The new Subaru WRX STI goes on sale in the UK this summer, but the 305bhp saloon won't get a domestically-tuned version
Nic Cackett
9 April 2014

Subaru has ruled out another domestically-tuned version of its new WRX STI for the foreseeable future.

Asked about the potential for another model in the Cosworth CS400 mould, managing director of Subaru in the UK Paul Tunnicliffe said he wished to avoid pursuing “a niche within a niche.”

The CS400 was the most expensive, most powerful Subaru ever launched in the UK, with 395bhp and 400lb ft of torque. It was a project Tunnicliffe inherited from his predecessor - but he felt it was an “indulgent” concept for the times, and cited its lack of a manufacturer warranty as a notable sticking point.

While admitting that the UK brand remains free to explore its own tuning projects, he also indicated that he’d now be wary of doing so without the blessing of Subaru Tecnica International (STI).

For its part, WRX product guru Masuo Takatsu confirmed to Autocar that while the current car was considered a balanced prospect with 296bhp from its 2.5-litre turbocharged Boxer engine, the Japanese tuning division were already exploring higher outputs.

Tunnicliffe confirmed that the UK firm maintains a relationship with Prodrive - the British engineering firm previously responsible for the WRC team and several memorable Impreza variants - but for now dismissed the notion of it becoming involved with the current car.

Even without an old fashioned hike in power, Tunnicliffe confirmed that around 160 orders for the new WRX STI have already been placed by British buyers, and he was confident of selling 250-500 cars in the UK - a volume that would see it overtake Subaru’s other performance offering, the BRZ

Read Autocar's history of the Subaru Impreza.

Our Verdict

Subaru WRX

An impressive standard Subaru WRX is finally back. Fuel economy and power is up but, unfortunately, no UK sales are planned

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9 April 2014
Bit of a whisper and a bang. New STi on the blocks. Anybody notice ?


9 April 2014
I'll wait for the new 2.0 to make it's appearance in the STI. Wouldn't touch another EJ25 engine with a very long barge pole. Once blown up and left stranded, twice shy!

9 April 2014
As a Subaru impreza owner, I'd be happier if the latest impreza that's going to be imported had either a 1.6 turbo or 2.0 N/A block in it as well as the WRX. The 2.0 block as Ali has found out has proved more reliable than the 2.5. However, like all marques it can depend how a car has been treated previously as to how reliable it will be.

9 April 2014
"250-500 cars in the UK - a volume that would see it overtake Subaru’s other performance offering, the BRZ"
Am I the only one to be surprised by how few BRZ'S are being sold, is it just the lack of dealers or is everybody going to Toyota ?
Had thought these would have sold by the container ship load ?

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