Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Subaru Bridges Gap Between WRX and WRX STI with WRX STI Sport #


Two years ago, Subaru bridged the gap between the WRX and WRX STI with the WRX STI Sport. Not to be confused with the top-dog WRX STI, the WRX STI Sport is basically the WRX (WRX S4 in Japan) fitted with all sorts of new handling and cosmetic goodies. It’s basically “STI Lite,” in the same vein as BMW’s M Sport or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Line. You follow?

Now, it seems for Subaru, the gap between the WRX STI Sport and WRX STI still isn’t narrow enough that they’re launching this: the WRX STI Sport #--and before you ask, the “#” here isn’t a hashtag; it’s Subaru-speak for “Sharp.” So, yes, this WRX STI Sport Sharp is indeed a variant named after one of the driving modes you find in the SI-Drive system, or if you prefer, a raise in tone in music.



Whatever the case, the WRX STI Sport #’s improvements all boil down to handling. According to STI’s General Manager for Development, Masuo Takatsu, the target is to lessen the lag between driver input and vehicle response without sacrificing driver comfort. Already fitted with Bilstein dampers, the WRX STI Sport # adds STI “flexible” braces which pre-tension areas where there’s unwanted play while not hardening the body or suspension itself. In the WRX STI Sport #, there are three key flexible parts: the front tower bar, front draw stiffener, and rear draw stiffener. Combined, STI says that the steering slack and body roll has been reduced by 10 percent and 4 percent respectively.

Aside from the suspension upgrades, the WRX STI Sport # adds a new air filter and high-performance muffler. STI says that the engine torque is improved by around 10 percent. An oil cooler for the Lineartronic CVT system has also been added.



Aesthetically, the WRX STI Sport # draws a lot of inspiration from the STI S208 model. The rear bumper features air ducts for improved air flow and cooling, while the front underspoiler is, get this, larger than the S208’s. It’s available in a variety of colors, but the new Ceramic White is exclusive to this variant. Inside, the WRX STI Sport # gets the Ultrasuede treatment to its Recaro sport seats and steering wheel, with silver stitching added for good measure

As always, the WRX STI Sport # is limited to just the Japanese market, and yes, production run is limited. Subaru is capping the production to just four months (July to October) or 500 units whichever comes first.



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