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TMCNet:  Powerful Subaru STI has X-factor ; Depending on your viewpoint, it's either a glorious return or a remnant from a bygone era that refuses to die. The... [Grimsby Telegraph (UK)]

[February 06, 2014]

Powerful Subaru STI has X-factor ; Depending on your viewpoint, it's either a glorious return or a remnant from a bygone era that refuses to die. The... [Grimsby Telegraph (UK)]

(Grimsby Telegraph (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Powerful Subaru STI has X-factor ; Depending on your viewpoint, it's either a glorious return or a remnant from a bygone era that refuses to die. The Subaru WRX STI has always divided opinion - as Andy Enright reports.


TONIGHT we're going to party like its 1999. Yes, the Subaru WRX STI is back. It's new but it's old and it's all the more loveable for it. If you can put up with uncompetitive emissions and fuel economy, you'll be rewarded with a ripsnorting all-wheel drive 306PS road rocket for just Pounds 29,000. If you think that modern performance cars have become predictable and dull, your chariot awaits.

The thing is, a lot has changed since the Impreza was a hero car. In those days, 210PS would scare us stupid. These days, we have power fatigue. It takes a lot to make us sit up and take notice, but the WRX STI looks to be made of the right stuff.

Under the bonnet is the familiar 2.5 litre turbo-charged Subaru boxer four-cylinder engine, which in STI guise, produces 393Nm of torque.

Subaru's trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive employs the latest vehicle dynamics control (VDC) and Active Torque Vectoring for maximum control. Spring and damper rates have been retuned to provide a more compliant ride while retaining body composure and the electronic power steering is now mounted on a more rigid steering gearbox mount for improved fuel efficiency and better response. It's quicker too at just 2.5 turns lock-to-lock, compared to 2.8 for the standard WRX. Drivers can use the Subaru Intelligent Drive module (SI-Drive) to switch through Intelligent, Sport, and Sport Sharp, using a rotary controller on the centre console. There's even a Multi-Mode Driver-Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD). Expect 62mph to come and go in around 4.7 seconds with a top speed in the region of 155mph.

It's easy to pick holes in the Subaru WRX STI. In many regards, it looks and feels like a car that's 15 years out of time. Fuel economy and emissions are the two areas where manufacturers one-up each other to demonstrate their engineering sophistication and yet the WRX STI can't even approach the state-of-the-art here. Does that matter? We suspect not.

There's an X-factor about the WRX that's missing from so many of its rivals. This version doesn't move the game on by much, but we suspect its most ardent adherents are going to revel in that fact. The WRX STI is the Keith Richards of the performance car division. It may not have the newest moves but it knows how to have fun.

(c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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