Subaru has a habit of blessing Japan and Europe -- but not America -- with ever-faster versions of its WRX and WRX STI performance cars. The latest is the WRX STI 340R, which goes on sale in the U.K. alongside the existing WRX STI 320R.
The newest car features a reprogrammed engine computer, plus louder and less-restrictive exhaust, to bump the turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine's power to 335 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. Subaru says a WRX STI 340R will complete the 0-to-60-mph dash in just 4.7 seconds -- a claimed 0.5-second quicker than the standard European-spec, 296-hp WRX STI.
The new model joins Europe's existing WRX STI 320R, which offers 315 hp and 332 lb-ft, as well as the standard European STI which is rated for 296 hp and 300 lb-ft. Sadly, the U.S. won't receive this upgraded version of the Subaru performance car. Nor were we privy to the Japanese-market Impreza S206 or WRX STI Spec TS, or Australia's Club Spec WRX. Here, the WRX STI has a 2.5-liter turbo-four tuned for 305 hp and 290 lb-ft.
"The WRX STI was already an exciting car, but improved power and torque, as well as the unmistakable Subaru exhaust note, make the car even more tempting," Subaru U.K. managing director Darren James said in a statement.
A Subaru spokesman in the U.S. told us that while foreign operations often roll out upgraded versions of the WRX and WRX STI, no such models are planned for the American market. He said that selling a more powerful car here is often difficult because the upgraded engine might need to be re-certified before it could be sold.