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Subaru Won’t Build A New WRX STi, Would You Settle For A JDM-Style STI Trim Level Instead?

Subaru’s recent news that the new 2022 WRX would not be available in a high-performance STI variant has sent a large cloud of Impreza-shaped sadness across the internet’s car-loving community.

We were willing to give Subaru a pass on the WRX’s new, 400-cc-larger engine’s lackluster power statistics since we knew there was more to come for those who wanted it. The 2.4-litre boxer engine in the 2023 WRX produces 271 horsepower (275 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque, which isn’t much better than the old 2.0-liter car’s 268 hp (272 PS) and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm). However, speculations stated that the STI will be approximately 300 horses.

We receive nothing instead. According to Road & Track, Subaru couldn’t justify developing a new WRX STI in a market that is fast transitioning to electric power. “If we created [a new STI] now, it would have a very short shelf life,” said Dominick Infante, Subaru’s director of corporate relations. “It wouldn’t make sense because the restrictions are changing so frequently.”

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That is the scenario in the United States, although a WRX STI may still be purchased in Japan. In a way. The only problem is that it isn’t a stand-alone model with noticeable mechanical changes like we’re used to seeing. It’s simply a trim level that adds more features to the WRX S4 for the Japanese market. The S4 is essentially Japan’s version of the WRX, with the same basic engine as the North American model but with a torque bump of 18 lb-ft (25 Nm).

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The WRX S4 comes in four trim levels: GT-H, GT-H EX, STI Sport R, and STI Sport R EX, with the STI-badged models adding Recaro front seats, red stitching, carbon-look trim, and aluminium pedals. STI models also have a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and an 11.6-inch touchscreen for the Starlink infotainment system, which aren’t available on US vehicles or the low-spec GT-H Japanese cars. At the Tokyo Auto Salon, Subaru also presented STI concepts based on the WRX S4, BRZ, and Levorg, each with radical aero enhancements.

In comparison, the WRX in the United States comes in basic, Premium, Limited, and GT trim levels. Much of the technology included in the Japanese STI-badged car is available in higher-spec variants, but there is no STI designation. However, this might (and should?) change. Would you prefer to see the STI emblem emerge as a trim level on US cars in the lack of a real standalone STI, or would it be a dishonour to a once-great name? Please let us know by leaving a comment.

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sources : carscoops

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