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The last Subaru Impreza? Brand hints at next-gen EV replacement for Hyundai i30, Toyota Corolla rival as it moves toward eight new electric cars by 2030

Will the current trimmed-down Subaru Impreza be the last one? Subaru Australia's boss hints the nameplate may live on...

Subaru has just launched its new-generation Impreza, with a notably trimmed-back range as the small car's market share falls. Is this an early indicator that this one may be the last?

Speaking to CarsGuide at the launch of the Solterra electric mid-size SUV, Subaru Australia's Managing Director, Blair Read, weighed in, hinting that there might be changes in store for the future.

"The last Impreza? It's way too early to make that call," he said. "It's an iconic nameplate. Is there a possibility for it to change into the future? Absolutely. I think there will always be a place for that kind of vehicle in the market."

Read's comments come as Subaru reaffirms its commitment to ramping up battery electric vehicle production. As of mid-2023, its new target is to achieve 50 per cent battery electric and 50 per cent hybrid and ICE sales by 2030, and has pledged to have eight new EVs on the market by that point.

If you look at the brand's range which, locally, consists of seven models including the BRZ and now Solterra joint-developments with Toyota, it leaves space for battery electric versions of pretty much its entire core line-up.

A slide shown to the media in 2023 shows production lines in Japan converting to 'in-house BEV production' in 2025 with an additional 'dedicated' BEV production line to be added around 2027, each with a 200,000 unit annual production capacity.

Subaru has just launched its new-generation Impreza, with a notably trimmed-back range as the small car's market share falls.

A 'next-gen HEV' also shown on this slide is expected to be the now-revealed Forester, which is confirmed to adopt a Toyota-sourced hybrid system to improve its fuel efficiency over the current e-Boxer hybrid, although Japanese media is speculating that an electric version could be next.

Read confirmed that the new hybrid Forester would be arriving in 2025. His comments around the Impreza 'changing' into the future seem to suggest the Impreza may not be far behind.

At least for now, Subaru fans wanting to get their hands on a hatchback need not worry, as Read also confirmed the Australian division would be continuing to source the Impreza hatch from the Japanese factory for as long as it was available.

The Impreza has been part of Subaru's line-up in Australia for over 30 years.

Plus, for those hoping for a little more than the stripped-back three-variant range the new generation launched with, Read confirmed the brand was looking at bringing in a sportier edition, like the STI-tuned Impreza seen at the Tokyo Auto Salon in early 2023.

"We always look at that, where we can have the opportunity to add variants to the range. We had an S Edition before and it went very well, so something in that space is always on our radar."

The STI-tuned version shown at Tokyo might fall short of a WRX hatch that some fans might be after, with changes likely limited to aesthetic touches like a bodykit, black wheels, a and tweaked rear spoiler, with the most significant alteration being a twin exhaust out the rear.

Subaru has detailed plans to expand its EV production by 2030.

While the Australian-delivered Impreza hatch ships with just one engine choice, a 115kW/196Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder non-turbo boxer mated to a CVT and all-wheel drive, another interesting observation of the STI-tuned car shown at Tokyo is the presence of 'e-Boxer' badges, suggesting it may instead ship with the 110kW/196Nm 2.0-litre engine and 12kW/66Nm electric motor hybrid set-up from the Crosstrek. A hybrid version of the Impreza is not currently available in Australia.

With Subaru pledging four of its eight new electric cars by the end of 2026, we expect to learn more about its EV plans beyond Solterra and the future of its long-running nameplates like Impreza shortly, so watch this space.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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