Posts Tagged ‘STi’

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

After we learned that Subaru finally plans to bring a full-on BRZ STI model to the US, it seems fitting to highlight a Japanese car auction find from the Subaru tuning arm. Despite being the only STI model shared between Japan and the US, we went with a Subaru WRX STI because frankly it’s the most exciting STI variant that’s been offered to date. This is a 2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line Premium package.

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line

The Subaru WRX STI A-Line was introduced in Japan back in 2009 as a 2010 model year. It was essentially a sedan variant of the Impreza WRX STI… If you look at the two cars only from the front, they are nearly identical. However, the A-Line gets a number of additional improvements that help aim it at a slightly older demographic. The A-Line was, after all, meant to be an adult-targeted model.

Looking at the exterior, the Subaru WRX STI A-Line has all the trappings of a performance car. To help emphasize the A-Line’s sedan profile, Subaru pulled the rear overhang back by about 150mm, which adds a meager 10kg to the curb weight. You’ll also find a slight front spoiler, a hood scoop for extra powertrain ventilation, 18-inch forged aluminum alloys, and a rear diffuser with twin sports exhausts. And of course, you can make out the STI badging in the front and back.

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line interior

Inside, the normal Subaru WRX STI A-Line comes standard with Recaro bucket seats wrapped in black leather and Alcantara. However, since this is an A-Line Premium package, you’ll get tan leather instead of the Alcantara mixture, and you’ll get tan leather wrapped around the steering wheel too.

You’ll also enjoy heated seats, cruise control, paddle shifters (which you can barely make out in the photo) and the central audio remote control. And don’t forget the aluminum pedals and built-in navigation that come standard in any WRX STI.

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line rear

Under the hood, the 2010 WRX STI A-Line was only offered with a five-speed automatic transmission with downshift control. This is where the WRX STI A-Line really separates itself from the normal WRX – it runs on a twin turbocharged 2.5L boxer four that outputs a hefty 300 hp.

What’s more?

The engine is equipped with an Active Valve Control System to maximize low-mid range torque, and a Tumble Generation Valve that helps optimize combustion. Plus, you’ll have insane stopping control with 17-inch front brake discs and 16-inch rear rotors.

To learn more about this 2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line, keep reading below for a translation of the auction sheet:

2010 Subaru WRX STI A-Line auction sheet

“Interior B, first registered August 2010, STi A Line Premium Package model, FAT, AAC, one owner, brown STi leather seats, power seat, seat heater, xenon lights, Si Drive, power steering, power windows, original AWs, leather, airbag, original TV, original navigation system, ABS, original HDD navigation system with digital TV, paddle shift cruise control, push button starter, indicator door mirrors, coating completed, front windscreen scratched, interior grime, battery flat, minor scratches and minor dents, marks as per map”


Subaru Finally Confirms a BRZ STI Model

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

You may already know that Subaru is on track to hit its seventh consecutive year of record sales in the US. However, the Japanese automaker is never one to rest on its laurels. Today we learned that Subaru is FINALLY ready to talk about a BRZ STI.

2015 Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

You may remember that the Japanese automaker showcased their Subaru STI Performance Concept just a few weeks ago in New York. At the time, we were explicitly told that this concept was NOT meant to prequel a BRZ STI. Now, just three weeks later, an interview between Automotive News and STI president Yoshio Hirakawa has us singing a song of a different tune.

Hirakawa says that Subaru wants “to create a car that drivers can control like their own legs so they can push the car to the limit.” He also says that the US is the highest priority for the STI brand, since it is the single biggest market for complete STI vehicles. Which is honestly a little surprising, since there’s only a single STI vehicle available in the US – the Subaru WRX STI, which is apparently responsible for 6,500 sales in 2014.

That brings us to a discussion of STI as a brand. Inside Subaru, STI has three key roles: complete performance cars, individual performance parts and kits, and then motorsports. Obviously, a new Subaru BRZ STI would fall under that first key role as a complete vehicle.

In other markets, STI is most commonly seen on special edition models. For example, Japan has seen a number of “STI edition” vehicles over the past few years, including the Legacy, Forester and even a BRZ “tuned by STI” edition.

Subaru BRZ Performance Concept

There is a number of obvious incentives for Subaru to create a full-fledged BRZ STI that is more than just a limited edition model. For one, literal hordes of Subaru fans have been begging the automaker to create such a car since… Well, pretty much since the BRZ first hit the market back in 2012.

