Subaru have announced that their new GH Impreza-based WRC2008 car will make its competition debut at the Acropolis Rally of Greece on May 29. The WRC2008, which was previewed at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, is described as "the most radically different Subaru World Rally Car in 15 years", and one that should elevate the Subaru team's chances of success in the WRC.
Indeed, the new Impreza's controversial jump from sedan to hatchback has been attributed by many within the company to a request by rally champ Petter Solberg to shorten the overall length of the car to improve its performance on the twisty gravel tracks of WRC stages. Solberg has had a hand in the GH Impreza project since it's inception, and he along with Australian team mate Chris Atkinson have high hopes for the WRC2008 car in this year's season.
"The whole package is completely different to the existing car and there are improvements all the way through" Solberg said.
"It?s the beginning of a new chapter in the Impreza story and personally I feel very proud. I?ve been involved in the project since the car was just a clay model in Japan, so it feels a bit like a baby to me."
Technical specs will be revealed at the official unveiling at the Acropolis Rally, but you can expect Subaru's familiar EJ20 2-litre turbocharged boxer four to make a reappearance, with an intake restrictor capping power output at 300bhp. Whatever the changes may be though, hopes are high amongst Subaru team members and fans alike that the WRC2008 car can bring some success to the brand - Subaru hasn't won a rally outright since the Rally of Mexico in 2005.