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Ôhings move fast at Subaru... very fast. Although the new Impreza has only just arrived, the firm is already plotting to unleash an STi model that could end the Japanese supercar debate with Mitsubishi once and for all.

A senior source at the company told Auto Express: "Subaru has something quite special in the pipeline. We're now working on a 3.0-litre turbo Impreza for Japan and Europe that will generate in excess of 350bhp.

"Unfortunately, we're having teething problems with the transmission as the current WRX STi six-speed box isn't capable of handling the torque the engine produces." Several solutions are being investigated, with the most popular being to ask a company such as Getrag, which has much experience in building heavy-duty gearboxes, to work on the transmission.

But before you race down to your nearest dealer, bear in mind how long this is likely to take. Development of the car is said to be very complicated. Our source suggests we won't see the 3.0-litre turbo powering a Subaru until the next Impreza model

change, due in 2007. However, anyone wanting a taste of what's to come should be aware a muscular 3.0-litre normally aspirated engine - the platform for the turbo unit - will be used in the new Legacy, here in June. Subaru says the non-turbo will pump out close to 240bhp, which is 25bhp over the current car's output.

The company also plans to scrap the twin-turbo 2.0-litre engine that powers the Japan-only Legacy B4 - a car British Subaru fans had coveted. This motor will be replaced by a 2.0-litre single-turbo B4, which will use the unit that debuted in the Impreza STi. The reworked Legacy arrives next year.
Peter Lyon

2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
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