The New Subaru Impreza RS And Why Australia Can Only Look And Not Touch It

The New Subaru Impreza RS And Why Australia Can Only Look And Not Touch It

The 2024 Subaru Impreza has been announced for Australia, but one hot hatch is missing. Bottom line, they can only look and not touch the new Impreza RS.

Subaru Australia recently announced pre-orders are open for the facelifted 2024 Subaru Impreza to its customers. First deliveries are expected in December 2023. But it won’t be Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays for Subaru Impreza fans.

Subaru Australia will get it three levels of 2024 Subaru Impreza hatchback trim: AWD 2.0L, AWD 2.0R and AWD 2.0S. All are powered by a 2.0-liter Boxer direct-inline engine, mated to a Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic with an 8-paddle shift manual mode.

The Australian-spec Impreza 2.0-liter engine produces 152 horsepower and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s sporty enough, but lower-end customers won’t find the Impreza trim sportier.

One trim level that is missing is the new 2024 Impreza RS with the 2.5-liter Boxer engine. Designed for North American customers only. Australia can only look and not touch the new Impreza RS.

The new 2024 Subaru Impreza RS upgrades to a 2.5-liter Boxer engine with 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. I recently drove the new Impreza RS and was impressed with its extra 30 horsepower over the Impreza Boxer’s 2.0-liter powerplant.

I drove a 2024 Subaru Impreza RS in Colorado

I drove the new Impreza RS in the mountains of Colorado, where the air is thin and the roads are steep. I pushed the RS on a steep incline on I-70 west of Denver at an elevation of 7,500 feet to give the new compact hatch a good test.

The performance of the RS 2.5-litre Boxer engine was impressive, with 30 horsepower more than the standard 2.0-litre unit. The compact hatchback was easily maneuvered through fast-moving traffic and had no problems with steep inclines.

The new Impreza RS is not just an appearance package. The RS has sport suspension upgrades, bigger brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, and SI-Drive.

Is the Impreza RS exclusive to US customers?

The Impreza is no longer built in Lafayette, Indiana, so that’s not why the Impreza RS is only for US and Canadian customers. All Impreza models are manufactured in Japan and shipped to Subaru customers around the world.

The United States is the Subaru Corporation’s largest market, where the Japanese automaker sells about 70 percent of its vehicles. Subaru of America gets many models that the rest of the world doesn’t get, like the Crosstrek Wilderness trim level with an outdoor theme.

Having watched and reported on Subaru for decades, it’s not uncommon for an automaker to create certain models for specific markets. Australia gets the 2023 WRX Sportswagon hatchback trim level, and US customers don’t. North America is left out and can only look and not touch.

The reason why Australia doesn’t get the Impreza RS

If Australian sports car enthusiasts want a hot hatch, the WRX hatchback is better than the Impreza RS. A 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer engine powers the WRX Sportswagon with 271 horsepower and 258 torque. It’s not a Subaru model that Australian performance enthusiasts will choose.

The 2024 Subaru Impreza RS is one more example of how the Subaru Corporation has certain models designated for specific markets. The sportier 2024 Impreza RS is forbidden fruit in Australia, but they have a hotter WRX Sportswagon.

For additional articles related to the 2024 Subaru Impreza, here are a few for your consideration:

Here’s a YouTube video: 2.5 RS IS BACK?! 2024 Subaru Impreza RS Review from TheStraightPipes

Denis Flierl brings over thirty years of combined automotive industry and automotive journalism experience to Torque News readers. He is a certified member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP). The past twelve years have been spent with Torque News, covering Subaru vehicles and the latest news. Check back every day for his Subaru expert analysis. You’ll find the latest stories on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis Facebook, Social Media Platform Xand Instagram.

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Photo courtesy of: Subaru