Subaru in the News

Parkway Subaru's automotive expertise is a product of our sustained interest in industry trends and characteristics. We are privileged to share the latest news, promotions and events with you and hope the information will enhance your shopping experience. As you know, there are many new cars from which to choose, and we believe an informed customer is the best customer. So please take the time to catch up on newsworthy Subaru updates here before you buy your new Subaru in Wilmington. You'll most likely find articles on new and upcoming Subaru products and features like the New 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi - finally returning to Parkway Subaru in Wilmington, NC in it's 4-door-glory with the "Wing" we all know and love. Read more below and get informed on all things Subaru today!


2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi - First Drive impressions by Autoblog.com

In five-door guise, the WRX STI looks much as it did last year. There are a few subtle changes to the fascias front and rear, but otherwise, the body is nearly identical to its ancestor. Buyers and fans alike will be hard-pressed to miss the newest addition to the option sheet, though: the return of the four-door. Subaru hasn't offered the meanest variant of its sedan since 2007, largely because the rally set kept clamoring for a car with a shorter rear overhang. Unfortunately, most American buyers still can't seem to wrap their heads around the concept of a hatch that can get up and go.

Though the base WRX now comes straight from the factory with the same widebody treatment as the STI, you should have no problem picking the more sinister variant out from a crowd. The four-door comes straight off of the boat with an iconic STI rear wing and a smattering of delicious red badges snugged over the grille, fender heat escapes and rear trunk lid. Those with an eye for detail may also pick up on slightly larger 18x8.5-inch wheels and a stance that has been dropped by a marginal four mm. Look closely, and you'll also notice the STI-only Dunlop SP Sport 600 Summer tires, with their gooey Pangaea-sized tread blocks.



Complete with its rear wing, the sedan version of the 2011 STI looks downright menacing. The widebody treatment is easier to spot compared to the five-door version, thanks in part to the bulging rear quarters, and the overall effect is a squat, muscular stance. While the look is a little showy for the less potent WRX, it's right at home on the mighty STI.

Inside, Subaru has included a few tricks to help distinguish its performance trim from the rest of the pack, including leather bucket seats in Limited trim. Just like last year, a few of those sexy STI badges have migrated indoors, situating themselves on the headrests, steering wheel and center console. The designers have removed the majority of the faux-metal trim on the dash in favor of black plastic accents, though the easily-scratched material remains around the shifter. In our experience, the silver-effect trim looks sharp while brand-new, but doesn't stand up to the wear and tear of normal use very well. We would just as soon see it all deleted from the cabin.


As we said earlier, the drivetrain is a direct carryover from 2010, though you won't hear us complain. At 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, the turbocharged 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder has no problem mustering up jackhammer levels of commotion. Bolted to an excellent six-speed manual transmission and one very adjustable interpretation of the Subaru all-wheel drive system, the go bits can launch all 3,384 pounds of four-door to 60 mph in a scant 4.9 seconds. Driver's unfamiliar with the turbo Subaru philosophy will likely notice a hefty touch of turbo lag, but it wasn't enough to concern us, especially considering how often we kept the tach pointed due north. Surprisingly enough, the sedan's aerodynamics allow it to carry a top speed of 158 mph - three mph faster than the hatch.

Don't think that Subaru has simply dropped a hotter drivetrain and a reworked suspension into the WRX and called it a day, though. The engineers claim that both the sedan and hatch STI platforms are vastly stiffer than their WRX counterparts, thanks largely to a number of high-tensile steel reinforcements sprinkled through the structure to help it handle the extra horsepower. That means that even if you managed to swap all of the necessary STI hardware into a WRX after the two had left the factory, the latter still wouldn't be as quick as the former around your favorite road course.



