But will the S209 live up to the hype?
Recently, Subaru filed a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the name 'S209,' indicating that a new, special edition WRX STI was on its way. You see, Subaru already built special edition STI models called the S207 and S208, both of which were limited production as well as being the most powerful versions of the STi at the time of their release.
Soon after the trademark filing was found, Subaru announced it would be revealing a hardcore STI model for North America. Along with the announcement, Subaru released a video of a camouflaged prototype driving around a race track with the title 'From Japan with Love.'
The video specified that we would see a new car on January 14, 2019 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, however, it didn't specify whether this car would be the S209.
Now, Subaru has announced via its global media site that the STI S209 will be revealed at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. However, other than revealing the exact time of the reveal (12:04 PM EST), and a teaser of the 'S209' badge, Subaru didn't give any other details about the car.
From what we can tell, this will be the most track-focused STI the US has ever received. The S209 will be equipped with upgrades such as BBS wheels, a quicker steering rack, a carbon fiber roof, Bilstein shocks, Recaro seats, front dive planes, and a massive rear spoiler.
Our biggest question is what will sit under the hood. In the US, the STI has persisted with a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four, which produces 310 horsepower in its most powerful state of tune, while Japan receives a newer 2.0-liter engine producing as much as 324 hp. We doubt Subaru will finally drop in the newer 2.0-liter engine but we expect the S209 to be more powerful than last year's Type RA special edition. Like the Type RA, we expect the S209 to be a limited production, so you should expect to see some crazy dealership markups.