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Detroit show: Hardcore Subaru STI revealed

Spoiler alert: The latest version of Subaru’s more hardcore WRX STI brings more racetrack looks and the promise of better performance.

Subaru’s latest WRX STI turns performance up another notch

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Subaru logo15 Jan 2014

By BARRY PARK

SUBARU’S big-winged tarmac tearer is back, and guess what – the boot-mounted rear spoiler that is synonymous with the STI name is now even bigger.

The Japanese car-maker overnight gave the performance car world its first official look at the all-new WRX STI, although this time around sporting four doors and a boot, with no hatchback in sight.

The taller rear spoiler – an STI trademark – heralds a longer, wider, more taut STI that will feature the similarly familiar turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine under the bonnet.

In its tune for the US market, the STI’s powerplant will spit out 227 Kilowatts of power at 6000 rpm, while maximum torque of 392Nm kicks in from 4000rpm. This compares with 221kW and 407Nm for the current Australian market STI.

At the moment, Subaru has said the more hardcore version of the STI will come mated to a six-speed manual gearbox – there’s no official word on whether an automatic transmission will once again show up on the options list.

According to the car-maker, the STI’s reinforced short-throw gearbox provides better tactile feedback for a sportier shift feel.

The all-wheel-drive system again includes a multi-mode “Driver Controlled Center Differential” system that can shift the amount of drive sent to either the front or rear wheels on the fly.

The all-new Subaru Tecnica International performance sedan frames its traditional hexagonal grille with redesigned “hawk eye” headlights that use LEDs for low-beam driving.

Aerodynamics are aided by deep front wing ducts and sharp side sill spoilers, while down the rear a diffuser integrated into the bumper wraps around twin dual exhausts.

The STI features redesigned 18-inch wheels – painted STI gold – that for this generation are lighter and stronger.

Potentially destined for the scrap heap is the STI’s renowned spine-crushing ride – Subaru said that despite being stiffer, its hours of “in-depth suspension tuning” had turned the commuter’s nightmare into something that was “flat, sport, yet comfortable”.

Other changes include a windscreen that is more forward, and the wing mirrors have moved onto the door panels, leaving space for a quarter window on the more steeply raked front doors.

Subaru Australia said it was still working on pricing and specifications for the WRX STI, due for launch here in March.

Expect pricing to be similar to the $60,000 price tag for the current STI.

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