In order to help the 2011 STI recoup some of its lost menace, Subaru's engineers fitted the car with front springs that are 16 percent stiffer than the bits found on last year's car. Impressive, sure, but not nearly so eye-widening as the 53 percent stiffer rear coils. As a compliment, the car also wears slightly larger sway bars, too - up one mm front and rear to 21 and 19 mm, respectively. Combined with the slightly reduced ride-height, the whole package is designed to help the 2011 STI retake its throne as a first-class tarmac terror, but the icing on the cake has to be the car's new pillow ball bushings where the front wishbones meet the body structure.

Instead of a traditional rubber bushing, Subaru has decided to go with a steel ball nestled in a metal sleeve. While the sleeve is surrounded by thin strips of rubber to help isolate that cabin from some of the noise and vibrations of the suspension, the ball-in-socket design yields significantly lower amounts of lateral flex, helping to keep the STI's camber and toe in check under extreme driving conditions - the kind of stuff we tend to put a vehicle through on the way to the grocery store.



All told, Subaru says the changes have resulted in a .93 g pull on the skid pad. Not a bad improvement over the .90 g of last year's model. Since we can already hear the rancorous cacophony of fan boy keyboards in full assault over the fact that the 2010 WRX STI Special Edition managed a heady .92 g, allow us to point out that the new version borrows nothing suspension-wise from that model. Furthermore, don't expect to see the same stripped-down, less expensive SE in 2011 guise. The car won't make a return for the next model year.

Spring rates and skid pad numbers are interesting and all, but in the end, we only really care about how well the car scoots around a track. Subaru lined us up with both a 2010 and 2011 model and allowed us to clip off three laps on a small road course with each. The differences were night and day. While muscling the 2010 around the course, we were met with a fair bit of understeer and substantially more body roll than expected in a performance machine of STI caliber, especially given the car's otherwise firm ride. That meant that certain turns required a slower entry speed and our overall lap times were not up to par.



Jumping straight into the 2011, we were immediately met with more settled, planted suspension. The STI relied less on its sticky Dunlops to get around the course than its predecessor, and made us feel like we had more skill behind the tiller than we actually possess. For the first time in two years, the STI felt closer to what we remember from the first-generation bruiser - hard hitting acceleration blended with a sophisticated suspension and brake system.

Given the more aggressive spring rates, you'd expect the 2011 WRX STI to handle like hay cart on speed, but as we spent the better part of an hour slithering up and down the tarmac that clings to the mountains around Aspen, Colorado, we honestly couldn't discern a difference in ride quality between the new model and the old. We're assuming there's some fancy damper work going on here, but no one is saying for sure. The brakes remain colossal units from Brembo, complete with four-pot clamps and 13-inch rotors up front and two-piston calipers squeezing 12.6-inch discs out back. The system is fully capable of yanking your fillings out of your teeth if you get too liberal with the middle pedal. Yes, we love it.



We have to congratulate Subaru for rearming the STI. In a world of ever eroding performance in favor of poseur looks and not much else, the company has done an intelligent job of refocusing the car toward what made it a success to begin with. The big question, of course, is how much is all of that aggressive engineering going to cost you? That all depends on what you want out of life. Subaru will be happy to put you in the four-door WRX STI for a mere $33,995 - a mere $1,000 more than the 2010 WRX STI Special Edition went for in 2010 and a full grand less than the standard model.

Things get a little more pricey when you move to five-door trim, though. If you want the functionality of the hatch, get ready to pony up $35,995. Why the extra coin? Subaru is throwing in those sexy BBS wheels as standard equipment on the long-roof version of the car, a $2,000 option otherwise. The real tragedy of this scheme is that no matter how much you pay, you still can't get them the rollers dipped in the gold paint of the old rally warriors. That is, unless you bust out your own can of Krylon. Maybe next year.

Subaru Announces Mobile Wi-Fi Access Available for 2011 Outback®

CHERRY HILL, N.J., July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru of America announced today that it is now offering Wi-Fi connectivity for the award-winning 2011 Outback crossover SUV model. The new Subaru Mobile Internet system creates a Wi-Fi hotspot inside the Outback giving internet access to 10 or more users for up to 150 feet around the vehicle.

