2012 Subaru Impreza WRX (Premium, Limited) review, specifications, photos, features

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The new 2012 Subaru WRX sports car

A year after the introduction of the wide-body design Impreza WRX model, this iconic performance machine receives minor exterior and interior trim enhancements for 2012, along with a newly available navigation and audio system.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photoFind more new 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX pictures in our 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX photo gallery (18 photos)

The 2012 Impreza WRX, which is powered by a 265-horsepower turbocharged/intercooled Boxer engine, continues on the same platform as the 2011 models, while the new-for-2012 Impreza 2.0i models introduce a new version.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

Impreza WRX aficionados will notice the body-color rear garnish on the 4-door (formerly satin chrome finish) and silver color for the inner headlight bezels on the 2012 models, but all other aspects of the 2011 wide-body redesign carry over to the 2012 models. Also continued for 2012 are the wider track dimensions, wider 17-inch wheels and firmer rear subframe bushings that enhanced handling agility in these high-performance models.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

A new navigation system available for the WRX Premium and Limited models includes a 6.1-inch touch screen LCD display, voice control, iPod® control capability, iTunes® tagging, SMS text messaging capability, as well as XM® Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic (both XM services require subscriptions). The system plays through six speakers. Updated map data can be downloaded to a personal computer and then transferred into the vehicle’s system via secure digital (SD) card.
The 2012 Impreza WRX models are powered by a 265-hp turbocharged/intercooled 2.5-liter Boxer engine teamed with a 5-speed manual transmission. The highly responsive engine produces 244 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

Wide Body Designs
The WRX shares the WRX STI model’s wide body design in both 4-door and 5-door versions. The “wide and low” design concept gives both models an aggressive road presence. The wide-body look with its projecting front fenders and rear quarter panels is functional, as it accommodates wider track dimensions than on pre-2011 WRX models. The design maintains a consistent flow from front to rear bumper, creating a distinctive identity and a sense of stability.

Sharp bumper corners and wide, blacked-out fog lamp nacelles accentuate the “wide and low” profile. A jutting lip spoiler with three-dimensional detailing emphasizes the cars’ sporty intent. The front grille with black base and blacked out Subaru wing highlights the headlights’ shape to give the entire front end an assertive appearance, accentuated by large grille and bumper intake openings. The wide fenders are stretched out on the side more than the tail lamps, accentuating a look of stability. Both WRX models feature quad tailpipe outlets. The WRX Limited models add standard HID low-beam headlights.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

Wide Track Enhances Handling
Giving the WRX the same wide-body designs as the WRX STI allowed Subaru to also widen track dimensions and install wider wheels and tires than on the pre-2011 model. Those changes, along with firmer rear subframe bushings, help to reduce body roll and improve cornering stability. The standard wheels are 17 x 8 in. with 235/45R17 summer performance tires.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Vehicle Dynamics Control
Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which forms the common core technology on all Subaru models, gives the Impreza WRX a significant handling-performance advantage over front-wheel drive competitors. Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is a complete system comprised of the Boxer engine and the full-time power distribution system, which varies by Subaru model and transmission. The aluminum Boxer engine and simple, symmetrical drivetrain layout help to lower the car’s center of gravity, which in turn contributes to its sporty handling characteristics.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

The 2012 Impreza WRX uses the Continuous AWD version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. A viscous coupling locking center differential nominally distributes torque 50:50. Should slippage occur, this system transfers more power to the wheels with the best traction. The Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system is standard. Incline Start Assist, featured on all Impreza models equipped with a manual transmission, can momentarily prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.

It is important to note that, in Subaru vehicles, traction control plays a second line of defense against wheel slip after AWD torque distribution. In contrast, some All-Wheel Drive systems on the market lack the performance advantage of a locking center differential and rely solely on traction control to redistribute torque away from slipping wheels.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

Sporty, Spacious and Versatile Interior
The WRX-exclusive carbon black checkered upholstery is accented by red stitching sets the tone for the sporty interior. All WRX models are equipped with standard aluminum-alloy pedal covers and a driver’s footrest. Performance-design front seats integrate the backrest and head restraint into a single structure. As a sporty accent, the instrument panel electroluminescent gauges use indicator needles that sweep the gauge faces upon engine startup. Steering wheel controls for the audio system cruise control and Bluetooth® are standard for all 2012 Impreza WRX models. The WRX Premium and Limited models feature a standard power moonroof, with the Limited also providing standard leather-trimmed upholstery.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

The WRX models’ standard audio system features an AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD player and six speakers; a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack; Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming; iPod® control capability; a USB port and XM/SIRIUS Satellite Radio capability. The WRX Premium and WRX Limited models also offer the new-for-2012 touch-screen navigation and audio system and audio package described on page 1.

The compact layout of the Impreza WRX models’ double-wishbone rear suspension helps to minimize intrusion into the cargo area, providing a wide and deep luggage compartment. In the 5-door, the wide and flat load floor can accommodate two Tour-size golf bags with the rear seat backs in the upright position. In the 4-door, which is 6.5-inches longer than the 5-door, the trunk can accommodate three Tour-size golf bags. A 60/40-split folding rear seat further boosts cargo capacity and convenience, and the 4-door also features a rear seat fold-down center armrest.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

Proven Subaru Safety Technology
The Impreza models are built around the Ring-Shaped Reinforcement Frame body structure with front and rear crumple zones, proven in Subaru models for over a decade to provide outstanding crash protection. All Impreza models feature a 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The WRX has larger front brakes than other Impreza models. Brake Assist analyzes the force and stroke on the brake pedal and increases hydraulic boost to provide enhanced emergency braking, also activating the ABS system early if needed.

2012 Subaru WRX photo2012 Subaru WRX photo

All seats provide 3-point seatbelts (height-adjustable for outboard front seat positions), and the front seatbelts have electrically triggered pre-tensioners and force limiters. Front seat side pelvis/torso airbags and side-curtain airbags are standard on all Subaru models. The Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbag System (SRS) features a passenger side front seat sensor module that detects weight – first determining if the seat is occupied, and if so by a child or adult – to control airbag deployment. As part of the system, the dashboard features an “Airbag” indicator light.

Find more new 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX pictures in our 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX photo gallery (18 photos)

New 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX specifications, photos and images courtesy of Subaru.

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