March 24, 2016
Subaru chose the New York International Auto Show, to debut their 5th Generation Impreza. This model may prove to be the brand’s most significant release ever. Beyond the maturation of the brand’s backbone, the 2017 Subaru Impreza is also introducing the company’s brand new modular platform. Modularity has a litany of benefits, but their cost is the sacrifice of (by definition) peculiarities. For example, in efforts to cut costs and create a more modular platform, manual transmissions have been omitted in Audi’s upcoming line-up. The last remaining clutch pedal has been relegated to the Audi TT. I bring this up, because it has not been confirmed whether or not the upcoming Impreza will have a manual transmission. It is exceedingly unlikely that Subaru is phasing out the manual transmission. With models like the BRZ and the WRX STI, die hard fans of the brand would riot if they were not available with a clutch pedal.It would be a shame if that slim possibility turns out to be true, because the new Subaru Global Platform is almost unbelievable. Given the fact that the Impreza is known for being rather adept performance wise, it is hard to imagine that the rally rocket has received a 70 percent increase in unitized structural rigidity. The frame will also lower the center of gravity of every car that uses it. Those two facets combined result in a smoother ride, and sharper handling. The Subaru Global Platform has also made the car even safer. The extensive use of optimized cross sectioning mean that the car’s crumple zones have also been improved. It might also mean that the car weighs just a bit less because of the cross sectioning. However, the press release did not mention the weight, so it is likely the weight loss was not significant. Beyond the modular platform, the newest Impreza is premiering many interesting new features. Subaru is presenting their gains in autonomy by introducing their EYESIGHT® system. Thus, 2017 will be the first model year that the automaker will be offering active lane assist technology. Not to be outdone by Honda and Toyota; who have extensive autonomy available even on their entry-level models; Subaru is skipping straight to auto pilot technology in one competitive swoop. Confirmed and combined, the Impreza will able to steer and stop in case of emergency. What is still unclear is the extent of the efficacy of their adaptive cruise control. The press release mentions it existence, but does not say if it will be efficacious for stop and go traffic. Not having it will be detrimental for Subaru when considering the cheaper Honda Civic does have stop and go traffic assistance. EYESIGHT® is what Subaru calls the amalgamation of its autonomous features. As the name suggests, the headlights are included in the equation as well. Namely, part of the EYESIGHT® system is a pair of active headlights. Subaru’s Steering Responsive Headlights that are designed to follow the direction of the driver’s gaze. While High Beam Assist, will dim and activate high beams depending on the driving conditions. The 2017 Subaru Impreza is a vast improvement on an already amazing vehicle. However, what is still unclear is what ails Subaru most. How is the gas mileage; does it have a hybrid bother in the pipelines?