The Subaru Outback redefined the SUV, and offering Wi-Fi connectivity further expands this versatile vehicle's capability. Operating on the 3G network and working with all Wi-Fi enabled devices, Subaru Mobile Internet provides users a safe, fully encrypted connection with download speeds averaging 400kbps-1.2mbps. This uninterrupted Wi-Fi capability is designed for passenger access while the Outback is in motion.

Subaru Mobile Internet easily allows users to check email, surf the web or listen to Internet radio and even stream video and post to social networking sites. Outback passengers can check weather and traffic, download hiking trails, and even reserve a campsite while they're on the road. Multiple passengers can simultaneously use the Wi-Fi connection for their separate devices, including Wi-Fi capable laptop computers, netbooks, smart phones, game controllers, plus the new iPad® and iPod® Touch models.

Subaru Mobile Internet technology is provided by Autonet Mobile, the world's first in-car Internet service provider. The Wi-Fi service can be added as a port or dealer-installed accessory to any 2011 Subaru Outback for an MSRP of $499, plus a $35 activation fee. A one-year subscription at $29 per month is required, and Subaru is including the first three months of service for free. Comprehensive user support is included through joint Subaru and Autonet Mobile customer service resources. Subaru Mobile Internet is a Genuine Subaru Accessory and is covered under the Subaru of America warranty.

Starting at an MSRP of $22,995, the 2011 Subaru Outback is offered in a wide range of four- and six-cylinder models. The Outback is smart-sized compared to other two-row crossover vehicles, featuring a mid-size interior in an easy-to-maneuver and off-road capable wagon body. Equipped with the Lineartronic™ CVT (continuously variable transmission), the 2011 Outback is rated at 29 MPG in highway driving.

About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru boasts the most fuel-efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX - First Drive impressions by Autoblog.com

The car has ditched its Clark Kent glasses in favor of a look that's been distilled from the mighty STI - one part Gundam, two parts track-hardened awesome. The move is destined to give the oft-neglected Rex the attention it deserves in the Subaru stable for the first time in years, though the change is more than a set of fenders. Subaru's engineers have poured over the car to wring even more potency out of one of the tuning universe's most capable platforms straight from the factory.

It's easy to think that the big news here is the WRX's new sheetmetal, and to some extent, it is. By gracing the WRX with the same wide shell as the more sinister STI, Subaru was able to incorporate a few mechanical feats that would have been otherwise impossible under the old skin.




The new metal has added 1.3 inches to the width, and the 2011 model immediately looks stockier and more muscular than its predecessor. Where the 2010 car used the same doughy lines of the base Impreza, the 2011 now wears the ripped body of an MMA warrior.

Up front, you're likely to recognize the hood, fascia and fenders - they're the same kit tacked on to the 2010 STI - and predictably, they manage to look right at home on the less athletic WRX. Move toward the rear, and the wider track is somewhat more pronounced. The car now has hips the likes of which you aren't going to see anywhere outside of the show car circuit. It's not going to be for everyone, but we're digging it in more ways the one. However, we have a harder time with the rear fascia. The inverted scoop design is neither functional nor flattering, and for once, we found ourselves pining for the same faux-diffuser look every other designer is playing with at the moment. It's like the tail of the WRX just won't stop smiling at us, and that's just not natural.



While the exterior is a far cry from what we saw on dealer lots last year, you won't see too many revolutionary changes in the cabin. Subaru designers swapped most of the simulated metal accents on the dash in favor of a more subdued black plastic. It's certainly an upgrade, even if it has the unintended effect of darkening the cabin. It was hard to tell given our limited time with the vehicle, but we're thinking the new material will stand up to more abuse without scarring. At least we hope so. If you even looked at the old trim the wrong away, it would demonstrate its offense in the form of unsightly scratches.

