CHERRY HILL, NJ
— Subaru of America, Inc. has introduced the more powerful, restyled 2006 Impreza 2.5 i and Outback Sport models, featuring new engine technology and additional safety features. The Impreza 2.5 RS models have been renamed “2.5 i” for 2006, making its nomenclature consis-tent with the larger Subaru Legacy models.Following an interior redesign for 2005, all Impreza models have been restyled for 2006. The new Subaru front-end design for Impreza features a three-section mesh-type grill inspired by the company’s aircraft heritage, plus restyled headlights with smoke-tinted lenses. Sedan models feature revised wide-body fenders, while the wagons have their own flared fender design, as on the previous model. All 2006 Impreza models are also distinguished by a new tail lamp cluster design. An aluminum hood reduces weight over the front wheels on the Impreza 2.5 i and Outback Sport (WRX models already had an aluminum hood).The Impreza 2.5 i and Outback Sport models get a more powerful version of the 2.5L SOHC horizontally opposed (Boxer) engine for 2006. The addition of the i-Active Valve Lift system and the Electronic Throttle Control system boost horsepower to 173 from 165 while retaining responsive low- and mid-range torque.All Subaru models are equipped with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment. The optional 4-speed direct control automatic transmission features enhanced control logic for 2006. Revisions to the electronically controlled version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive teamed with this transmission contribute to better handling and enhanced traction performance.On the safety front, all Impreza models gain the new dual-stage Subaru Advanced Airbag System, while the Impreza 2.5 i and Outback Sport models also get the front seat head/chest side-impact airbags that were already featured in the WRX models.