First S variant of STI to be sold in US gets 336bhp from 2.5-litre boxer engine

Subaru has unveiled the STI S209, its most powerful model yet made, according to the brand.

The S209, a US-only halo model for its WRX STI hot hatch, has upgrades in power, handling, aerodynamics and driver engagement, said Subaru.

It is the first time an STI S model has been available in the US market. The S designation first showed up in 2000 on a special-edition Impreza model, the S201, while an S208 model was unveiled last year. However, they were only available in Japan.

The S209 is developed by Subaru Tecnica International, the car maker’s wholly owned performance arm. Subaru said it is inspired by the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge race car, which won the SP3T class at the 2018 24 Hours of Nürburgring.

The Audi RS3 rival uses a heavily reworked version of Subaru’s well-known 2.5-litre boxer engine with a large turbo, delivering 336bhp. No more figures have been released.

Power is driven through the six-speed manual gearbox to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system.

There are also new front and rear limited-slip differentials along with a driver-controlled centre differential, plus a new torque vectoring system.

Improved aerodynamics allow for higher cornering speeds and an additional 1g of lateral grip, according to Subaru.

The limited-run model of 200 units will go on sale in late 2019.

There are two paint colours: white and blue, a bespoke wheel design and a carbonfibre roof. 

Subaru STI president Yoshio Hirakawa said: “What makes STI unique is its philosophy. What’s behind the wheel is as important as what’s under the hood. STI vehicles provide speed with performance and enjoyment.” 


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

He continued: “For STI, the S model represents our highest level of technical performance. It is our halo model.”

Read more

Subaru WRX STI review

Insight: How Subaru reinvented itself

Farewell to a classic: driving the last Subaru WRX STI

Join the debate


14 January 2019

Great Swansong for the WRX that is such an icon and important car from its generation. But that was then, and this is now, Car & Driver reckon an MSRP of about $65k, but with dealers in the US free to mark new cars up, this will likely be touted for sale at about $75-$80 all day long. Just like Porsche and many others are doing with their 'performance' or 'enthusiast' editions, by limiting the numbers so much you pretty much ensure that the people who might buy them and actually use them, either don't get the option to buy one or are priced out the market by the speculators. Sad that all the love and engineering that goes into these 'special' versions ends up sitting in a lock up waiting to appreciate in value. That said, I understand the logic from a business model perspective, even if it is a little shortsighted. 

15 January 2019

 It’s a US model only, great to see it survive there,but, we’re not getting it.

15 January 2019
In comparison with a civic type r it looks subtle! Sadly it also has the same amount of power , probably worse cabin and driving characteristics, all for double the money... fast scoobies and had their days of glory a long long time ago .

15 January 2019

How can they sell this in the US with all it's restictive speed limits yet not bring it to the UK who have a love affair with these cars. Afterall we've the RS3, M2 etc

26 February 2019

I was thinking the same xxxx. Its usually the US market that misses out on European and Japanese 'performance' versions of enthusiasts cars; think Golf GTI specials, M3 specials, Type R's (current one is 1st one offered, same goes for Focus RS). Yet here we are getting the WRX S!! What gives??

15 January 2019

 I thought there was still a faithful few here who would buy them?

20 July 2019

Of course, the beating heart of the S209 is its powertrain, and the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine found in the stock model gets major upgrades, starting with a new, high-spinning turbocharger and strengthened pistons and connecting rods that help it punch out a whopping 341 horsepower and lots more off-the-line torque. iCloud login iCloud Sign in iCloud for Windows

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week