Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Why wReck eXcellence?

I know Alayne will take note of this one. Do you remember back in the day when no one really knew about Subaru? Do remember when the four wheel drive on every vehicle mandate didn't really matter to anyone. Remember those australian outback commercials showcasing, well, the Legacy Outback? Remember how no one cared?

Well, at least the general public didn't seem to care. That is until the words "Street Legal Rally Car" starting popping up. I'm talking of course about the car that single handedly made Subaru one of the coolest car companies in the world - the Subaru Impreza WRX. Winning Rally Championships all around the world, it was sweet when they finally decided to give the public their best product. Not to mention the STi shortly after.

Now the thing is - ever since the WRX came to the public market, there's been a significant debate about its styling. The original Rally Car that the public WRX was based on had nice little slit rectangular headlights. However, its street legal brother sported circular, bug-eyed, almost beetle-esque headlamps. I don't think I've ever heard so much controversy stirred up just because of 2 pieces of round plastic. But I must admit, the rectangular headlights did look better.

But then another generation came out that would become my favourite. It was a subtle change, but the round headlights became half rectangles (on the outer brim), and half circles (on the inner front). This styling in my opinion was definitely the best of all the WRX's. It was big and bulky and in your face - on top of which, it was beautiful.

What happened after? I'm not sure really. It seemed like for the sake of change, Subaru added this funny piece of front fascia - this weird arch right at the center. Granted the new headlights looked pretty good, but that stupid thing in the middle just made the whole thing bad. In fact so bad that you didn't realize that the rest of the car was actually pretty nice. My old roommate pointed this out- cover up that middle piece at the front, and the rest of the current generation WRX actually looks as good as the generation that preceded it.

Why did he bring this up? Why am I writing about the WRX? Well - Subaru, it would seem, has pulled a Volkswagon. That is, they took a pretty good looking stylish car, and made it look like a bland Toyota (cough, the current Jetta). That's right folks - Subaru has released official photos of the new WRX, and if you're reading up to this point, you've already seen the photo I've posted. And is it just me, or at quick glance, does it not look like the new Toyota Camry? What the hell? The aggressive street legal rally car now looks like the bland family car of the decade? Don't get me wrong - I love Toyota (in fact, I used to own one), but Toyota has its niche, and it's good at it. Toyota is not good at say making a street legal rally car. So when a company like Subaru takes its best product and makes it look like a new Camry - I have to question it.

Ah well, not all is bad. Upon closer inspection, it doesn't look too shabby. And I do respect the bold move to make such a radical exterior redesign. And knowing me, I'll probably grow to like the styling. But as it stands now, Subaru's release of the 2008 WRX official photos is a pretty sad showing. Head to www.caranddriver.com for more pics. Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

higher torque, less horsepower, and it looks like a marshmallow on wheels. blegh. I'm not too picky about the interior, but seriously, the car looks like a cartoon. I'm very disappointed in Subaru. I'd rather keep my good 'ol '99 RS than have the new one. And thats saying something.

Aaron Sadhankar said...

You know the current gen I do really like, and at first I was a bit hesitant. But when i see this new one they are coming out with, I am more than hesitant. Bah.

Well I will say this, Subaru's are great cars even with questionable styling decisions. I haven't driven many cars but I can say Subaru's are great to drive, and well made too.