Subaru’s new range is snappy

Sunday Star-Times - - DRIVETIMES - DAVID LIN­KLATER

The ad­di­tion of the twin-cam­era EyeSight driver-as­sis­tance sys­tem to the WRX spear­heads a suit of up­grades for what Subaru New Zealand calls its ’’per­for­mance range’’: the afore­men­tioned Rex, Levorg GT-S wagon and en­thu­si­ast-ori­ented STi.

EyeSight, al­ready a fa­mil­iar fea­ture across the rest of the Subaru range, en­ables a va­ri­ety of driver-as­sist and ac­tive-safety fea­tures, in­clud­ing adap­tive cruise con­trol and au­ton­o­mous brak­ing. But it’s only avail­able on the Subaru Lin­eartronic Trans­mis­sion (SLT) two-pedal model, mean­ing the man­ual-only flag­ship STi is still sans-EyeSight.

The WRX Pre­mium, STi Pre­mium and Levorg have an­other three new safety fea­tures: Front View Mon­i­tor, Smart Rear View Mon­i­tor (which shows you an im­age of the back of the car through the rear-vi­sion mir­ror) and Au­to­matic Ve­hi­cle Hold for the elec­tronic park­ing brake.

The trio’s turbo en­gines now meet Euro 6b emis­sions stan­dards and the Levorg has been firmed up with re­vi­sions to the Bil­stein sus­pen­sion.

All have new grilles, front bumpers and al­loy wheel designs. The WRX gets red brake calipers, with the Pre­mium pick­ing up 20 per cent more ef­fi­cient Jurid brake pads. The STi gets a more se­ri­ous stopper up­grade: six-pis­ton (front) Brembo units and rear cross­drilled ro­tors, with bright yel­low calipers all-around. The driver-con­fig­urable dif­fer­en­tial on the STi is now fully elec­tronic.

Prices for all SLT mod­els rise by $1000: $50,990 for the WRX, $55,990 for the WRX Pre­mium and $57,990 for the Levorg GT-S..

CHRIS DILLON

Subaru WRX pro­file.

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