Here's a hint: It's not packing a manual.
The likes of Lamborghini may be known for having an infamous association with churning out special editions, but Subaru's no better with its STI models. Albeit over a fairly long time period, the total of Impreza-based commemorative models must surely total closer to the hundreds rather than the tens. And now we've got yet another tweaked sporty Subaru model to keep track of in the form of the new WRX S4 tS, a car that isn't exactly getting a worldwide roll out.
Available only in Japan until March 12th 2017 with a base pre-tax price of 4,600,000 Yen (roughly $45,000 at current exchange rates), the new Subaru WRX S4 tS can be cynically described as a slightly edgier version of the JDM-spec WRX. However, such a summary is perhaps a little unfair as there's more to the car than just new random go-fast parts. Yes, the turbo-boxer's 300-hp output is unchanged from the standard car, but the S4 tS is fitted with goodies like an exclusive set of Dunlop Sport Maxx RT tires, four-pot Brembo brakes, redesigned suspension components and the same air intake, exhaust and oil cooling systems from the rather racy Impreza S207.
Better still, you can even specify the NBR Challenge Package, which decks out the car with an appropriately aggressive aero kit. So, all good so far, that is, until you discover the transmission choice. Instead of the manual 'box that's available on the standard WRX and WRX STI models, Subaru's decided to only offer the S4 tS with its Lineartronic CVT automatic. No, we don't quite understand that reasoning either, and it's perhaps the only aspect of the car we're rather unsure about. Other than that there's a lot to like about the Subaru WRX S4 tS, and we'll be especially jealous of our Japanese colleagues if a manual version is made available at some point.