Fans of rally-bred Japanese road rockets are in store for a triple treat at the 2002 British International Motor Show, with both Subaru and Mitsubishi doing their bit to attract attention to products derived from the off-road scene.

Already, thousands of visitors have thronged the Subaru stand, where the undoubted highlights are WRX models from the new Impreza range and the stunning 2003 season World Rally Championship car. And visitors with a passion for exciting sports cars from the Land of the Rising Sun can also visit the Mitsubishi stand where the recently-launched Evo VII is proving to be an extremely popular attraction.

For show-goers, this is the first - and only - opportunity to view the new Impreza range before its launch in February 2003.

"Quite simply, the legend evolves," said Subaru regional sales manager Roger Nokes, "The reaction to the new Impreza has been phenomenal. Sportscar purists, enthusiasts and people in general love the new look."

The stand's main attraction is the head-turning flagship of the Impreza range - the WRX STi Type UK.

"It's making car buyers who perhaps wouldn't have considered the Impreza think twice," Nokes added, "and we've also had a really positive reaction from long term Impreza Turbo owners, which is great."

Queues to sit behind the wheel of the impressive Mitsubishi Evo VII - unmissable in brilliant yellow - form as soon as the Show's doors open at 9.30am and persist all day. Evo enthusiasts are regularly seen taking photographs of the car's engine and even measuring the diameter of its exhaust!

"People aspire to cars like this," said stand manager Edward Bowen-Jones, "The Evo VII is a magnet because it's an awesome car. It's the car of the moment - the car of the PlayStation generation. Young people love it and it's an opportunity for us to communicate the values of the Mitsubishi brand. I think it's fair to say that the Evo VII is one of the draws of the show."

"Both [the Subaru and Mitsubishi] are fantastic cars that inspire great loyalty. It's difficult to say what makes owners choose one rather than the other. We say it's instinctive - like preferring blondes or brunettes!"