What is it?
Despite the appearance of this Subaru WRX STI 320R, the manufacturer recently asserted that it no longer wants its performance models to dominate the brand limelight like they have done in the past.
Thanks to a combination of recession and high fuel prices, the WRX STI’s segment has become a crumbling niche and Subaru now believes that fresh ‘lifestyle’ products would be more likely to generate the showroom traffic which was previously buoyed by rally-inspired ironmongery.
Nevertheless, the current model, already reinvigorated by the welcome addition of a saloon profile last year, remains a key part of the Subaru portfolio and there’s evidently enough enthusiasm for it at the company’s UK division that time and money has been invested in improving its performance.
The 320R is a upgrade pack which can be specified at the point of sale (where it’s currently available as a non-badged special edition) or retro-fitted at a later date. The pack is offered free on the £32,995 standard car until the end of the year, but the power upgrade is worth £799 and the accompanying satnav is worth £750.
Previous incarnations would have been a messy mechanical affair involving a new exhaust, but this time round Subaru has found an extra 20bhp simply by remapping the ECU on the standard 296bhp 2.5-litre Boxer engine.