Ann Arbor - You already know about the Subaru Impreza WRX, the 227-hp, turbocharged wondersedan and -wagon that are the hottest Subarus to come to America since . . . well, ever. But we've unearthed another shiny nugget in the new-for-'02 Impreza lineup: the 2.5 RS. Although denied its headline-grabbing sibling's turbocharged engine, the 2.5 RS is otherwise so akin to the WRX that it emerges as a standout sport compact itself.
First of all, the 2.5 RS apes the WRX look, sporting the same son-of-a-rally-car fender bulges and massive front air dam and wearing identical sixteen-inch alloy wheels and 55-series Bridgestone Potenza RE92 tires (although the WRX can be had with seventeen-inch wheels, which are not offered here). Opt for the rear spoiler and front fog lights, and the two cars are near twins.
Inside, it's much the same story, as the 2.5 RS has the same aggressive sport seats (but without side air bags); silver-accented dash (with gray, not silver, gauges); and black-leather-trimmed shifter, handbrake, and steering wheel (only it's not a Momo wheel).
More telling than looks, though, is the way the 2.5 RS mimics the WRX's driving dynamics. The chassis feel is nearly identical, with firm suspension tuning and plenty of body control. Despite its all-wheel drive, the 2.5 RS has a degree of playful, throttle-controlled adjustability in corners.... Read full article