Subaru Tecnica Institute has produced high-performance vehicles for over 22 years, but for the first time in its history, there may soon be a diesel-powered Subaru Impreza, tuned for performance, in Europe.
Subaru developed a diesel variant of its famous boxer engine for Europe that made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2007. Fast forward to January 2009, when it launched the diesel-powered Impreza for Europe, whose 2.0-liter flat four turbocharged engine produced 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. With Europe's strict emission laws, a diesel-powered STI could be just what Subaru needs to remain compliant.
But will a diesel-powered STI be able to compete with its gasoline-powered stablemate? With a little massaging from Subaru's in-house racing division, it should be easy. With its low center of gravity, superior fuel economy, and low-end torque, a diesel boxer would make perfect sense for the STI. A 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four gasoline powered STI pumps out 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, and we're confident Subaru wouldn't release an oil-burning Impreza WRX STI unless it was comparable to the gasoline version.
Just this week, we reported that Subaru greatly improved upon the 2011 STI's handling characteristics. New anti-roll bars, stiffer springs, improved bushings, and a lowered ride height all combine for the improved handling. With its improved equipment, the Subaru just lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a record-breaking 7:55. If the rumors from Autocar are true, don't expect a diesel STI to be launched until the Impreza enters its next generation for the 2012 model year.