While Mitsubishi had its hayday through
the first weekend of the Detroit Auto Show, it was promptly
put off with the announcement of the Subaru Impreza WRX STi.
Simply put, Subaru shocked the market by bringing a car many
The first shock was the announcement
of the 2.5 liter horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder turbo. This
is a far cry from the homologated 2.0 liter turbo 4-cylinder
used throughout the world. Subaru has provided perhaps the
perfect mix to satisfy the American consumer: a little more
displacement to give that little bit of extra grunt. That
means a lot less turbo lag to complain about. It's still
there, but an improvement over the standard WRX under 3000
rpm. The new motor provides a breathtaking 300hp at 6000rpm
and a head-pounding 300lb-ft of torque at 4000rpm. The motor
is also one of the first American production cars to use
Subaru's Active Valve Control System (AVCS).
second shock was that the car would have not only a front and
rear limited slip differential setup, but that the center
differential would be a Driver Controlled Center Differential
(DCCD). This electronically controlled differential setup
allows the driver to either have the car control the
differential, or allow the driver to set the differential bias
to be either a full lock or through to a 35 front / 65 rear
bias, giving a wide range of driving characteristic feel.
The STi also comes with a sport-tuned fully
independent suspension featuring coil springs and inverted
struts. The front also features aluminum-alloy lower L-arms
with liquid filled rear bushings and stabilizer bar while the
rear features the inverted struts with parallel links and
stabilizer bar. The car is then connected to 17”x7.5” BBS
alloys shod with 225/45R17 Bridgestone RE070 rubber (again
unique to this model).
Of course, the one thing many
people were seemingly waiting for was the facelift of the
bug-eyed Impreza. The STi received the new look for its
appearance to the states and provides a sleeker and meaner
appearance than its bug-eyed predecessor. While some,
including myself, grew attached to the bug-eyed look, the
redesign is a welcome improvement. To improve air-flow to the
intercooler, a new, more aggressive hood scoop was included on
the STi model.
Moving to the interior, you are greeted
by a mixture of various surfaces including a blue "Ecsaine"
fabric lining the seats and interior which alternates with
black and silver colored plastic across the dash. Of course an
interesting note is the (foolish?) mistake of Subaru to not
include a factory radio.