Subaru is launching its discreet Impreza at Autosport this week (see link below for our earlier report). The WRX STI Spec.D uses the 2.5-litre flat-four in 277bhp tune for a 0-60mph of five seconds and a Vmax of 158mph -- the same performance as the standard UK spec Impreza.
Other changes include a new four-wheel drive system that uses limited slip differentials front rear, an improved gearshift and a cooling system for the intercooler -- the driver presses a button and the unit is sprayed with cold water.
You'd hardly notice the car on the road though. Subaru UK boss Peter Kinnaird said: "This car is aimed at people like me -- D stands for discreet, no bright blue paintwork, big rear spoiler or gold coloured wheels. It is for customers who want the performance of the 158mph WRX STI, but not the high profile looks."
This means it's got a small spoiler, no roof vane above the rear window, and an all black interior -- none of yer lairy blue trim here. It comes only in grey, and the wheels are silver rather than gold. It includes touch-screen satnav, an upgraded sound system, a Bluetooth hands-free phone kit and an iPod adaptor. You also get a year's membership of TrackStar and SmartNav and a one-month subscription to SafeSpeed.
The price will be £28,495 (the WRX STI Type-UK costs £26,995) on the road, and it goes on sale in March.