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By Drew Johnson

Although the Subaru Impreza may still look like a new model, it's just about due for a significant update. Our spy photographers recently caught up with a pack of Subaru engineers, giving us our first look at the 2012 Impreza model.

Snagged while testing in the Alps, the 2012 Impreza appears to have a few changes in the greenhouse. In back, it looks as if the rear windshield has less slope to it than the current model and there is a new configuration for the rear quarter glass. Near the front we can also see a new setup that includes a piece of front quarter glass.

While lots of the other details are hidden by thick camouflage, honeycomb grill inserts and very angular headlights are easy to see on this prototype.

The regular powertrain should continue to be the 2.5L Boxer motor we're all familiar with. Some modest updates for increased fuel economy should be expected. The biggest news is that a hybrid model is likely show up this time around!

Production for the next-gen Impreza is currently slated to start in June of 2011, with the hybrid model following a year later in 2012. Watch for the likely debut at next year's Tokyo Motor Show.



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