The other big incentive is profitability – when you consider that a WRX STI has a starting price that’s $8,200 higher than the normal WRX, it’s easy to see how lucrative these models can be. And that doesn’t take into account how many more models Subaru will sell simply by having more performance options available!

We also learned a bit more about the possible powertrain that could be fit into a Subaru BRZ STI. According to Automotive News, we can expect a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder boxer that outputs 345 horsepower, the same exact engine they use in the Super GT racing circuit in Japan.

After all that, Subaru says that the STI Performance Concept shown at the top of this post may indeed preview a possible BRZ STI. Furthermore, the car could come as soon as the end of next year, sold as a 2017 model year.


This Subaru STI Performance Concept Looks Awesome

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, April 4th, 2015

2015 Subaru STI Performance Concept

Somehow, we completely missed the fact that Subaru had a sweet new concept car planned for the 2015 New York Auto Show in our rundown of NY cars to look out for earlier this week. But, we’re not complaining – this Subaru STI Performance Concept is one of the best surprises we’ve had all year!

2015 Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

Let’s start with intent. Subaru tells us that the STI Performance Concept is meant to “showcase the engineering prowess and tuning capability of STI.” Apparently this concept heralds an attempts to expand their performance sub-brand in the US market. Over the next couple years, they plan to pay a lot more attention to upgraded tuner parts and special performance editions. As far as performance editions go, we’re thrilled they’ve started with the BRZ.

We should make a quick disclaimer here though… This car isn’t meant to be the BRZ STI we’ve all been waiting for. It might be, but Subaru isn’t presenting it that way in New York. Instead, as the name STI Performance Concept implies, it really is meant to be all about the STI brand, not the BRZ car.

Unfortunately, Subaru declined to share any hard specs about this new STI Performance Concept. All they told us is that the concept “features enhancements for chassis, body, and air intake/exhaust systems,” and that the “Concept’s engine is based on the racing engine from the Subaru BRZ Super GT race car.”

Subaru BRZ Performance Concept

Even though it’s a little disappointing that the STI Performance Concept isn’t a prototype for an actual model, we can still hope that this means a BRZ STI is in the not-too-distant future. And either way, we love everything about this concept. The black mesh STI grille with that silver textured insert is crisp, the hallmark STI red accents are eye-catching, the chrome alloys are bold and exciting, and of course you can’t miss that ginormous carbon fiber rear spoiler.

From the back, you can see that Subaru’s added what looks to be carbon fiber rear diffusers and a twin sports exhaust, and even the side skirts look to be made from carbon fiber.

Subaru STI Performance Concept interior

The interior is equally impressive. We love the simple all-black color scheme with only a few red accents. The seats look heavily sculpted for plenty of grip and are upholstered in what looks like a mixture of leather and suede. Looking at the dash, you can make out the “Race Widget” on the color LCD, as well as switches for different driving modes above the air conditioning controls.

Subaru STI Performance Concept dashboard

In Japan, Subaru’s STI performance models revolve around the BRZ, Forester and of course the WRX STI. We can’t wait to see those cars (and hopefully more models) develop a bigger presence for STI in the US. Click here to read the full press release.


Subaru Levorg S Concept & Legacy B4 Blitzen Shown in Tokyo

Posted by Stephen On Friday, January 16th, 2015

The 2015 Detroit Motor Show isn’t the only newsworthy events going on this week. For many automakers, the Tokyo Auto Salon is just as important. As it happens, Subaru is one of those automakers; they don’t have anything to show in Detroit, but they do have two brand-new concepts on stage in Tokyo.

Subaru Levorg S Concept

Subaru Levorg S Concept

Subaru showed us a new Levorg ‘Concept’ at the Tokyo Motor Show late last year, which is a sporty station wagon that Subaru fans everywhere have been requesting for years. We say ‘concept’ in quotes because, while it was officially dubbed a concept, it was and is really a production-ready vehicle. In fact, Subaru has already started taking orders for their new model, which are set to ship in May or June of this year.

While the Levorg has already garnered a heap of praise for its sporty throwback appeal to the good ol’ days of Subie, the Japanese automaker is bringing things up a notch at the Tokyo Auto Salon with the new Levorg S Concept. This can basically be seen as a Levorg STI model, even though Subaru isn’t officially calling it an STI. However, the STI badging that can clearly be seen on the car itself and the booth around it, and it bears the blue and orange color-scheme typical of other STI models.

