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Brisbane show: STi from $60,000
Subaru reveals two versions, a $60K base price and limited stock of its STi stonker
5 Feb 2008
SUBARU’S storming new performance flagship, the redesigned Impreza WRX STi hatch, made its Australian motor show debut in Brisbane on Friday (February 1), when a long anticipated opening price of $59,990 was announced.
As was also expected, Subaru Australia will offer two versions of the STi for the first time, with the premium STi Spec.R priced at $64,990. Previously, Australia’s single-spec STi sedan cost $56,990.
Subaru says there will not be an STi version of the redesigned Impreza sedan that is due to go on sale here in August and that the new model’s improved comfort and refinement levels have positioned it further away from the $40,000 WRX version of the new Impreza hatch launched here in October.
GoAuto has learned that tight supplies of the R-spec version’s lightweight BBS alloy wheels will limit production of the flagship STi, which is expected to eventually become the most popular example, to 500 vehicles per month. Among other upgrades, the Spec.R version also features Recaro sports seats.
The new model hits showrooms from mid-February and Subaru says it holds about 200 orders, meaning some customers could face long delays until extra production capacity comes on line from October. Over the first 12 months, it expects to average about 70 sales per month. “The new Impreza WRX STi retains its truly exceptional performance credentials and gains a new level of comfort and refinement,” said Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior in Brisbane, where the most powerful STi ever went head-to-head with its most direct competitor, the latest Mitsubishi Lancer Evo due on sale here in April after a Melbourne show debut, at an Australian motor show for the first time.
“No longer will drivers have to sacrifice comfort for the sake of performance.” Full specifications are yet to be revealed ahead of the hottest Subaru’s national media launch in Tasmania later this week, but it’s known from our first drive in Japan in November that Australia’s STi will be powered by a massaged version of the current model’s 2.5-litre turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine.
With 221kW at 6000rpm available and peak torque of 407Nm at 4000rpm (up from 392Nm), the new STi is the first production Subaru to officially produce more than 206kW, the self-imposed limit set by Japanese manufacturers.
Cloaking the new model’s longer wheelbase and wider wheel are aggressively blistered wheel-arches on a bodyshell that shares only the bonnet, front doors, roof and rear hatch in common with the WRX, and which appears largely unchanged in the World Rally Championship.
Compared with the WRX, it features a unique front bumper with large foglights and a specific rear bumper comprising a large aerodynamic diffuser. It also has a hatch-mounted spoiler that is more subtle that the previous STi's massive bootlid spoiler.
Despite employing a steel bonnet (rather than an aluminium item, as seen on previous iterations of the STi), the latest super-Sube’s body is actually lighter than that of the previous model, but extra features mean the new car is 10kg heavier overall at 1505kg.
Read more:First drive: New Sube STi banishes boy-racers
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