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from Autoweek

As we’ve reported in past issues, the privilege of getting even more fun versions of hot little cars like the WRX Impreza enjoyed by right-hand-drive regions is about to be shared with North America.

In summer 2003 we’ll get a steady trickle of WRX STi cars from Japan starting at around $35,000 apiece. In a good year, Subaru hopes to sell about 4000 to us. Judging from our quick drive experience in southwest Germany after the WRC German Rally, the waiting list even at such a price will be long.



The boost from the straight-inlet IHI turbocharger (vs. 90-degree Mitsubishi unit on WRX) is made greater on the STi (Subaru Tecnica International) by mounting a larger intercooler to force greater amounts of dense, cooler air into the turbo. At about 3500 rpm, the effect is like an S2000 at 6000 rpm. You’re suddenly in the “STi Zone” and the dual Suretrac limited-slip differentials are pulling all four wheels as hard as they can. The result is that you can push the WRX STi even more than you enjoy doing with a WRX. The sensation borders on invincibility.

Major interior differences are a special leather MOMO steering wheel and suede- effect Prodrive-designed racing seats in front. The gold 17-inch alloy wheels are inspired by Prodrive-engineered rally cars and the four-pot Brembo stoppers look nice through the spokes. Horsepower from the low-lying flat four in this version hits a reported 261 in all non-Japanese-spec cars. (In Japan, horsepower is between 270 and 280 thanks in part to 100-plus-octane fuel.) Torque is 253 lb-ft at 4000 rpm.



As displayed at the Paris show in early October, next year’s WRX STi wears a fresh face with new, more aggressive-looking headlights replacing the friendly round ones that have featured on WRX since its launch two years ago. This more sinister look resembles the previous-generation car, while underneath there’s some beefing up of the suspension mounts and parts to sharpen steering and handling response.



 

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Good find, Nick!!! Whew, $35k. I was sorta worried that, in getting a WRX now, that when the STi came out it would actually be affordable. Thanks for putting that worry to rest! :p And I still like the bugeyes better!
 

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WRX>MUSTANG said:
The boost from the straight-inlet IHI turbocharger
(vs. 90-degree Mitsubishi unit on WRX)
:rolleyes: Have these people even looked under the hood of a WRX? It doesn't have the 90-deg bend on the compressor outlet like some Mitsu cars.
 

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I guess they mean after it comes out from the turbo it goes into the intercooler and comes out 90 degrees from where it left the turbo. Im probably wrong considering I dont have the car and all Ive seen are pictures.
 

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AutoXJunkie said:
Good find, Nick!!! Whew, $35k. I was sorta worried that, in getting a WRX now, that when the STi came out it would actually be affordable. Thanks for putting that worry to rest! :p And I still like the bugeyes better!
Thanks! You could even say, best find ever!
 

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Does anyone know what type of crowd will be buying this car?

I think very few people on these forums have the money to buy and STi.
 

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quote:
BoarderEight.
Does anyone know what type of crowd will be buying this car?

I think very few people on these forums have the money to buy and STi.

:confused: I hope some us can get into the new car :) when it arrives .....

...the type of crowd that'll buy it will think they can beat the wrx owners ;)
who hopefully by next year most of us will be able to beat the STi any way and for less money :eek:!!!
 

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BoarderEight said:
Does anyone know what type of crowd will be buying this car?

I think very few people on these forums have the money to buy and STi.
When my WRX is paid off I will be ordering an STi. Granted that will be in a few years, but I am going to get a USDM STi.

I think that the redesign is strange. Why is it being called a redesign? Everything on the car is the same except for the lights, front fascia, and the hood scoop. It's not like going from GC8 to GDA.

-Shadow
 

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BoarderEight said:
Does anyone know what type of crowd will be buying this car?

I think very few people on these forums have the money to buy and STi.
From a European perspective, very few people can afford the cars they choose. Most people(especially Americans) "buy" their cars on credit...which effectively means they don't actually own the car either. Not many people pay for their cars in full the day of delivery.

