1 Dec 2002
By CHRIS HARRIS
Subaru swiftly replied to widespread criticism that its rebodied Impreza from late 2000 (including the iconic WRX) was too heavy, slow and ugly.
So barely two years later the Series II model arrived. Variable valve timing increased power output in the turbocharged WRX (now 168kW/300Nm) and a Tiptronic-style shift was added to the four-speed automatic WRX.
Otherwise the 92kW/184Nm 2.0, 112kW/223Nm 2.5 and 195kW/343Nm STI 2.0 turbo four-cylinder boxer units remained much the same.
Added security came from DataDot coding, the removal of locking barrels on all WRX doors and improved central locking, while safety rose thanks to active head rests, swing-away brake pedals and better pedestrian impact bumpers.
A redesigned bonnet, light cluster, grille, fog lights, tail-lights, door mirrors and bumpers, as well as revised cabin trim, mark the MY03 Impreza models out.
Minor specification alterations occur each August during 2004 there were worthwhile track and suspension changes on the WRX, along with better brakes and further trim changes to the rest of the range.