Go Back   Car Forums > SUBARU

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-12-2007, 02:00 PM
Posts: n/a
Arrow First Drive: 2008 Subaru WRX STI 2

First Drive: 2008 Subaru WRX STI 2

STI project manager Hiroshi Mori has also foreshadowed the creation of another model that would sit between the 169kW WRX and 221kW STI. "There is the potential for an intermediate model but we have to be careful to think the the whole situation through," he said. A trick auto is also in development.

Both STI models when they arrive are expected to be priced between $60,000 and $70,000. Do the changes justify the high price tag?

Certainly, mechanically, the STI is an impressive package. But the interior is dressed in the same hard plastics as the base model Impreza and no match for the finish in VW's all-wheel drive Golf R32.

STI is expected to go on sale in Australia in early February. In Japan, to avoid taxes, the STI is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine that develops 227kW of power. Australian cars, however, are fitted with a larger but slightly less powerful 2.5-litre engine that delivers 221kW AT 6000rpm. The 2.5 produces less torque too 407Nm at 4000rpm versus 422Nm, but does so earlier in the rev range for ease of driving.The previous model was good for 206kW and 392Nm.

The engine is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission, with power fed to all four wheels through an electronic centre differential. Brembo brakes and KYB dampers round off the package. The car rides on 18in wheels shod with 245/40 series Dunlop SP 6000s. Weighing in at 1505kg, 10kg more than the the old model, the new STI can sprint from 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. In comparison, the old STI was good for 5.45 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.

Fuel economy, meanwhile, is a claimed 10.3 litres/100km and it runs on 98 strength premium unleaded (the old one rated 11.6 litres/100km).

We were among a small group of Australian journalists invited to drive the car for the first time in Japan this week. In fact, we were the first journos in the world to drive the 2.5-litre model. The setting was Honjyo race track in the mountains about two hours northwest of Tokyo where we were able to test the car on dirt as well as the track. Perhaps the most telling part of the program was a short section of gravel, designed to demonstrate the car's more comfortable suspension.

The previous STI would have loosened the fillings in our middle-aged teeth it was so firmly sprung, but the new car was a revelation. The technically minded will appreciate the high degree of driver control that Subaru has built into the car.

SI-Drive has been added, with three styles of driving to chose from and a shift indicator that tells the driver when to change gear. Not only can the driver switch off electronic stability control, there is also an additional setting to make it less intrusive.

Pre-programed settings have also been added to the centre differential control that allows the bias of torque to be shifted automatically to the front or rear wheels. Torque can be locked evenly between the front and the rear, up to a split of

41:59. For the track we found the less intrusive stability setting along with a bias towards the rear wheels ideal. It allowed the car to drift through corners while still maintaining control. The diff then tightened up to catapult the car out the other side.

The shift and clutch action are smoother and much easier to use.

The new STI is 50mm shorter than the previous model, with an 85mm longer wheelbase and 40-45mm wider track. It is distinguished by pumped out guards and a rear diffuser with quad exhausts.

As it has it has done with Liberty, Subaru makes no bones about the fact that it wants to take the car upmarket. As part of this strategy, it has gone to great lengths to separate the WRX and STI in terms of style, equipment and price. All body panels have been replaced in the STI, apart from the bonnet, roof and front doors. The pumped out guards add 55mm to the width.

Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior makes no apologies for deserting the boy racer fraternity. He points out a lime green WRX with 20 inch chrome wheels and a pounding subwoofer is not a good advertisement. Besides, he adds, most of these people are not new car buyers anyway.

"STI buyers wanted something more for their money, for the premium they are asked to pay, something that is clearly different from WRX," he said. STI comes fully equipped with about the only option satellite navigation at $2990 which includes Bluetooth. You can't get the latter separately. Although a premium sound system is fitted, it is surprisingly not the high end McIntosh system from Liberty.

Standard equipment includes leather, xenon lights, automatic airconditioning and six airbags. A space saver spare tyre is supplied.

Source: [url=http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/hatchbacks/112_0711_2008_subaru_wrx_sti_jdm]MotorTrend Magazine[/url]
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Subaru Impreza First and Only Small Car to Earn IIHS 'Top Safety ... news SUBARU 0 11-20-2007 02:00 PM
2008 Subaru Tribeca Official Vehicle of 2007 Subaru Rockfest ... news SUBARU 0 08-16-2007 12:00 PM
2008 Subaru Forester Awarded 5-Star Crash Safety Rating news SUBARU 0 08-10-2007 12:00 PM
Subaru Announces Pricing on All-New 2008 Impreza 2.5i and Impreza WRX news SUBARU 0 07-20-2007 12:00 PM
2008 Subaru Tribeca Awarded Double 5-Star Safety Rating news SUBARU 0 05-16-2007 12:00 PM

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:38 PM.