Otherwise, the interior is familiar territory. The seats are comfortable and wear the same splashes of red stitching that crop up on the steering wheel and door panels, and while the dash and doors are lathered in plenty of hard plastics, the overall demeanor is pleasant given the price point. Don't expect a calm ride, though. Subaru makes no qualms about the fact that the majority of WRX buyers are guys who are under 40 - a segment that is more apt to sacrifice ride comfort for a little performance - and as such, things aren't exactly church-quiet inside.

The saucier bodywork is stylish and all, but its big reason for being has more to do with grip than fashion. Shoving an extra 1.3 inches into a car's track is a move that is bound to pay off on the skid pad, but the change also allowed the minds in the Subaru engineering department to bolt on a new, wider set of wheels. While last year's model hit the road with 17x7 rollers, the 2011 model comes from the factory with 17x8 alloys wrapped in 235/45R17 Dunlop SP01 summer rubber. Despite the upsize, Subaru claims that each new wheel is 1.5 pounds lighter than the narrower, outgoing piece. Progress is good, especially when it keeps unsprung weight to a minimum.



Even with the lighter shoes, the WRX now weighs around 33 pounds more than it did last year. If you're wondering where those pounds came from, look no further than the extra sheetmetal, though we're told there's some additional bracing at work as well. Subaru also swapped the rear subframe bushings for stiffer units, though odds are you would have to spend some time really flogging the car around a track to tell the difference. The company claims that along with the wider stance, the bushings have helped reduce body roll compared the 2010 car.

The engine and transmission remain unchanged, and as such, buyers can look forward to a plenty gutsy 265 horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine churning out 244 pound-feet of torque. The flat-four is bolted to a five-speed manual transmission - the only gearbox Subaru offers in WRX trim. As with the rest of the Pleiades fleet, the 2011 WRX boasts full-time all-wheel drive. According to the EPA, the combination is good for 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway - numbers that continue to disappoint in this day and age, but are par for the boxer. Still, it's funny how quickly you learn to forget about unimpressive fuel economy when you're behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel.



As much as we would have loved to rack up a few hard laps around our favorite track in the all-wheel drive beastie, we were left to play with the WRX in the hills around Aspen, Colorado. One could do far worse than the undulating tarmac that snakes through the Rocky Mountains that surround the town, but less-than-trivial worries like an unnaturally high bicyclist population and a moratorium on the laws of natural selection kept us from being able to do more than string a few apexes together.

Even so, the WRX is plenty of fun. While 8,000 feet isn't exactly the best altitude for internal combustion engines or the human lung, the turbo four-pot had little problem getting off of its haunches and going. Subaru has given the car a conservative 0-60 mph time of around 5.4 seconds - a figure that felt about right, even with the car suffering from altitude atrophy. Rowing through the five gears is second nature thanks to the chunky gearbox, though we wouldn't mind a slightly stiffer clutch for cog-swapping. The whole experience made us wishful for a stint at the tiller in a location that's a little closer to sea level.



While power felt a little lackluster while we were tickling the clouds, the car's grip and brakes could care less about elevation, and as such, the little Rex had no problem clinging to the ribbon of asphalt that snakes up to Independence Pass. On the street, you would have to be doing something seriously wrong to out-drive the car's physical capabilities. The platform is planted well beyond the punch of the turbo four, even with all 265 ponies kicking at the transmission. Similarly, the brakes can take the kind of beating that comes along with shedding 2,000 feet of mountain in around 20 minutes without fade or complaint.

Complete with its new suit, the 2011 WRX remains one of the best performance buys on the market. Subaru has upped the car's MSRP by a full grand to $25,495 for both the four- and five-door trims, which seems only fair given the wider track and more sinister sheetmetal. The upgraded sticker seems completely worth it in our eyes and should pay for itself the first time you turn a wheel in anger.

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