- Aggressive yet more aerodynamic new front styling
- Power boost for WRX – now 225 PS
- Higher top speeds for all models
- Fuel economy boost for all models by as much as 5.8 mpg
- Lower exhaust emissions for all models
- Improved engine cooling for 265 PS STi Type-UK
- New dampers and steering for WRX and GX Sport for even better handling
- STi gains more rigid front suspension, sharper steering
- Safety boost includes active front head-restraints, ISOFIX rear child seat mounts, impact-absorbing brake pedal and pedestrian-friendly wipers and bonnet
- Other safety initiatives include electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and dual-stage passenger airbag
- Deadlocks and shielded door locks now fitted
- Lower prices – WRX now £19,995 on-the-road – down by £1,500
- STi prices down by £2,500 at £24,995 on-the-road
The facelift is shared with the 2003 World Rally Car which will benefit from a similar reduction in drag coefficient and improved high-speed stability.
Unlike some WRC competitors, Subaru has always striven to ensure its road cars inherit the technical and design DNA of its rally machines.
Key design changes include a new front bumper, spoiler, bonnet, wings and 3-dimensional headlamps. In addition, circular lamps are inlaid in the main headlamp units themselves which have a striking curved dip to their inner edges.
A strong flowing character-line sweeps from the lower edge of the circular headlamps and runs over the more steeply sloping bonnet to the windscreen. The top edge of the bumper is rounded, giving a sleeker look with improved airflow.
The front wings now have a muscle-bound appearance and this menacing presence is complemented by larger air-intakes both above and below the number plate.
In order to improve cooling performance, both the WRX and WRX STi Type-UK have larger bonnet air scoops – the former heightened by 20 mm and the latter by 30 mm.
At the rear, all models have new bumpers and light units with a curved dip to their inner edges – similar to the headlamps – to enhance design integration.
The WRX STi gains a larger high-rise rear spoiler – previously only available on the Prodrive Style version – front corner spoilers and new side sill spoilers. These all contribute to improved high-speed stability. Meanwhile, a larger bonnet air intake enhances intercooler performance.
The drag coefficient for all saloons is now 0.33 Cd with the GX Sport 5-door recording 0.34 Cd and the WRX 5-door 0.37 Cd.