A factory-built WRX STI is now up to 335hp - in the UK only.
It's nothing new for US driving enthusiasts to be deprived of some Europe-only high-powered models. From the Audi A1 to the Polo GTI and everything that's Alfa Romeo, automakers haven't always felt that the US is the right place to sell some of their best-performing cars. Fortunately things are looking better these days because brands such as Ford have finally released (Focus ST) and announced (Fiesta ST) some models that were in the past only sold overseas. Still, nothing is perfect and the latest disappointment comes from Subaru.
The UK-only special edition WRX STI 340R has a total of 335 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque coming from its turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer engine. The US-spec STI, by comparison, produces a total of 305hp and 290lb-ft. So how was this additional power achieved? With just a simple ECU tuning, some intake improvements and a lower restriction exhaust system. Yes, US STI owners can perform these same upgrades via aftermarket tuners, but the difference with the STI 340R is that all of those mods have been done under factory warranty.
With the next-generation WRX STI due in 2014, we're still hoping to see something like the STI 340R go on sale in the US as sort of a "Final Edition", but Subaru has given no indication so far of this happening. Pricing for the WRX STI 340R starts at £28,594 (around $45,000). Do note, however, that the WRX STI starts off at just over $34k in the US, making it a true performance bargain.