2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI (U.S.-Spec)
We've already told you about the home-market version we drove at Fuji Speedway (see related article below) and in about a month you can check back for driving impressions of the STI bound for our shores. For now, all we can say is that the export version available in North America will differ in seat-of-the-pants feel.
First off, your pants will be situated upon normal STI seats, as opposed to the optional Recaros found in the Japanese model. Second, those seats (and the rest of the vehicle) will be propelled forward by an engine displacing 2.5 liters versus the 2.0-liter sold in Japan. Why two different engines for one car? Subaru has to build the 2.0-liter to satisfy WRC homologation rules.
Horsepower numbers are up from 295 in the Japanese version to 305 in the 2.5-liter, though the 2.5 reaches its peak at 6000 rpm, 400 revs earlier than the 2.0. Torque is lower, with the U.S.-spec STI generating 290 lb-ft of twist at 4000 rpm, versus about 299 lb-ft in Japan. The 2.5-liter's peak also occurs 400 rpm lower than in its smaller-displacement Japanese counterpart - whose peak torque happens at the same engine speed as the previous-generation U.S.-spec WRX.
Like the 2.0-liter, the 2.5 utilizes Subaru's Dual Active Valve Control System. Dual AVCS builds on Subaru's variable valve timing by adding hydraulic control to the exhaust valves versus the intake valves only in the previous engine.
Pricing for the U.S.-spec Impreza WRX STI will start at $35,640. Only three options grace the order sheet for this car, and when fully loaded with eighteen-inch forged BBS alloy wheels, fog lights, and a navigation unit, the price climbs to about $38,000.