Unfortunately, it's not what we were hoping for.
Subaru has revealed the new 2024 Impreza Hatchback with STI parts at the 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon, with sporty body accessories and even a twin-exit central exhaust.
The 2024 Impreza made its debut in November 2022, leaving fans underwhelmed by its design. It's a greater departure than ever from the Subaru WRX, which is now a standalone nameplate, and will only be available in hatchback form for now. But the worst news in recent years, as far as Subaru fans are concerned, is that there will not be a new WRX STI. But that hasn't stopped Subaru HQ in Japan from developing a whole bunch of STI parts for the standard Impreza and showcasing them on home soil.
The STI parts on this model include model-specific alloys with the STI badge, a more aggressive roof spoiler, body-colored side skirts, and a center-mounted dual exit exhaust. The black inserts around the body also appear glossy, unlike the matte finish on the standard car.
According to Subaru, the exterior with the added bits expresses sportiness and emphasizes the handling joy of the new car. Unfortunately, the car doesn't actually have the goods to back up the sportier body.
The STI is dead, and the WRX is as good as it will get. Now that Subaru has a dedicated EV department, there's a bigger chance of an all-electric STI than a new banger equipped with the famous turbocharged flat-four.
The Japanese-spec uses the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder e-Boxer hybrid powertrain. Subaru has yet to announce the power output figures of the new motor, but it will likely be close to the power output of the 143 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque produced by the new Crosstrek PHEV's powertrain.
Subaru says the new setup reduces vibration and noise, which is the last thing you want to see when reading about an STI product.
The Impreza will be sold with two engine options in the USA. The base 2.0-liter NA flat-four produces 152 hp, while the larger 2.5 has 182 hp in the revived Impreza RS. In another unfortunate turn of events, Subaru has officially discontinued the manual option for the Impreza, and it's now only available with a soul-sucking CVT transmission.
We have bad news for those hoping this car might be a statement of intent. It appears STI is now a styling department rather than the supercar slayer it once was.
There is some method to the madness, however. The aftermarket body kit business is massive in Japan. Toyota has an in-house department that builds stylish kits for nearly every model, including non-sporty models like the Prius.
Subaru is currently busy developing these STI parts, which will be easy enough to import from Japan once they go on sale.