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It's a WRXmas!

Coming soon: The WRX STi promises awesome performance for under $70,000.

Subaru is offering a lucky few the chance to get their hands on the new STi before 2002

26 Jun 2001

WRX fans be quick if you want one hell of a Christmas present. A limited number of Subaru Impreza WRX STi performance sedans will be on sale here in December.

Previously, the new generation STi had not been expected to arrive until the first quarter of 2002.

But Subaru has brought the Australian production run forward and we'll get no more than 100 cars before Christmas.

Previously sold here in two limited edition runs, the new STi will become a permanent part of the Subaru Australia lineup with forecast sales of 30-40 per month.

The company will launch STi Australia in 2002 to cater specifically to its STi customers, as well as retail merchandise, performance parts and possibly at some stage in the future, STi Australia badged Subaru performance models.

STi stands for Subaru Tecnica International, which is the Japanese car-maker's motorsport and tuning arm.

Pricing should come in just under $70,000 for the STi, making it at least $10,000 cheaper than its logical rival, the Mitsubishi Ralliart Lancer Evo VI, which went on sale in May.

Japanese specification boasts 206 kilowatts and 373 Newton-metres from the turbocharged 2.0-litre boxer engine running on 100 RON fuel. However, that figure is likely to drop a little here, reflecting the lower standard Australian fuel.

Handling the all-wheel drive will be a new six-speed gearbox and a front as well as rear limited slip differential, the front LSD not seen on the old car. Brembo brakes provide the stopping power.

"We went over to Japan to drive the car and decide whether we should go with the front LSD or not," explained Subaru Australia general manager Nick Senior. "Although it adds expense, we think in terms of specification, driving pleasure and better handling we thought it worthwhile.

"Overall it will be very highly-specced in terms of STi packages you can get." Exterior signatures will include gold alloy wheels and STi's pink badging. Colours options include silver, white, black and WRC blue.

Interior equipment will include standard air-conditioning, power windows and brushed velour sports seats.

The STi will be Subaru's second high-performance offering this year, following the August launch of the twin-turbo Liberty B4 sedan.

The STi will be previewed at Sydney Motor Show in October.

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