The type of crowd the car is aimed at is still the same as that of the WRX...that is, those who are rally fans, those looking for a fun AWD car, those who actually rally, etc
 

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this is copied and pasted from a website cause it doesnt work for everyone...

"New Subaru WRX STi at Fuji Speedway - much more than a pretty face

It's somewhere in the initial 5 seconds of driving the new WRX STi that reality slipped a wicked curveball past me. I had stepped up to this plate expecting a tried-and-true pitch consisting of minor mechanical update of the previous STi, with the main focus on this pretty new skin. Then the unexpected happened, and every expectation I had got tossed in very short order, abandoned in the dirt outside of Fuji Speedways first corner. That's because I was experiencing controlled throttle-on oversteer through that corner, and I was not in the STi Spec C. The next set of corners did nothing to dispell this initial impression, instead highlighting the fact that something big had indeed happened with the new STi. Somewhere along the line, Subaru Technica International turned up the heat and rethought the entire suspension setup, the result being inspired tweaking that very nearly addresses any possible gripe towards it's handling. Revised suspension mount points, well-sorted stabilizer bars with beefier rear links, and overall balancing have brewed up a track-eating monster. Let me rephrase that, for it's handling is anything but monstrous. It's benign, predictable, and let's you actually use the throttle for steering without resorting to some judicious left-foot braking. That's not to say that left-foot braking won't help, but that helps all vehicles when handling at the limits (at the track, ok?). It's just no longer a necessity.

Around Fuji Speedway the WRX STi tracked smoothly and efficiently through the corners. STi has done a masterful job of stabilizing this car at all speeds, whether sharp 3rd-gear corners that need oversteer to long sweepers where you experience 100+ mph speeds that demand no surprises from the suspension. The feel of the car has gone under the knife, emerging anew as a vehicle more akin to the earlier first generation WRX STi's. Gone is that top-heavy feel, with the heft magically moved farther down into the car to somewhere around your hips. It encourages you to explore the limits, and rewards you with excellent control once there. It makes you run out of hyperboles when trying to write articles about it. It's Good, alright? Nothing seemed to phase it, except for a bit of ham-fisted driving, and even then the new optional DCCDs center differential system (Drivers Control Center Diff) did a excellent job of keeping things under control. That's right, the driver-adjustable center differential is now available on all WRX STi's, not just the RA versions. It's an all-new unit that increases the range of torque distribution front to rear, and now has an automatic mode that adjusts the distribution depending on the situation. It still retains the manual adjustment modes, of course, but the automatic mode works so well, most drivers will happily let the electronics keep their hiney on the tarmac. Also new is that ABS now works with the ACCD system, definitely a boon for those "situations" that seem to arise now and then. About the only thing you could wish for on the standard STi is the STi Spec C front geometry, which moves the front wheels forward 15mm and makes turn-in nearly telepathic. It also makes the Spec C a car for Real Drivers, and I and many other fairly competent drivers there admitted that the standard STi is more than enough excitement for day-to-day driving. It still has some understeer, enough to make recovery easier, especially at high speeds.


That they tuned out the majority of understeer was a revelation worthy of a prophet - that it has more power would just seems almost an afterthought. That's when pitch no.2 passed the plate without my bat even being in the same time zone. Off-the-line response was immediate, a rational-thought-erasing grin generator. Nothing less than a complete rework of the intake, turbo and exhaust system had occurred, creating power way down low - it's making roughly 230ft/lb's of torque at 2400rpm - and continues on to a back-slapping midrange that holds on till about 6500rpm, then eases into it's redline at 7500rpm. Max torque? 286ft/lbs!! Yet still they claim it still only makes 276hp despite the fact that torque has increased dramatically throughout the entire rev-range. Our opinion points at somewhere just north of 300hp. Numbers are impressive, but what really shook my booty was the instant response once you've passed 2000rpm. It felt quite a bit closer to a big NA motor than most turbo's I've sampled, with linear response to the boom-boom pedal instead of the usual rubberband ramp-up of past STi's. This is mostly due to reworked intake, extractors and exhaust system in conjunction with a new-to-Subaru Twin Scroll turbo unit. Feeding into a revised exhaust system, it puts past Subaru turbo systems to shame. In fact, it makes more power, earlier, than the latest twin-turbo Legacy B4 engine that was tuned specifically for low-end torque. This is the most powerful engine from STi yet, barring the over-the-top limited release S202, yet it's not peaky. The power band is vast and deep in a manner that reduces the importance of the short-geared 6-speed. You don't find yourself out of the powerband very often unless you really stuff it up.