Subaru Levorg S Concept STI

In addition, Subaru has completely overhauled the front fascia with extra-large air vents, a carbon fiber front spoiler, a new tightknit mesh grille and carbon fiber side-mirror caps for an extra bit of flair. You’ll also find new sculpted side skirts, and a matching carbon fiber rear diffuser with a carbon fiber roof and rear roof spoiler, along with two extra-large exhaust pipes for good measure. The exterior design is capped off with a set of 19-inch BBS alloys with Michelin’s PSS tires.

As you’d expect with any STI, a number of performance enhancements have been made to match the sportier design. From what we know right now, those include a new STI-tuned suspension, a six-speed sports manual transmission with AWD, and a tuned-up 2.0L boxer turbo to seal the deal, although specific performance specs haven’t been released.

Subaru Levorg S Concept interior

The performance feel continues inside with new Alcantara and leather bucket seats, aluminum pedals, a partially Alcantara wrapped steering wheel, and a bright red push-button ignition to match the STI color scheme inside.

Unfortunately, no word on when the Levorg STI will make it to production, although it does seem very likely that it eventually will. There’s a chance it’ll start shipping with the normal Levorg this summer, but our bet is that we’ll see it later this year as a 2016MY.

Subaru Legacy B4 Blitzen Concept

Subaru Legacy Blitzen Concept

Unlike the Levorg S Concept, the revised Legacy Blitzen doesn’t seem to have any ties to the STI sub-brand. Instead, it’s simply a sportier version of the admittedly rather plain-looking Subaru Legacy sedan. However, like the Levorg S, this new Legacy gets a host of exterior modifications, predominantly in the front and rear bumpers.

Subaru Legacy B4 Blitzen Study

Noteworthy additions include a new front lip spoiler, a glossy black grille, an eye-catching “Premium Red” paintjob, a new split rear spoiler, low-riding side skirts, and plenty of carbon fiber trim to go around. Plus, you’ll notice new 19-inch alloys with Bridgestone tires.

Subaru Legacy B4 Blitzen Interior

Inside, the upgrades continue with a totally overhauled interior that bears a striking resemblance to the Levorg S’ interior, albeit in a tamer black-and-beige color-scheme. The only thing missing are the Levorg’s new bucket seats, but they won’t be missed with the quilted leather and Alcantara seats in the Legacy.

Subaru XV Sport Concept

It should be noted that Subaru also showed a similarly revised version of the XV Crosstrek called the Subaru XV Sport Concept, pictured above, but you can see that the revisions are largely the same as those for the Legacy B4 Blitzen, albeit in yellow instead of red. Front lip spoiler, matte black roof, rear spoiler, rich black alloys and a sporty interior (below)… You get the idea.

Subaru XV Sport Concept Interior

2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue Special Edition Trim Revealed

Posted by Stephen On Monday, June 2nd, 2014

A couple weeks ago, we previewed a new Subaru BRZ FA-20 body kit from Cosworth. Now, Subaru has just unveiled an in-house special edition model which will go on sale with the 2015 model year. It’s called the Subaru BRZ Series.Blue, and it’s the closest yet that we’ve come to a BRZ STI.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue

It’s almost unfair when you think about it. Throughout the BRZ’s life we’ve been told time and time again that an STI version of the Japanese automaker’s prized sports car simply isn’t in the cards, despite desperate pleas from enthusiasts.

And yet, here we have this new special edition Series.Blue BRZ that features a plethora of modifications from Subaru Technica International, but not in the one area that counts – the engine. We certainly don’t like complaining about any STI models – and this particular model is very well done – but c’mon! Just give us a more powerful engine!

Still, there’s no denying that the Series.Blue is breathtaking, both inside and out.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue front spoiler

So, powertrain aside, what will distinguish the Subaru BRZ Series.Blue from the normal 2015 model?

There are quite a few exterior modifications, so let’s start there. As you can see, the Series.Blue BRZ features STI-branded front, side and side-rear spoilers, along with new custom underbody panels. Together, these mods help the limited edition BRZ achieve a measurably higher downforce and reduced drag coefficient. As far as non-functional upgrades, you’ll find that the special edition BRZ also gets new red brake calibers and black STI 17-inch wheels.

