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Spec C is the ultimate Scooby

2011-01-03 09:32

Spec C may be half a litre down on capacity, but it is quicker than the series production WRX STI.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Subaru
Model Spec C
Power 221kW
Torque 430Nm
Despite enjoying a cult following for its STI nameplate globally, Subaru still has an odd habit of saving its ultimate performance car products exclusively for Japanese domestic market consumption.

Take the latest Impreza WRX STI Spec C as an(other) example of Subaru looking after its own.

Following on from the current four-door WRX STI (and cueing the 2010 Spec C hatchback), Subaru’s latest Spec C amplifies the four-door performance Impreza’s dynamic appeal to eleven.

What, no power hike?

Although the Spec C makes do with a smaller 2-litre version of the legendary boxer engine, a new ball-bearing-type twin-scroll turbocharger increases maximum torque output to 430Nm (up from the STI 2.5's 407Nm) whilst peak power remains unchanged at 221kW.

One of the Spec C more traditional WRX features (missing on the current STI) is an intercooler water-spray function…

Drive is apportioned via the proven Subaru symmetrical all-wheel drive system. The Spec C’s only available transmission option is a six-speed manual, in the interest of dynamic purity it foregoes the five-speed automatic transmission option introduced as a second drivetrain on the 2010 WRX STI.

To ensure optimal turn-in responses the Spec C’s front-crossmember has been reinforced, whilst the steering feel (never an Impreza strength) is improved by a higher volume power steering pump, able to manage hydraulic viscosity better throughout the steering rack’s range of motion.

Lighter though

Exterior changes are predictably minimal with gold-hued Brembo brake calipers the only significant styling detail to distinguish Spec C from its lesser WRX STI brethren.

Closer inspection reveals weight saving measures in the order of an aluminium bonnet, thinner windows and a smaller battery. The total weight saving? A rather negligible 30kg...

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 mechanically-locking rear differential. 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 wheel challenges the traction circle at the limite during high-speed (or acute angle) cornering.

Unfortunately, without wishing to labour the point any further, the ultimate four-door Impreza will only be available to domestic Japanese buyers...

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