Only 200 examples will reach US showrooms later this year.
Dig performance Subarus, but tired of seeing the best of them kept away from the US market? Then you'll love what the Japanese automaker has brought to the Detroit Auto Show this week.
The new Subaru WRX STI S209 represents the first time that the Subaru Tecnica International performance division has offered one of its celebrated S-line models in America. And it looks like it's been worth the wait, not least because of the 341 horsepower that STI has coaxed out of the 2.5-liter boxer four – a solid 31 hp more than the existing WRX STI.
To extract the extra muscle, STI fitted a larger HKS turbocharger, forged piston and con-rods, a high-flow intake, a water-sprayed intercooler, bigger fuel injectors, a high-flow fuel pump, and an upgraded exhaust with 101-mm tips. The upgraded engine drives to all four wheels (of course) through a close-ratio six-speed manual, with driver-controlled center (and front-rear limited-slip) differentials, active torque vectoring, and adjustable vehicle dynamics system.
The S209 rides on 19-inch BBS forged alloys, coated in custom Dunlop rubber, packed inside wider bodywork, and mounted to a thoroughly reworked suspension with Bilstein dampers, stiffer coil springs, and a 20-mm rear stabilizer bar.
The interior's been upgraded as well, with a flat-bottomed, Ultrasuede-trimmed steering wheel, Recaro buckets, and silver trim and stitching. The requisite special badges feature both inside and out to further underline just how special the S209 will be to the legions of Subaru performance fans across the country.
If you count yourself among them, you'd better act fast, because only 200 examples will be offered (in either WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels or Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels). Pricing is still to be announced before the STI S209 reaches showrooms later this year, straight from STI's workshop in Kiryu, Japan.