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Subaru WRX S4 STI Sport# unveiled

Just 500 examples of STI-accessorised, Japan-only Subaru WRX to be sold by lottery

16 Jan 2024

SUBARU and its motorsport subsidiary Subaru Tecnica International (STI) have exhibited a special edition WRX S4 STI Sport# at the recent Tokyo Auto Salon.


Based upon the Japanese specification WRX S4 STI Sport R EX, the STI-enhanced model took to the stage alongside a customised BRZ STI and Levorg Layback STI, equipped with various STI performance parts, and the race-ready WRX NBR Challenge race car, set to participate in the 2024 NBR Challenge (Nurburgring 24 Hour Challenge).


Just 500 examples of the Subaru WRX S4 STI Sport# (sharp) will be produced, all for the Japanese market and to be sold via a lottery system the results of which will be announced on February 1.


Priced at the equivalent of $A64,300, Subaru says demand for the WRX S4 STI Sport# will exceed supply.


The model features no upgrade to engine performance. Instead, it features an assortment of STI accessories added to the existing variant, including retuned suspension that aims to “improve handling stability and provide a higher quality ride”.


Stylistically, the WRX S4 STI Sport# is characterised by a blackened grille, wing mirror caps, roof antenna, boot lid spoiler and badging, while inside it gains a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Recaro sport seats and Ultrasuede upholstery with silver stitch work.


Further enhancements include a strut bar, underbody bracing, a transmission cooler, Michelin Pilot Sport 5S tyres, and staggered-design 19-inch BBS alloy wheels.


Under the bonnet, the limited-edition model features the same 2.4-litre horizontally opposed turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine offered elsewhere in the range. Coupled exclusively to a continuously variable transmission and driving all four wheels, it produces 202kW of power at 5600rpm and 375Nm of torque from 2000rpm (25Nm more than Australian specification models).


Subaru claims a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 9.9 litres per 100km.


In early 2022 the Japanese manufacturer announced that it would cancel its desirable WRX STI variant effective immediately, meaning the next-generation WRX will go without the higher-performing variant for the first time since its debut in 1994.


The Ota-based company said in a statement that it will remain focused on sports and performance variants but believes all cars must move with the times.


“As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gasses (GHG), zero emissions vehicles (ZEV), and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE),” the statement read.


“As part of that effort, Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification. In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform.”


Perhaps hinting that the Subaru Technica International motif will return with electric power – likely taking some attributes from the 800kW all-wheel drive STI E-RA concept debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon earlier this year – the brand said it will move to offer further electrification of its range before the end of the decade, importantly with a focus on motorsport-derived performance models.


“The Subaru WRX STI and the STI brand represent the zenith of Subaru’s performance vehicles exemplifying Subaru’s unique DNA and rally heritage. As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles,” the statement concluded.


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