Engine Changes

Complete redesigns tend to bring the most dramatic changes, from the styling to the mechanics. A few things have changed in the WRX drivetrain, but I fear it's not enough. The 2008 model seems exactly like the 2007 until you look more closely at the specifications. The engine once again is a 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder, and it has the same horsepower and torque specs. There have been some changes in the power distribution over the engine-speed range, though.

The peak horsepower and torque coming 400 and 800 rpm lower, respectively, on the rev range means the engine has more oomph when accelerating from a stop, in addition to climbing up to cruising speed or passing. The car doesn't really take off until close to 4,000 rpm, but it's not anemic beforehand. The greater improvement in this regard came in 2006, when Subaru replaced the original 2.0-liter engine with the 2.5-liter, adding torque and bringing the peak down where it's more accessible. The original WRX, though loads of fun, had rather profound turbo lag. The changes have made it a non-issue, or close to it.

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