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Subaru Impreza

55N Impreza

1 Apr 1993

Who’d have thought the humble origins of the original Impreza would lead to a true 1990s classic? Recession-savaged Subaru’s decision to base the replacement of the long-toothed L-series (Leone) small car on the Liberty/Legacy platform may have been borne of economic need (they shared drivetrain, suspension and some auxiliaries), but it soon exploited the Impreza’s four-wheel drive potential.

Initially, the Impreza was offered in three four-door guises (LX sedan, GX sedan and GX hatch), with the LX powered by a 66kW 1.6-litre 16-valve boxer four-cylinder engine and the others a 76kW 1.8. There were two gearbox choices (five-speed manual or four-speed auto), while 4WD was available on GX models.

In early ’94 the iconic, five-speed manual-only WRX arrived, offering a 155kW turbocharged 2.0 twin-cam engine and 4WD in both bodies.

Later in ’94 the Sportswagon hatch introduced a dual-range manual gearbox for rougher terrain requirements.

Air-conditioning and power steering were standard on all models, while a driver’s side airbag, anti-lock brakes and cruise control were optional.

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