The long-awaited Subaru WRX STI S209 will finally make its way to American shores. The S209 is packing a 341 horsepower, flat-four estimated to go from zero-to-60 in only 4.5 seconds.
Unlike the regular WRX STI that has been sold in America since 2004 as a high-performance trim, the S209 is first assembled by Subaru before being shipped to STI’s facility to be completed. Here, STI makes some significant modifications to the S209, adding wider fenders, new 19×9 STI BBS wheels, unique 265/35R19 Dunlop GT 600 performance tires, and its flexible front-strut tower bar and flexible front and rear draw stiffeners.
You may be wondering why all this is necessary. Apparently, it’s because regular Subaru cars have different production standards. For example, Subaru cars require a certain amount of space between a tire and bodywork. This could force STI to use a smaller tire size or a different alignment, but this isn’t an issue if the car is developed in-house at a different factory.
“Subaru has their own ways, set up for mass production, but there are particular areas [of focus] people want for performance cars,” North American business planner Yoshihide Yano revealed. “Having STI focused more on performance standards will let us try harder for performance.”