STI has also made several improvements to the BRZ’s interior, pictured below:

2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue interior

That black and blue theme you see on the steering wheel continues throughout the Series.Blue’s interior, complete with black and blue leather and Alcantara seating with blue stitching. In fact, that deep blue motif extends to the shift lever, the parking brake handle, the center console, the door trim and the seat backs, where you’ll also find a sleek silver-embroidered BRZ logo. To help complete the look, STI has installed a backlit red engine start/stop button and a carbon fiber finish across the dash.

2015 Subaru BRZ Series.Blue interior 2

As you can see, even though it’s a little disappointing that STI still hasn’t touched the powertrain, the Subaru BRZ Series.Blue still has quite a lot going for it. When the car goes on sale in 2015, it’s sure to sell out in a flash. Subaru is only going to sell 1000 Series.Blue models – 500 in the WR Blue Pearl (pictured above) and 500 in Crystal White Pearl – so you’d best get your trigger finger ready if you want one of these for yourself.


Bye-Bye Subaru BRZ STI; Hello BRZ FA-20 by Cosworth

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

FA-20 Power Packages

Ever since the launch of the Subaru BRZ, performance enthusiasts all over the world have been clamoring for an STI-tuned version of the acclaimed sports coupe. The regular BRZ drives like a dream, but with ‘only’ 200hp it just doesn’t give the kind of kick that a true speed junky craves.

Unfortunately, as time goes on it has seemed less and less likely that the Japanese automaker will release an STI model, despite the fervent pleas of their fans. In fact, a few weeks ago an anonymous insider was reported saying that Subaru had no plans whatsoever to develop a BRZ STI. Apparently the WRZ STI is the only car in their lineup that warrants the STI treatment.

You can understand why Subaru and their partner Toyota/Scion would want to leave the BRZ/GT86/FR-S as-is – they’ve said from the beginning that the three coupes were intended to offer excellent handling at an affordable price, which they do. Still, we want more! And it seems that the good folks over at Cosworth have finally heard our cry.

Check out this sweet teaser video Cosworth released of the upcoming Subaru BRZ FA-20 Power Package:

For those of you who don’t know, Cosworth has been involved in F1 racing for decades, supplying their own engines and mechanics to championship race cars as far back as the late ‘60s. Their engines have claimed 176 wins in 50 years, second only to Ferrari. In addition, they offer engineering consultancy, specialized performance electronics and bespoke precision manufacturing to major automakers. Now, they’re turning their attention to the BRZ/GT86 to pick up the slack.

Unfortunately, the teaser video isn’t very specific about what exactly the FA-20 Power Package will include. Still, there are a few obvious additions… For starters, the car in the video clearly has an enormous rear spoiler and a sleek front spoiler to go with it. We can also see indications that Cosworth will incorporate a new performance exhaust system, tune the suspension and upgrade the tires. Best of all, the video clearly spends some time panning around the engine, implying that we’ll see some sort of upgrade on that front; perhaps a turbocharger or something similar. Plus, the FA-20 name actually comes from the 2.0L Boxer engine that Subaru uses in the BRZ – it’s designated as the FA20 engine, derived from the old FB engine line.

Believe it or not, Cosworth actually previewed this FA20 Power Package in November of last year at the LA Motor Show. They called it the Stage 1 Power Package, and in addition to the new performance exhaust system, it also included a completely new ECU. At the time, they had this to say about the FA20 Power Package: “The Cosworth Stage 1 has been designed from the outset to operate as a complete tuning solution with all components working in complete harmony.”

As you can see, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about the Subaru BRZ FA20 by Cosworth, but there’s one thing we do now – it’s definitely going to come. And that’s a lot more than we could ever say about Subaru’s own BRZ STI.


US May Get a New Subaru BRZ that Looks Like the JDM BRZ tS

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Without a doubt, the Subaru BRZ is the most successful new car Subaru’s launched in the past 5 years. Granted, it was developed with the help of Toyota, but it’s a spectacular sports coupe nonetheless. It drives well, looks great, gets great gas mileage and it’s affordable too. In fact, the sixth annual ALG awards recently chose the 2014 Subaru BRZ as the sports car that will hold its value better than any other car in its segment.

