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Domesticated STI from Subaru?

2009-07-28 07:37
Press material explicitly states only Yellow and W

Press material explicitly states only Yellow and White are available as the exterior colours. Then Subaru send us an image of a Blue Spec C. Love that Japanese sense of humour…

You can never accuse Japanese manufacturers of not looking after their own. Witness Subaru’s latest domestic market treat, the Impreza WRX STI Spec C.

Whether the limited edition run of only 900 cars is a cynical Group N racing homologation exercise or residual solidifying supply constraint marketing stunt, the result is admirable none the less.

Think WRX STI with less weight, a tauter front end and more vicious throttle response.

There are scant visual clues differentiating the Spec C cars from their STI siblings. If you are a Subaru acolyte you’ll notice the 18-inch Spec C wheels have fewer spokes and wear Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tyres instead of Dunlops.

New bonnet is an even purer aluminium blend.

Rap your knuckles across the bonnet and you’ll notice it’s now a lightweight aluminium sheet item.

Flick it open and you’ll find a smaller battery starting up the 2l turbocharged boxer engine. The blown engine now features low-friction ball bearings spooling up the twin-scroll turbo unit in an attempt to shore up throttle response.

Power remains unchanged from the standard WRX STI (227kW/422Nm), yet the ECU mapping and lower-friction forced induction operation promises more urgent engine responses to throttle input demands.

Subaru traditionalists will be heartened by the return of an intercooler water-spray function…

Beyond the engine tweaks and weight saving measures (mass is trimmed by 30kg to 1 450kg) there are subtle chassis tweaks too.

Spring and damper settings at each wheel corner are uniquely calibrated to the Spec C range, differing negligibly from the stock WRX STI, whilst rear anti-roll bar set-up and sub-frame bushes are specifically Spec C too.

The front axle benefits from a reinforced cross-member and hydraulic flow volume to the power steering system has been increased for better feel during emergency corrections at the helm.

Gold calipers add Scooby heritage

One of the most curious running changes to the WRX STI in Spec C trim is the replacement of the rear Torsen limited-slip differential with a conventional open diff.

This mechanical change should keep the S-drive system and centre-diff quite busy as they apportion more torque to the front-wheels when the inside-rear broaches the traction circle.

Gold Brembo brake callipers and optional Alcantara/leather seats with red contrast stitching add some colour to these Scooby WRX STI Spec C models.

Exterior colours are limited to Sunrise Yellow or Pure White – so no traditional Scooby blue then, unless you look at the pictures...

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