This Is the Crosstrek STI Subaru Won't Build, But It Should

Why limit the full-bore STI formula to the Impreza sedan?

Duncan BradyWriterAndrei AvarvariiIllustrations

We're big enough fans of the Subaru Crosstrek. But after multiple stints behind the wheel, one of our biggest takeaways has been that it needs more power. After all, its 152-hp naturally aspirated flat-four can't deliver more than an unimpressive 9.0-second zero-to-60-mph time. Subaru North America president Tom Doll previously said a higher-performance variant was possible, but likely wouldn't happen until sales of the standard Crosstrek begin to slow. We can't wait that long, so we commissioned these Crosstrek STI renderings to show Subie fans, and Subaru itself, what could be.

The current generation of Subaru's rally-bred WRX STI has only been available as a sedan, though previous generations have been offered with hatchback and wagon body styles. It's hard to imagine there not being a market for an STI with more cargo capacity, and the Crosstrek seems like the perfect platform on which to build it.

A standard Crosstrek boasts an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance which, in my eyes, makes it a much better fit for Subaru's rally-inspired sport compacts than any standard three-box sedan. We found the regular Crosstrek plenty capable off-road but imagine how much more fun it could be with double the horsepower.

If Subaru were to make a Crosstrek STI, it would likely be powered by one of the automaker's larger-displacement turbocharged flat-four engines. The current WRX STI makes 310 hp from a 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four, though the next round of STIs could receive an overboosted version of the new 2.4-liter turbo flat-four that debuted in the Ascent three-row SUV and can now be had in the Legacy and Outback XT models.

The last STI we tested hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds—an advantage of more than three seconds compared to a standard Crosstrek. Subaru, please don't make us beg. You know a Crosstrek STI would be amazing.

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