As we previously reported, these new fuel economy gains are primarily achieved by means of an all-new boxer engine, along with a new transmission choice. The 2012 Impreza uses a 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed four-cylinder, which actually debuted in Europe earlier this year. Rated at 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque, the engine is slightly down on power compared to the outgoing 2.5-liter four (170 horsepower and 170 lb-ft, respectively), but makes up for the deficiency in fuel economy gains -- particularly when mated with the new continuously variable transmission, which replaces the antiquated four-speed automatic.
Will the new Impreza win new buyers while simultaneously appeasing Subaru loyalists? That remains to be seen, but Subaru officials insist fuel economy is already a prime factor in luring consumers to the brand. In that case, a 44-percent improvement in highway fuel economy over the previous model certainly doesn’t hurt.
Further details -- especially those tied to performance and pricing -- have yet to be announced by the automaker, but expect the full skinny on the 2012 Impreza sedan and wagon to be revealed on April 20, when the car makes its first public debut at the 2011 New York auto show.