2003 Impreza breaks cover

Subaru unveiled a prototype version of its 2003 WRC contender at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday afternoon

2003 Impreza breaks cover

The new car has revisions to the engine, roll-cage, body panels and aerodynamic package, and Subaru is hoping that it will return to the team to its title-winning form of 2001.

"The WRC is now more competitive than ever before and winning rallies demands the very best at every stage. As far as I'm concerned this prototype represents another significant step forward in the development of the Impreza - it is absolutely on the cutting edge," said team principal David Lapworth.

"The prototype features a number of improvements over the current model, for instance the bodyshell is lighter and stiffer, the aero package uses the air in a far more efficient way and the reduced frontal area makes the whole package more aerodynamic. There are many more improvements under the skin, but until the design is finalised we're remaining tight-lipped."

Lapworth added that he hopes to start testing the car as soon as possible. It is due to make its debut on next year's Monte Carlo Rally, which kicks off the WRC in January.

The Impreza made its world rally debut in 1993 and has won two drivers titles in 1995 (Colin McRae) and in 2001 (Richard Burns).

Tommi Makinen and Petter Solberg will drive the car in 2003.

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