Subaru Impreza – the 2012 European one is revealed

Published: 10 February 2012

Subaru will show this European-spec Impreza five-door at the 2012 Geneva motor show, as well as the BRZ sports car in European trim.

This is the fourth-generation of the Impreza, but traditionalists expecting a return to the four-door saloon format will be disappointed: it remains a five-door hatchback bodyshell.

Subaru abandoned its distinctive four-door style for Golf-alike hatch style in the last generation. Sadly, it's not proved hugely popular in the UK, Subaru sales shrinking 32% in 2011 to just 2634 sales.

Just 141 of those were Imprezas...

Crikey, that's not good. What's new on the 2012 Subaru Impreza?

It's still business as usual for the basic format of the new European Impreza. It's stuck with horizontally opposed boxer engines and four-wheel drive.

Although go-faster WRX turbocharged versions true to its 1990s roots will come, for now Subaru is only confirming a 1.6-litre petrol engine in a five-door bodystyle.

If you really are hankering after a four-door, Brits will almost certainly be able to get a saloon version prepared for the US market.

What else is new at Geneva for Subaru?

It's 40 years of Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive! So the Japanese will be wheeling out a 1972 Subaru Leone Estate Van alongside the new Imrpeza and the Euro-spec BRZ.

Hopefully that may provide inspiration for Subaru, which has struggled with earthquake-related supply problems, a soaring yen exchange rate and a model range out of kilter with European mores.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet