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Reader test: Subaru Impreza Sti

2010-11-18 07:28

LIFE CHANGING: Reader Mike credits his Sti with giving him goose bumps and attacking his senses.

Mike Switzer

It’s a car I’ve yearned to own since my high school days. It’s a car that most non-car fans dislike because they don’t understand it or know what it’s about. It’s car that gives me goose bumps and attacks all of my senses every time I turn the key and drive it. It’s a car that can make even the most serious adults I know giggle and grin like naughty little children begging for more. It’s a Subaru Impreza Sti.

To the uninitiated, the car appears over the top, brash and in your face, with its gold wheels, big rear wing and bonnet scoop. All of these items however have a meaning or purpose.

The wheels are there as a reminder of the cars rallying heritage. Subaru have won the world rally championship on numerous occasions, the first of which was in 1995 with a certain Mr. Colin McRae behind the wheel and all of the rally cars always had gold wheels.

As for the substantial rear wing, it is there to generate downforce, improving the cars Velcro-like cornering abilities.

And then there’s the bonnet scoop designed to feed fresh air directly to the hungry top-mounted intercooler. Sure it might not be the most beautiful car on the road today, but that’s not the point.


Words cannot express how this car makes its driver (or passenger/s) feel. It involves every part of you and is designed with one goal in mind - pure exhilaration and pleasure, and it does just that! The car has a solid, purposeful, mechanical feel to it with its meaty clutch, fantastic precise short-throw gear shift action and its firm performance-biased suspension setup.

It has the legendary Subaru symmetrical AWD system and a driver controlled centre differential that gives the car mind-blowing traction and cornering abilities, and exceptional safety in wet weather conditions.

And then there’s that sound - generated by the 2.5 litre, turbo’ed boxer four.  It must have one of the most distinctive engine notes in the motoring world – and it’s glorious! From way down at idling speeds all the way to the redline, its offbeat engine symphony burbles at first and then howls like a mechanical wolf as the revs rise. It’s like nothing I’ve experienced before, completely and utterly addictive, and unique to Subaru.

For me it’s not about pulling up at the traffic lights next to another performance car and racing down the road. A colleague of mine asked how it feels to own a car that will beat the pants of most things to which I replied, “I don’t care if I’m beaten by a VW beetle”. It’s all about the driving experience and what this car does to its driver.

So if you ever have an opportunity to take an Sti for a test drive or to just go for a spin in one, seize the chance! You won’t be disappointed and your motoring life will be changed for forever!

Inside Wheels24

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