Last post on Sep 13, 2007 at 9:15 AM
You are in the Subaru Impreza
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Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Sedan, Wagon
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First Drive: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX - Now that Subaru has abandoned its flirtation with the big-grille design ethic that has changed the look of so many cars in the last five years, its designers have gone for something more mainstream. (more)
Full Test: 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX - Power delivery is improved, as peak power of 224 horsepower comes 400 rpm earlier at 5,200 rpm, while peak torque of 226 pound-feet arrives 800 rpm earlier at 2,800 rpm. Peak boost is 11.9 psi. The five-speed transmission has less aggressive ratios in 1st through 3rd gears, but the final drive is shorter: 3.90:1 instead of the former 3.70:1. (more)
#102 of 121 re: the BMW and other stuff [mugwomp]
Aug 01, 2007 (12:36 pm)
I could not disagree more about BMW.
BMW made understated, elegant sedans for ages. They weren't very exciting, so the primary criticism was "same sausage, different length" when it came to 3 series, 5 series, 7 series. It worked, though.
How does, say, a Z4 fit in with that history? Or the new X6? The whole flame surfacing thing, or Bangle Butt?
Bangle reinvented what looking like a BMW meant. There is still come consistency from model to model among its contemporary peers, but not historically. Only the twin kidney grille remains.
The difference is they changed models over gradually, got people used to the look. And they've stuck with it.
I found it ugly, but less and less ugly as new models rolled out. The 3 coupe actually looks good. I still can't stand the 6 or 7 series, though.
I agree that Subaru has had a SERIOUS identity crisis when it comes to styling, and the WRX did nothing to sort that out.
Again, though, as someone more interested in the Forester, I'm actually hoping they do stick with a conservative design for the 09 Forester. Keep it boxy, that's fine, I want something purposeful. Squared off back, basic two-box shape. No huge blind spots like the 06 Tribeca.
Maybe that's why I'm happy with the more mainstreamed styling the WRX portrays. Personally I think the 08 Tribeca's styling is more successful.
Aug 03, 2007 (7:51 am)
BMW's have never deviated from their primary product message in any of their products. The "same sausage, different length" is a serious strength, since that indicates absolute consistency in their design themes that address different market segments and constantly reinforces the BMW brand identity. There are several automakers who would trade off their figurative right hands to achieve such brand consistency - in message and design. Acura to an extent, is also moving in that direction from a model-porridge of several years back.
Subaru on the other hand, is a complete mish-mash of design themes with zero consistency between the various models. A person unfamiliar with the Subaru models, will find no design consistency between the Legacy-based models (Legacy/Outback), the Impreza based models (including the
Forester) and the Tribeca model. I sincerly hope they are able to channel the designs in one direction, when it comes to their future products. Without brand consistency, the Subaru brandname will not get to where they want to get to, their desires to go "upscale", notwithstanding.
#104 of 121 Re: BMW [aaykay]
Aug 03, 2007 (8:05 am)
I wasn't a critic, I actually liked the same sausage, different length approach, right up until the latest 7 series came out.
The 7 was a shocker. I hated it. The 6, too. The 5 was not quite as bad. They got the public used to the look. By the time to 3 came out the criticism had died down, plus the 3's lines are more subtle.
They aren't as consistent as they once were, and not all of them are handsome, as I used to find them, all in my opinion, of course.
Well, Zapatinas never really had a chance.
Think about it - the hard points for the Tribeca were all in place before he arrived. So he didn't have full freedom on the exterior. People loved his interior.
Zap re-did the WRX for 2006 and sales went up, yet he still got canned. They needed a scapegoat.
A shame, really. We'll never see his full vision.
Ironically, Zapatinas worked for BMW back when they made those handsome cars, then for Alfa Romeo where he designed cars with character.
Subaru chicked out, panicked, and pulled the plug before he got a chance to design a complete car. Such a shame.
So I agree there, totally inconsistent designs.
#105 of 121 Re: BMW [ateixeira]
Aug 03, 2007 (8:33 am)
Zap re-did the WRX for 2006 and sales went up, yet he still got canned. They needed a scapegoat.
It was a shame that the Aero-grill theme of the 06/07 Impreza did not get adopted across the line. Subaru got a lot of flak for the horrible "aero-grill" version in the Tribeca (which had other design flaws including a rear which looked rear-ended) and turned a complete 180 degrees about the whole "aero-grill" concept and eliminated it from all of their new designs. Idiots. They forgot that they just needed to revise the version in the Tribeca and adopt and introduce the Impreza version, consistently across the line, including the Legacy/Outback and Forester models and stick with it, and it would have worked famously within a couple of years. Foolish, knee-jerk planners is how I would term it....now back to their stupid drawing boards to find a new formula for "design consistency". Hell, the front-end of the 08 Impreza has zero consistency with their 08 Outback/Legacy with the redesigned front-end....what a shame and what a wasted opportunity to at least start the consistent design approach.
