I could do without the big wing perched on the trunk lid, but as a whole, I rather like the way the new STI looks, what with its protruding wheel wells, strong shoulders, sparkly yet purposeful wheels, and rally blue paint. Nice.
I also appreciate the interior theme, which is all business. Great seats. And, oh, what's this? A dial to choose between "sport", "sport sharp", and "Intelligent". No comfort setting here, folks! And in my right hand I find a traditional six-speed manual transmission. And under my left foot I find a clutch pedal with just the right feel and take-up and tension; this has not always been a Subaru strength. Then, of course, we have the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four, all 305 hp of it. The engine is peaky, as always, so we need this nice gearbox and nicely calibrated set of three pedals to wring every bit of performance out of it.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor