The new Impreza chassis has improved rigidity and ride comfort with the addition of high tension steel at key structural points. The new design results in a lower overall weight for the body while the longer wheelbase allows for improved ride dynamics as well as increasing interior room and lowering levels of Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH). To further improve handling, the engine is now placed slightly lower in the chassis, lowering the Impreza’s center of gravity. In addition, the new chassis improves crash worthiness and provides crisper handling and a stiffer platform.
The interior design of the 2008 Impreza places a new emphasis on comfort and space. The new sweeping twin cockpit embraces occupants and brushed aluminum look insets flow into the center stack. The center console shape adds to the airiness of the cockpit design, aided by the sculpted door panels and improved headroom. The door panels house molded recesses that can accommodate 24-oz. soft drink bottles, as well as loose items.
Despite retaining the same exterior width as the previous generation Impreza, the new 2008 Impreza features an interior with two inches more front shoulder room than before.
An available navigation and information center is the focal point of the center console. In addition to an input for MP3 players, the center console also includes video jacks that can accommodate portable gaming devices that can be displayed on the navigation screen when the vehicle is parked. The navigation screen is placed at the top of the dashboard for improved visibility and functionality. The interior of the new Impreza was designed to provide a feeling of quality with special emphasis placed on double-stitched fabrics and high-grade interior plastics.
The new 2.5-liter normally aspirated engine delivers 170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 170 lb-ft. of torque @ 4,400 rpm. Low end torque and fuel efficiency for the 2.5-liter normally aspirated engine were improved by the addition of a new intake port. Improved emissions were realized by a new catalyst system that optimizes catalyst efficiency.
The 2008 Impreza continues Subaru’s legendary safety and crash worthiness record. New for 2008 are standard side-curtain airbags and available Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) . Also standard is the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System (SRS), with front seat head / chest side impact air bags (SRS) and a driver’s side front air bag that deploys according to the driver’s proximity to the steering wheel, as measured by a sensor on the seat track. In the passenger side front seat, a sensor module detects weight on the passenger seat – first determining if it is occupied, and if so by a child or adult – to control air bag deployment. As part of the system, the dashboard features a new “Airbag” indicator light.
The new 2008 Impreza utilizes the Subaru Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame Body Structure with front and rear crumple zones. The new 2008 Subaru Impreza also incorporates 3-point seatbelts for all seats (height-adjustable for outboard positions); front seatbelts with electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters, 4-channel/4-sensor Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and active front seat head restraints (Not available on WRX Performance Seats) to help reduce whiplash injury in a rear collision.
Photo Gallery: All-New, 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i