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Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec C launched in Japan

This is the hardcore, lightweight Subaru Impreza WRX STi Spec C, which will be limited to just 900 models.

The latest in a long and inventive line of tuner Impreza WTX STi models unleashed in Japan, the 2009-edition Spec C has been designed with Group N motorsport homologation duties in mind.

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Though the car's looks are near standard, the Spec C badge means a breathed-on 2.0-litre turbo engine, a stiffened-up body, new 18-inch wheels, a unique suspension set-up and a big round of weight saving.

The engine is the 1994cc flat-four 16-valve turbocharged unit that’s standard in Japanese WRX STis. Its power is unchanged, at 304bhp, and it has 311lb ft of torque.

However, the twin-scroll turbo now gets low-friction ball bearings and this, coupled with new ECU engine mapping, is said to ensure more urgent engine response.

Subaru fans will also recognise the intercooler water spray, a traditional feature of go-faster factory Rexs from way back.

To bring the weight down by 30kg (to 1450kg), Subaru has downsized the battery and used an aluminum bonnet. Laminar glass features in the front and side windows. Those new alloy wheels also cut unsprung weight.

True to form, Subaru has breathed on the chassis. The spring and damper settings are unique to the car, and so are rear anti-roll bar settings and subframe bushes.

Subaru has even reinforced the front crossmember to tighten things up even further and, perhaps in the interests of simplicity and lower costs, the standard-issue rear Torsen limited-slip diff now switches for a mechanical type.

Inside, big Recaro sports seats (Alcantara and leather, with red stitching) are optional if you choose the 18-inch wheels.

Despite the modifications, Subaru is pegging the price at £23,675 in Tokyo, which isn't far off the price of a normal WRX STi.

Furthermore, if you can live with 17-inch tyres instead of 18s, you can save around £2000.

Peter Nunn

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