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My Blue Heaven
Subdriven Compares The STi, Evo and R32
by: Travis Kriza

Last edited: 06.03.03
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R32 Overview
Evo Overview
STI Overview
Time to Compare Pt.1
Time to Compare Pt.2
Performance Comparison
The Final Element
Counter Points
Subaru Impreza WRX STi

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 never expected.

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).

The 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 17x7.5 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.

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