The WRX is available either as a four door saloon or five door hatch. Oddly, both versions add up to the same claimed 1505kg kerbweight, a fraction heavier than the 20bhp more powerful, £3000 cheaper BMW M135i.

The engine is the familiar all aluminium 2.5-litre quad cam 16-valve unit with a single turbo and variable valve timing. It runs a relatively low 8.2:1 compression ratio and high boost pressure

Richard Bremner Autocar

Richard Bremner

Senior contributing editor
It would be a major understatement to call the design of this Subaru Impreza controversial

It runs through a six speed manual gearbox (there is no auto option) and directs its power to the four corners of the car via a driver programmable centre differential (offering four settings including fully locked) and a real Torsen differential.

In normal driving the default torque split directs 41 percent of the forwards and 59 percent of it to the rear wheels.

The suspension configuration is another tried and tested Subaru staple. Simple and easily packaged McPherson struts take care of the front axle while the rear is suspension by a pair of unequal length wishbones. Braking by ventilated discs at each corner clamped by four piston calipers.

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