First Look: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX

As the performance gap between the standard Subaru Impreza WRX and the racy Impreza WRX STI continues to close, so too will the appearances of the two cars as Subaru updates the less-powerful car with the more-powerful car’s bodywork for 2011.

In practice, that means bulging fenders all around necessitated by a 1.5-inch wider track front and rear. Firmer sub-frame bushings handle the load and wider 17-inch wheels in larger tires fill out the big fenders. An updated grille and a new, more prominent front splitter complete the look.

In addition to enhancing the WRX’s appearance, the new body is also functional. Subaru says the new wide-body actually lowers the car’s drag coefficient compared to the 2010 model, at the cost of 34 extra pounds of weight to haul. That weight will continue to be handled by Subaru’s potent 265-horsepower 2.5-liter H-4, five-speed manual transmission and permanent All-Wheel Drive. Changes to pricing have not been announced.

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