When the current-generation Subaru WRX STI was released in 2007, only the five-door hatchback body style was available. Try as they might, some purists just never warmed up to the STI's new image and were left wanting for traditional four-door STI. Today, Subaru gave those STI fans exactly what they wanted.
As a teaser photo of a covered STI sedan hinted, the new model retains a trademark characteristic of the previous version - a large wing hung on the trunk lid. Subaru insists the device isn't just for show, but actually works to improve the STI's drag coefficient and high-speed stability.
Both four- and five-door 2011 WRX STI variants receive tweaks for the new model year, including lighter standard 18-inch BBS alloy wheels (now down to 17.6 pounds) and revised suspension tuning, with new pillow-ball bushings up front and stiffer rear subframe bushings. Stiffer sway bars and spring rates are also found front and rear, while the car's ride height has been dropped 1 millimeter in front and in back. The result, according to Subaru, is the quickest WRX STI ever sold in the U.S., despite retaining the same 305-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four engine as the previous model year.
Subaru also deemed fit to incorporate a few styling tweaks in the new car, giving the larger front grille a new black base and blacked-out Subaru wing, increasing the size of the bumper intake openings, widening the fog lamps, and sharpening the bumper corners. Inside, a new black and silver theme takes over, with dark cast metallic trim panels and steering wheel accents and switches replacing the brighter previous versions.
As we reported yesterday, the standard 265-horsepower WRX receives the STI's wide-body panels for 2011 on both sedan and five-door versions, though the larger Brembo brakes, 40-horsepower bump, and switchable center differential all remain STI exclusives, helping to justify that car's price premium over the standard version.
Now that you've seen the new 2011 Subaru WRX STI sedan, let us know if you'd opt for the four- or five-door version in the comments section below.