We wouldn’t exactly call Subaru’s WRX STI “soft,” but the Japanese automaker has just launched the WRX STI Spec C--a performance-tuned variant exclusively for the Japanese market.
Sure, the Spec C still uses the same 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer-four underhood, but engineers made a few small tweaks to boost performance. A redesigned turbocharger, along with a re-mapped engine computer, are said to help reduce turbo lag and improve the car’s top-end. The STI Spec C also receives an intercooler water injector, allowing intake air to remain cool, even at speed. In the twisties, drivers will likely notice tighter steering and less body roll, thanks in part to a reinforced front suspension crossmember, stiffer coil springs, and unique rear sub-frame bushings. Subaru also replaced the rear differential with a Torsion-type unit, designed to enhance traction in corners. If that weren’t enough, engineers put the STI on a crash diet. The Spec C gains an aluminum hood, laminate side windows, a smaller battery, and loses a spare tire in the name of saving weight. Subaru also developed a new set of 18-inch aluminum wheels (shod in Bridgetson Potenza RE070 rubber) said to further reduce unsprung weight. If this sounds like your dream Impreza, rest assured it will remain that way. Only 900 examples will be built, and unless you’re living in Japan, it won’t be sold in your neck of the woods.