Well this is interesting … Subaru, along with Prodrive, who runs their world rally team for them, have decided to debut their new Impreza WRC2008 earlier than previously announced.
From what I gather (since SpeedTV doesn’t cover the WRC any more, which is lame-lame-lame), Subaru drivers Petter Solberg and Chris Atkinson have been slavering to get their hands on this thing. The older, sedan styled WRX has been showing itself to be increasingly uncompetitive, and this is Sub’s answer to that problem.
It looks like there is an inherent torsional rigidity problem around the rear end of sedan styled cars that is not present in hatchback, or two-box, style cars. Mitsubishi ran into this problem with their last run of Lancer Evos. That thing was so bendy that even Tommi Makinen couldn’t drive around the problem. And when a driver of that caliber gets maxed, that says a lot.
Another thing that says a lot is that Subaru is debuting the new car at the Acropolis Rally. The Acropolis Rally is just horrendously punishing to cars. Imagine racing across Death Valley littered with rocks the size of microwave ovens, and you get some idea of what the “normal” driving conditions for the Acropolis Rally are.
Talk about a trial by fire … let’s see if the new Subaru is up to it?