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September 9, 2018

Subaru Just Made the WRX and WRX STI Harder to Distinguish

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you and this isn’t a typo: Subaru just launched the WRX STI Sport in Japan. Not be mistaken for the WRX STI, the WRX STI Sport sits as an in-between model of sorts sandwiched by the WRX (WRX S4 in Japan) and the WRX STI. This makes it the third “STI Sport” model after the Levorg and BRZ were given that special treatment.

Visually, the WRX STI Sport makes it impossible to tell whether it’s a WRX or a full-blown WRX STI. It gets the flagship performance sedan’s grille, fender badges, and even rear STI emblem. The only differentiator is that the WRX STI Sport gets high-gloss black paint on its side mirrors, spoiler, and shark fin antenna. It’s the same for the interior which gets STI gauges, stainless steel side sill plates, and leather steering wheel with red stitch.

However, WRX STI Sport goes full-on luxury with Recaro seats trimmed in Bordeaux red and black Ultrasuede. Even the bottle holders by the doors have been covered in felt to reduce rattles.

Mechanically, the WRX STI Sport gains the WRX STI’s inverted front strut. Together with Bilstein DampMatic II dampers, it promises sharper handling and agility along with a suppler ride because of better shock suppression and reduced vertical movement over rough roads. Engine-wise, it retains the same 2.0-liter Direct Injected Turbo (DIT) engine.

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