8 months with a Renault Clio

Top Car's Wayne Batty says goodbye to his Renault Clio. It’s not a soppy farewell but the little 'automatique' did its maker proud.

Kia's trendy family pick

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post experiences the upcoming Cerato.

Another two-pedal Scooby STI?

2009-09-30 12:36

Carbon-fibre roof? Cool. Two-pedals in the footwell and a shift pattern independent of your control, not so cool – at all.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer SUBARU
Model Impreza WRX STI
Engine 2.5l flat-four turbo
Power 221kW @ 6 000r/min
Torque 407Nm @ 4 000r/min
Transmission Five-speed auto
We worry about Subaru at times, especially when they add planetary geared transmissions and carbon-fibre detailing to the STI.

Now we know how everybody abhors the styling and configuration of the hatchback Impreza STI. Subaru though, doesn’t seem to mind.

In fact, they appear keen to make things worse, giving customers everything they possibly do not want...

What's up with these auto STIs?

Earlier this year Subaru released the Impreza STI A-line. It featured upgraded brakes and a five-speed automatic transmission, which could be overridden (to an extent) by steering column mounted paddle shift actuation.

The A-line was seen by many as an awful waste of the 2.5l boxer engine’s 221kW. Enthusiasts were heartened (slightly) by the presence of throttle blipping control.

This ensured that downshifts during dynamic driving were met by a commensurate increase engine speed, ensuring optimal throttle balance on corner entry. Nice, but still no dual-clutch transmission...

Now, mere weeks away from the Tokyo motor show, Subaru is at it again.

Everything appears normal - until you look down to your left and notice the lack of a H-gate shift pattern...

Carbon neutral, carbon nowhere?

We have no idea what is going on in product planning at Subaru headquarters, but why there is any perceived notion of the need for another five-speed auto STI is beyond us.

A critical detail we may have glossed over is the carbon-fibre roof, which lowers the centre of gravity and lowers kerb weight too – just a pity Subaru is not at liberty to say by how much.

Symmetrical all-wheel drive with a five-speed auto and 221kW. Who in their right mind purchases a performance car and expects two-pedal driving convenience for trundling through rush hour traffic? Well, there are apparently quite a few such unprincipled people out there (in the imagination of somebody at Subaru), which is why Subaru is marketing the WRX STI Carbon.

They call it the Subaru WRX STI Carbon. We call it recycle bin material…


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