Subaru’s STI tuning arm has created this ultimate S206 version of the Impreza WRX STI. It is on show at the Tokyo motor show and has gone straight on sale in Japan – but like the special STI-tuned S202, S203, S204 and R205 models before it, UK buyers will be denied the car.
No additional special models will be added to the WRX STI line-up in the UK before 2013, when an all-new 300bhp version is expected to be launched based on the new 2012 Impreza that’s recently gone on sale in the US and Japan.
Toshio Masuda, Subaru product planning senior general manager, said: “We're showing off the Impreza here as a proper sports model. The next WRX and STI Impreza models are in development.”
Subaru claims the S206 is the “crown of its STI tune cars”. Changes to the S206 over the standard WRX STI include more power for its “exclusively-made” engine, a series of sporty styling upgrades and a complete makeover for its suspension.
Power from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine has been increased by 20bhp over the standard WRX STI to 316bhp and torque is up 18lb ft to 318lb ft. The under the bonnet changes include an enhanced twin-scroll turbocharger, STI-tuned ECU and sports muffler with lowered back pressure exhaust.
Subaru has not confirmed any performance figures for the car, but has said accelerator response is increased and mid-range torque improved to provide better driveability.
Suspension changes include exclusive Bilstein front shock absorbers and STI coil springs. There’s also a flexible tower bar and flexible draw stiffener at the front that Subaru claims offers improve straight-line performance and steadies the car while cornering to allow “precise and quick” adjustments mid-corner. New 19in BBS alloys with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres also feature.