Oh yes, the styling. The front has a very clean, sculpted look, strong lines that never feel out of place. While it may not have as strong an impact as the old "bug eye" look, it replaces that with a cohesive front end that has no stylistic oddities. All lines flow smoothly to where they should. Additionally, the front-end revisions and the various optional aero aids actually conspired to bring about some rather good high-speed (90+ mph) cornering abilities. In fact, the aero bits are actually useful, for you could feel the difference with and without, being more stable with them on. It was especially noticeable with the big rear wing, for the centre section would vibrate in a very visual manner in the straights at 100mph speeds. It’s definitely in the airflow, tamping that rear end down.
The interior has had some improvements to the seating and the instrument panel. Those sport seats have been reworked, and do an even better job of keeping you in place as you are hammering the snot out of the car in the corners. And following in the steps of the latest B4 Legacies is the black-face instrument panel that lights up at ignition. It’s quite pretty to look at, clearly visible in all lighting conditions, including direct light reflecting off of it. When you have time to notice it, it all works well, but it's starting to feel low-rent now. It's not that it has gotten any worse inside - it's actually better - but the car feels much more expensive and refined, so on those few occasions when your eyes are not glued to the upcoming apex, it does seem oddly out of place. That’s more a testimonial to the excellent feel of the car than of the interior, for the price has remained the same. And there is a new, smaller steering wheel which feels great and does aid in getting your around the track quicker, but the choice of centre material is poor, looking and feeling plasticky and cheap. Subaru, it really wouldn’t hurt to sink some small change for upscale interior plastics – I, for one, would gladly pay for it.

Subaru and STi has demonstrated that they indeed do listen. Nearly every weakness of the STi was taken out into the harsh light of day and finally acknowledged, resulting in a well-planned and near-total rework of the entire car. Their pitch has become quite deadly to the competition, and I sense there will be a scramble to match them at this ballgame. It's not perfect, but that's only because it's a 4-door sedan with a bit low-budget interior instead of a red-hot 2-door sports car with interior to match. Our host initially reassured us that this was, predictably "a level up", but for once they were off base. It's 2 or 3 levels up."

-Paul Hansen

General Data
Curb weight 1440kg
Length 4415mm
Width 1740mm
Height 1425mm
Wheelbase 2525mm
Turning radius 5.4m

Chassis and body
Layout front engine/awd
Tire size and type
Wheels f/r 17"
Tyres f/r 225/45ZR17
Brakes
Front/rear ventilated disc/disc
Steering
Type rack & pinion
Overall ratio 15:1
Suspension
Front/rear Inverted strut

Engine
Motor 2.0 flat four
Displacement 1994cc
Compression ratio 8.0:1
kw(ps) 206(280)/6000rpm
TorqueN-m
(kg-m) 394(40.2)/4400rpm
Bore and Stroke 92 x 75
Redline n/a
Fuel Injection EGI
Fuel capacity 60 litres
Fuel premium
 

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Id love to have one, but I don't have the money, the WRX was at the top of my range. Maybe once I pay off the WRX in 4.5 more years I can afford one. But the good part of that is they should have a new redesigned WRX STI out by then and not this ugly thing that is "supposed" to look better then the bug eyes.
 

