Subaru North America has today confirmed details from the earlier ‘leaked memo’ that the 2009 Impreza WRX will receive a hefty power boost, plus a re-tuned suspension and minor styling tweaks in anticipation of the arrival of Mitsubishi’s Lancer Ralliart Sportback.
Courtesy of a larger turbocharger, larger-diametre exhaust and low-density catalyst for reduced backpressure, power from the 2.5-litre ‘Boxer’ engine has been lifted to 195kW (265 hp) at 6,000 rpm from 165 kW. Torque has also been increased to 244 lb.-ft. from 226 lb.-ft. in the 2008 version.
New front upper strut mounts adopted from the STI, stiffer springs (26.5 N/mm to 38 N/mm (f); 24 N/mm to 34 N/mm (r)), larger stabiliser bars and re-tuned suspension dampers have significantly improved handling response and sharper, more precise turn-in.
Cosmetic changes include a new STI-type grille with WRX badge and a carbon black checquered upholstery accented by red stitching.
Subaru has also announced the introduction of a new Impreza 2.5GT model for 2009, powered by a 165 kW (224 hp) turbocharged inter-cooled horizontally opposed engine mated to a 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with SPORTSHIFT.
While we await for Subaru Australia’s confirmation on these changes to the 2009 Impreza WRX line-up for the local market, it is safe to assume that these changes (engine-wise at the very least) will apply to the international market and not just for North America.