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AIMS: Subaru confirms Impreza

On show: Subaru's new Impreza will make its Australian - and right hand-drive - debut at AIMS, alongside the XV crossover.

Subaru’s next-generation Impreza to make right-hand drive world debut in Melbourne

14 Jun 2011

SUBARU has confirmed its all-new Impreza for the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne on July 1, spelling a world debut for right-hand drive versions of the fourth-generation small car first seen at the New York show in April.

This time last week the all-wheel drive Japanese brand announced that the lime-green Mk4 Impreza hatch-based XV crossover concept that debuted at the Shanghai show in April would be one of two headline acts for Subaru in Melbourne.

Subaru Australia had expected official confirmation of the redesigned Impreza’s local debut from Japan two weeks ago, but now says the XV concept and production versions of both the Impreza hatch and sedan will be just three of “several surprises” it has planned for the 2011 AIMS, with further announcements promised in the three-week lead up to the show.

Apart from the new Impreza twins and the XV, Subaru could stage the Australian debut of the transparent chassis concept that previewed its forthcoming rear-drive boxer coupe at the Geneva show in March.

2 center imageSubaru’s joint-venture sportscar with Toyota could appear as early as November at the Tokyo motor show, where the production version of Toyota’s sleek FT-86 II coupe concept will debut.

Subaru’s new Impreza sedan and hatch are due to be launched in Japan in late August and would normally be released here a few months later – just three years after the MkIII Impreza sedan arrived here in December 2008 and four years after the latest hatch launched locally, in October 2007.

However, the next Impreza’s exact Australian release timing remains unknown because of production questions that continue to cloud Subaru after Japan’s catastrophic March 11 earthquake.

Meantime, the XV crossover – which will replace the existing Impreza XV – is due to enter Japanese production by the end of this year and should make it into local Subaru showrooms in the first half of 2012.

“We are honoured that Fuji Heavy Industries has chosen Australia to be the first market outside North America to see new Impreza ‘in the metal’,” said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior.

“It has had a fantastic reception and we’re really excited about showing it to the Australian public.

“The style, space, economy and technology of this car will take its customer base in Australia to a whole new level.

“Current Impreza is the best-selling version of Subaru’s small car to date and we are confident that this fourth generation will bring even greater success.” Despite a huge 56.9 per cent plunge in May due to quake-related stock shortages, run-out sales of the current Impreza are up a healthy 8.9 per cent in a mainstream small-car segment that is down 4.5 per cent so far this year.

The Australian International Motor Show runs from July 1 to July 10 at the Melbourne Exhibition and Conventional Centre.

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