Could this be the final special edition STI before a new model is introduced?
How many times has Subaru "sent off" the current generation WRX with one "final" limited edition? In the United States alone we've recently seen the limited run Type RA as well as the slightly less limited Series.Grey model. This doesn't even begin to count the endless special editions that weren't brought to the US, including the Type RA-R, TC 380, Diamond Edition, and S208.
All of these cars have one thing in common: they are all more powerful than the STI we get in the US. Clearly, Subaru enthusiasts in the US have reason to be upset here. Now, after seeing endless special editions for other markets, Subaru may finally give US fans the more powerful STI they've been asking for.
Subaru has just filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the name 'S209.' As with all automotive applications, the filing covers "automobiles and structural parts and structural fittings therefor. In this case, the filing specifically covers "floor mats for automobiles," which is a bit unusual. This could be a successor to the WRX STI S208, which was only sold in the Japanese market.
The S208 was limited to just 450 units and featured a carbon fiber roof, BBS wheels, a faster steering rack, adjustable Bilstein damping, active torque vectoring, and an enormous rear wing. It was also powered by a newer 2.0-liter flat-four engine producing 324 horsepower instead of the older 2.5-liter unit in the US STI rated at 310 hp.
Subaru only offered the S208 in one color, Cool Gray Khaki, which was later used on the Series.Grey model in the US. The previous S207 was also sold in just one color, called Sunrise Yellow. It would be interesting if Subaru decides to bring the S209 to the US, considering none of its predecessors were sold here.
Since the trademark was filed with the USPTO, it seems like there is a good chance the S209 will arrive stateside. We expect this to be the final sendoff for the STI before a new generation arrives, with production limited to under 500 units. Fingers crossed on this one.