OK, this has eff-all to do with this blog’s core topics of British drivers in open-wheel racing cars. But it’s a subject of considerable interest to the Brits on Pole management, so you’ll just have to put up with that – or skim past.
Top Gear’s Jamie Hibbard has just published his review of the new-shape Impreza WRX STI. And this is required reading for anyone still raging at Clarkson’s assertion on the show a week or two ago that the Evo is now definitively the thing to drive if you’re seeking a road-legal rally car.
Hibbard concludes a few important things about it:
1) Subaru has failed to bugger it up. All those things that made the Impreza great are still there – mainly the extreme thrills to be had while cornering at speed on country roads.
2) It’s still the best thing you can drive for £25k.
3) The new model is so pig-ugly that it very nearly negates these two advantages. But not quite.
Here’s a bit more detail from the post:
Forget what Clarkson said on the telly the other week when he twin-tested this against a Mitsubishi Evo X FQ-360 – the Evo’s about ten grand more, so of course it’s going to run rings around the Scoob.
But for £25k, I’m hard pressed to think of a better car than this, and on Britain’s smaller A- and all B-roads, I’d definitely be hard pressed to find something that I’d be much quicker in.
I racked up quite a few miles over the last couple of days, and chose as much as possible to avoid motorways, such is the fun of the Impreza on a winding piece of UK tarmac.
I carried a lot more speed through the corners than I initially thought I could, and always had a grin slapped to my face on the exits because of it.
The only real kicker is that the Impreza’s too quiet, so if I was to buy one, I’d be on the phone to Prodrive for a sports exhaust straight away. It’d be money well spent.
Other than that, the WRX STI is a winner in my book, and I didn’t want to give it back. Read full review here…
Heartening news. If you can stand the crippling shame of being asked exactly which model of Ford Focus it is you have there?
And, if they’ve managed to manufacture it in such a way that you can take it further than the end of your drive before it needs servicing, we might definitely be making progress…