Don’t let your disability stop you. That is Subaru’s message to disabled drivers who are fed up with the normal selection of minivans and boring sedans. Revealed at staidly-titled 38th Home Car and Rehabilitation Exhibition at Tokyo’s Big Sight, Subaru’s Impreza WRX A-Line for disabled drivers demonstrates how this major manufacturer wants to change the perception that disabled drivers should have practical, but somewhat boring, cars.
That is not to say that the Impreza WRX is not practical, but with a 300PS, 350 NM turbocharged engine driving all four wheels, it will surely blow the competition away. The A-Line may have an automatic gearbox and 5 horses less than its brethren, but it should still be able to hit 60 in just a little over 5 seconds. There is no information on how the modifications have influenced this performance. Needless to say, this is a fast car.
The modifications are all provided by Fujiauto, so they are available as dealer options in Japan, rather than aftermarket custom modifications. The driver uses a lever mounted to the left of the steering wheel to operate the brake and accelerator, which allows the car to be driven by people who do not have the use of their legs. Similar to the yoke in a plane, pulling back on the lever results in acceleration, and pushing forward will cause the car to brake. The gear shift (red button switch) and indicator buttons (black) are also found on this lever, so that everything apart from the steering is done with the left hand. The white button in the photo allows the driver to lock the brakes to prevent the car from rolling back when moving off on a steep hill.
The upgrade costs 205,000 Yen on top of the price of the vehicle itself (a 3.885 million Yen fully-speced car in this case), but buyers in Japan are eligible for various tax breaks which can bring down the price slightly. If you have the money for a car of this price, then the cost of the upgrade to have a very cool set of wheels is surely worth it.
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