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Subaru brings STI sedan

2010-10-07 09:02

BACK TO BASICS: Subaru has heeded calls for the return of the STI sedan.

Fans of Subaru’s rambunctious STI models can prepare to again experience their boxer thrills in a sedan body.

The latest generation of Impreza hatchbacks, despite bulletproof engineering and true driver’s car status, received a rather muted response. This was partly remedied when the WRX sedan was launched last year but now Subaru is on a mission to jog its followers’ enthusiasm with this new sedan WRX STI.

Yes, the nameplate Impreza has been dropped and significant market demand is said to have necessitated the latest addition to the range.

Subaru’s turbocharged 2.5-litre 16-valve boxer engine with dual active valve control again does duty in the three-box STI, producing 221kW at 6000prm and 407Nm of torque at 4000. 

The engine and outputs are unchanged from those seen on the erstwhile STI hatchback though the revised engine is cleaner and now meets Euro5 emission standards. Furthermore, a new exhaust system with a larger centre muffler enhances the boxer’s spine-tingling burble.

RUMBLE: A new exhaust system enhances the turbo 2.5-litre boxer's burble.

The new WRX STI’s suspension has been significantly overhauled while the car’s shell is said to be more rigid. A lower ride height and wider tyres (sporting a new wheel design that shaves 2kg per corner off the car’s weight) add to the level of feedback and control received by the driver.

Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system also gets an update; its differential settings have been revised.

However, the STI retains some of the WRX’s attractive ruggedness with its new bumpers and larger rear-quarter panels. According to Subaru, materials used in the cabin have been upgraded and the driver and front passenger get to live the STI experience in snug, all-new, Recaro bucket seats.

The new Subaru WRX and WRX STI will be launched in South Africa next week; more local detail can be expected then.

Prices start at R489 000 for the five-speed auto and R499 000 for the six-speed manual.

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