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BoarderEight said:
Does anyone know what type of crowd will be buying this car?

I think very few people on these forums have the money to buy and STi.
I think plenty of people here could afford one. The question ought to be who WOULD, not who could. I have grown up around Subarus, but you won't catch me paying $35k for what is essentially still a Subaru Impreza.

For that much money? You could pick up a new Cobra. Or maybe a slightly used Z-06... 10k buys you enough mods to enable your WRX to chew up and spit out STis for breakfast. And some.

Judging by the number of used WRXs on the market, many people jump into financing without really considering the long term commitment required of their wallet. There's gonna be a lot of used STis for sale come mid 2004. You just wait and see. ;)

-Pace
 

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KanosWRX said:
But the good part of that is they should have a new redesigned WRX STI out by then and not this ugly thing that is "supposed" to look better then the bug eyes.
Yup... if I was going for that look I'd just buy a loaded Legacy sedan and then mod the heck out of it. :)

-Pace
 

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pace said:

Judging by the number of used WRXs on the market, many people jump into financing without really considering the long term commitment required of their wallet. There's gonna be a lot of used STis for sale come mid 2004. You just wait and see. ;)

-Pace
My point is mearly a comment about people financing their cars and the way people use their money without any sort of planning(basically I'm pointing out my views about North American culture breeding the financing style of purchasing goods). This isn't necessarily about the WRX STi itself. And yes, most that could buy one, are generally more affluent and probably baby boomers easing their way into retirement(imagine a 60yr old driving a WRB STI with PPP)....not young boyracers looking to have a street weapon. I do however agree with you on some points...it is a matter of "would" than "could"....I know many well off professionals who potentially could own several exoticas and lead extravagent lives...but they don't want to. Besides, at some point in your life(assuming you have significant funds), you want to have plenty aside for good schools/colleges for the children, a nice country place for the weekend, leisure time and vacation, etc etc....and for most upper-middle/upper class families(not the extremely filthy rich with nothing better to do), having a factory full of cars doesn't make sense.
SORRY MATE, I've gone off into a radical tangent...
 

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pace said:


I think plenty of people here could afford one. The question ought to be who WOULD, not who could. I have grown up around Subarus, but you won't catch me paying $35k for what is essentially still a Subaru Impreza.

For that much money? You could pick up a new Cobra. Or maybe a slightly used Z-06... 10k buys you enough mods to enable your WRX to chew up and spit out STis for breakfast. And some.

Judging by the number of used WRXs on the market, many people jump into financing without really considering the long term commitment required of their wallet. There's gonna be a lot of used STis for sale come mid 2004. You just wait and see. ;)

-Pace
Good point. And the more I see that new look, the less I want one. Subaru seems to have "sold out" instead of marching to the beat of their own drummer. I like my bug eyes.:(
 

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You are partly right. I think a lot of it comes (speaking of myself here) from the fact that we want to have a little fun while we are still young enough to enjoy it. Financing everything and living month to month with payments is another thing, and I agree that is pretty foolish.

VV

schischwein said:

My point is mearly a comment about people financing their cars and the way people use their money without any sort of planning(basically I'm pointing out my views about North American culture breeding the financing style of purchasing goods). This isn't necessarily about the WRX STi itself. And yes, most that could buy one, are generally more affluent and probably baby boomers easing their way into retirement(imagine a 60yr old driving a WRB STI with PPP)....not young boyracers looking to have a street weapon. I do however agree with you on some points...it is a matter of "would" than "could"....I know many well off professionals who potentially could own several exoticas and lead extravagent lives...but they don't want to. Besides, at some point in your life(assuming you have significant funds), you want to have plenty aside for good schools/colleges for the children, a nice country place for the weekend, leisure time and vacation, etc etc....and for most upper-middle/upper class families(not the extremely filthy rich with nothing better to do), having a factory full of cars doesn't make sense.
SORRY MATE, I've gone off into a radical tangent...
 
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