So, it’s no surprise that Subaru would be looking to expand their various BRZ offerings. Already they have a Subaru BRZ Premium and a BRZ Limited in the US, along with a Subaru BRZ tS in Japan, but now it looks like they’re considering adding another trim to the mix. Apparently it will be similar to the Subaru BRZ tS, but without all of STI’s handling upgrades.

The rumor comes from popular automotive blog Car and Driver. Somehow they’ve obtained information that indicates the BRZ coupe will look almost identical to the JDM-only BRZ tS. It will likely receive aesthetic upgrades such as black alloy wheels, a front splitter, side skirts and a huge rear wing. They also mentioned that the car may include STI badging, but that seems difficult to believe if the car truly won’t receive any mechanical upgrades.

The only reason that Subaru would include STI badging on a mechanically neutral upgrade is for marketing purposes. Car and Driver astutely points out that the Subaru Technica Organization is actually completely separate from Subaru the automaker within Fuji Heavy Industries (unlike, say, Nissan’s NISMO). Therefore, they may see it as a good first-step to introduce the badging and aftermarket parts to US drivers before releasing full-fledged STi-tuned vehicles, even though we’ve already seen a Subaru WRX STi.

One has to question why they wouldn’t just go all out and release a Subaru BRZ STi, since it seems hard to believe that such a car would be anything less than a blockbuster success. After all, BRZ fans are practically begging for it.

Regardless, it seems that the prospect of mechanical upgrades is indeed out the window. In fact, this anonymous source specifically confirmed that there will be no powertrain upgrades or changes whatsoever. This sadly means that the Subaru BRZ will continue its life without any turbocharged powertrain, again, despite the urges of BRZ fans around the world.

Now, don’t take this the wrong way. No one is going to be upset that Subaru is releasing another edition of their much-loved BRZ sports coupe. As we said at the beginning of this article, it’s a wonderful car that’s a ton of fun to drive, and no one will be upset that they’ll start providing a better looking option here in the next couple months. Still, we really just want to see powertrain upgrades, and one could even argue that a BRZ with only performance enhancements would likely outsell a BRZ with only aesthetic ones, although a BRZ with both would be ideal.


Subaru Tricks Us With Latest BRZ STi Teasers. The Internet Forgives.

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, August 8th, 2013

There aren’t very many cars so universally beloved as the Subaru BRZ. Together with its twin brothers, the Scion FR-S and the Toyota GT86, the automotive world has fallen in love with the coupe’s excellent handling, astonishing speed, aggressive aesthetic and, of course, surprisingly affordable pricing.

But, every car could be better. Since 2011, we’ve been waiting for the STi update to BRZ which promised a more powerful engine than the 200hp one being used now. This past weekend, we thought the time had finally come. Little did we know that it was all a malicious ploy. Read on to learn more.

First, let’s examine the photographs Subaru posted Sunday night:

BRZ Teaser 1
BRZ Teaser 2
BRZ Teaser 3
BRZ Teaser 4

As you can see, we have two images with clear STi logos, a third image with the tagline “PURITY of HANDLING,” and a fourth with the words “COMING SOON”. What’s a poor guy to assume… That the BRZ STi is not, in fact, coming soon?

Unfortunately, yes, that’s exactly what we should have assumed. Thanks to some stellar investigative work by the folks over at 7tune.com, we now know that the images published by Subaru actually depict the Subaru BRZ tS. For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, the tS stands for “tuned by STi”, which is a far cry from the actual STi model.

Long story short, the photos we thought were the BRZ STi actually depict an aesthetically upgraded tS version of the BRZ, which boasts no real mechanical upgrades. The most noteworthy additions include the front spoiler and sidesteps, some neat interior trim upgrades, Recaro front seats, and several alloy add-ons all over the body. But no upgraded engine, and no mechanical tune-ups (except brakes, which won’t really have much purpose without the additional power).

So, what started as a joyous teaser has now been tainted with a certain melancholy. I’m sure that the Subaru BRZ tS is an excellent vehicle, but it’s missing the key powertrain upgrade that we were all holding our breath for. One can’t help but think the STi-themed teasers were intended to draw extra attention to the otherwise (potentially) overlooked tS release. The way things look right now, we won’t see the BRZ STi until 2015. Sigh.

Of course, even as we lament the prolonged wait, nobody holds it against the BRZ. The car is still well-loved, and we’ll all still be just as excited when the real STi model finally does make production. And Subaru knows it, too; all’s fair in love, war and automotive manufacturing.