wheel bearings, while the rear differential cushion rubber has been uprated to increase handling stability.
The Impreza WRX STi’s steering has also undergone engineering refinement, making for greater precision and feedback. This is achieved by using a cannon mount-type attachment for the steering gearbox. Meanwhile, a special damper valve has been added to the system which reduces kick-back during hard cornering or when driving on a bumpy road.
Other technical changes include the fitment of engine and floorpan underfloor covers to improve the aerodynamics.
Like the rest of the ’05 Impreza range, significant changes have been made to the interior to enhance the ambience. Specific new features for the STi include a new design of gear lever and three-spoke steering wheel. While the seat’s popular blue suede-effect centre section with red STi logos continues, the black cloth covering the side supports is now of a richer, more grippy material.
Externally, the only visual changes to the STi are subtle extensions to the rear wheelarches to accommodate the extended rear track, the deletion of red-paint for the inverted suspension struts and slightly wider gold alloy wheels in a new 10-spoke design.
Meanwhile, the standard Impreza WRX gains inverted front and rear suspension struts – previously only used by the STi. This sharpens handling feel and enhances roadholding by reducing wheel movement during hard cornering or when covering bumpy surfaces.
The ’05 WRX – which still starts from £19,995 OTR – can be spotted externally by its red painted brake callipers. Hidden improvements include aluminium front suspension lateral links – which reduce unsprung weight – and more rigid suspension mountings for even more precise handling.
Also aiding handling is a revised steering system with a cannon mount-type attachment for the steering gearbox and steering damper valve which reduces kick-back.
The ’05 Impreza 2.0 GX saloon and 5-door now start at £14,500 and £15,600 OTR respectively – reductions of £450 and £300.
Impreza 2.0 GX improvements include new, larger diameter 7-spoke 16×6.5 ins alloy wheels with 205/50 tyres for extra grip. This is further enhanced by the fitment of a rear anti-roll bar.
Like all ’05 Imprezas, the 2.0 GX has a new, smaller diameter 3-spoke steering wheel and plusher, soft-touch cloth door trim which covers a larger area. The aluminium-effect fascia centre section now swoops down in one cohesive panel, right from above the centre air-vents to the gearlever area.
The air-conditioning controls now comprise three diamond-cut round dials giving a quality look and action and there are two cup holders in the new centre console.
Minor equipment changes for the 2.0 GX include the deletion of side skirts and leather-covered steering wheel, while the saloon no longer has a boot spoiler.