Subaru is gearing up for the arrival of its next-generation Impreza, but it won’t launch with a hybrid.
The new small hatchback goes on sale in September 2023, with deliveries to follow prior to the end of the year.
“So we’ll launch with petrol variants, but there is a hybrid model in the domestic market in Japan and we’re currently evaluating where that would sit competitor-wise, as to whether it’s an option,” said Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read.
Despite its September on-sale date looming fast, Subaru remains tight-lipped on pricing and specification for the new car.
Nevertheless, it has previously confirmed the new Impreza would offer a new 11.6-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as wireless phone charging.
Additionally, the latest EyeSight suite of driver assists and the brand’s signature all-wheel drive system will be standard.
A range of three distinct trim levels are offered in the Japanese market, with both regular petrol and e-Boxer Hybrid powertrains offered depending on trim level.
Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options are also available in the Japanese domestic market, but don’t expect the former in Australia – Subaru hasn’t offered front-wheel drive vehicles here since the 1990s.
In the Japanese domestic market there are three distinct trim levels – ST, ST-G and ST-H – which lines up with the outgoing trim levels in Australia which comprises 2.0i-L, 2.0i Premium and 2.0i-S variants.
All versions featured LED headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels, while the mid- and up-spec models get a leather-trimmed steering wheel and the portrait-oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen which will be standard in Australia.
Range-topping models in Japan also get a high-spec full-LED headlight with adaptive beam and cornering lights.
The Japan-spec ST-G and ST-H also come standard with the 2.0-litre e-Boxer Hybrid powertrain, which combines the base model’s 2.0-litre naturally aspirated flat four with a 10kW/65Nm electric motor and 4.8Ah lithium battery.
The standard petrol-only powertrain develops 113kW (6000rpm) and 193Nm (4000rpm), while the hybrid setup makes a little less – 107kW (6000rpm) and 188Nm (4000rpm).
Both engines are teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The petrol gets eight virtual ratios compared to the hybrid’s seven, though we assume the e-motor substitutes as the launch gear.