#106 of 121 Setting the record straight on flying pig snout grille
Aug 03, 2007 (9:19 am)
The aircraft-inspired grille on the current Subaru B9 Tribeca and Impreza was not an Andreas Zapatinas creation according to a SOA employee who posted this http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showpost.php?p=16558426&postcount=71 on NASIOC.com (North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club).
Here’s what his (SoDealer on NASIOC) post says:
Yes... I have driven [a Tribeca]... I have one. The tribeca may not have the CX-7's 0-60 time... but it does hold on in the corners a lot longer than the CX-7. The grille "that managed to be almost as ugly as Alfa Romeos" was instituted by the Japanese before Zap came. The B11s was the first concept debuting the nose. That vehicle was developed a year before Zap was even a part of Subaru. His first US creation will be the Redesigned Impreza. The airplane grille was Mr. Takenaka's focus... not Zap's.
Since Kyoji Takenaka assumed the title of President and Chief Operating Officer in June 2001, FHI has been enhancing its design capabilities as part of company-wide reforms aimed at improving the Subaru brand. One year later, as FHI began placing greater emphasis on the importance of design development, the long experienced Subaru car designer, Kiyoshi Sugimoto, was promoted to the position of Vice President and General Manager of Subaru Design Department, which marked the first time that a car designer was appointed as an executive officer. The Subaru B11S is the first concept car designed under the leadership of Mr. Sugimoto with guidance from Mr. Takenaka in initial concept development. The Barcelona-based independent design studio, Fuore Design International, under the leadership of Erwin Himmel, which has been retained by FHI as a consultancy, fully contributed to the creation of the B11S.
Just thought I’d clear that up!
#107 of 121 Re: Setting the record straight on flying pig snout grille [SubyTrojan]
Aug 03, 2007 (10:38 am)
Thanks for the info.
Don't forget the lovely B9 Scrambler concept. I still wish they'd build that.
Time for some photos in this thread, eh?
Here's my beloved B9. I'd pay $25k for one even without the hybrid drivetrain. Even without a turbo!
Any how, we tend to forget but EVERY single WRX was heavily criticized for styling, even the 06. I most often heard it compared to this Suzuki:
Which even came in wagon and sedan.
The new one's front end is more generic but I don't get why people went all ballistic over it. The sides have character. The front reminds me of this:
Searching for better pic....
Particularly the much-talked-about grille.
#108 of 121 New Impreza
Aug 03, 2007 (11:53 am)
Except for certain design specificities that don't appeal to me, overall I don't find anything wrong with the design of the new Impreza, when assessed by itself. It is just that its design does not contribute to a unified "Subaru" brand identity, since it does not visually strike one as similar to any other Subaru product.
In fact, every single Subaru product is pretty in-offensive when their exterior designs are assessed individually (except for the previous Tribeca ) but unfortunately, long-term, an automaker needs to also have a strong visual identity, which is what is missing from among the various Subaru models. Only the Subaru faithful are aware of the under-the-skin commonalities like a Boxer engine, the symmetrical AWD layout etc.
#109 of 121 Re: Setting the record straight on flying pig snout grille [ateixeira]
Aug 03, 2007 (12:07 pm)
Wow! Never saw/heard anything about that Scrambler concept, but that, I must say, is the "aero grille" done right.
Beautiful lines on that car. I, too, would like to see more of it.
#110 of 121 Re: Setting the record straight on flying pig snout grille [xwesx]
Aug 03, 2007 (12:31 pm)
Yeah, I love that implementation of the B9SC grille, too. By far the best styling from Subaru, probably ever.
Subaru has never really had a family resemblance, though. Look how odd the XT6 looked next to a Loyale. Or the lovely SVX next to ... well, any other Subaru of the time.
Even since 1995, when they started having success, the Outback was soft and rounded and the Forester arrived boxy and square. The WRX bug-eyes came out of nowhere and were dropped in 2 years. Then the wings on the Tribeca, dropped like a bad habit.
No consistency whatsoever.
#111 of 121 Re: Setting the record straight on flying pig snout grille [ateixeira]
Aug 03, 2007 (12:49 pm)
Yep, I'll go to my grave saying Subaru backed off this design direction too early. Now they're back to a bland front with the Impreza and the 'Beca—which ironically, is still controversial!
No question the Tribeca wasn't "fully cooked" when it debuted—but the direction was spot on.