Suffice to say, they'll be hard to find and probably marked up. They were developed specifically for the S209 using compounds and tread patterns chosen to maximize grip in both wet and dry conditions while optimizing steering response and stability. Only 209 models are to be produced, so act fast if this is one of the cars you can't do without. But there's a glimmer of hope for the famed wheelmaker. The first S-model to be offered in the U.S., the S209 is the most powerful, best-handling, and most exciting vehicle STI has ever created. 2020 Subaru WRX and WRX STI come out to play in the snow. The additions to the S209's body have made it considerably wider than the regular STI, at 72.4 inches, an increase of 1.7 inches. Suck it, homeboys! We're running the track "backward," to slow things down a bit (more decreasing-radius corners) and to convert the most precipitous drops into climbs. Many of these modifications would have required costly crash testing certification to be sold here. The basis for the new S209 is the 2018 WRX STI Type RA, which produced 310 hp and 290 lb-ft. Your information will be collected and used in accordance with our  Privacy Policy. Canards and other aero enhancements are also added, and this model is exclusively available in two colors: WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels or Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels. Do you like gray wheels or gold wheels? I'm instantly struck by how delightfully direct and communicative the hydraulically assisted steering feels. You also get a pair of USB ports and that all-but-forgotten feature: a CD player. Those tires are wider, stickier 265/35R19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600As. Another Japanese powerhouse with a six-speed manual gearbox is the Honda Civic Type R. It's no secret that the Civic Type R is a heinous assault weapon that targets the eyes and makes them bleed, but it's highly capable and focused too. The S209 keeps the standard top-mount intercooler design as the STI and base model WRX, but this time around, the chiller is made more effective thanks to a new intercooler water spray system. In the S209, you get more power, better cornering ability, and numerous upgrades in the suspension and braking departments that increase overall performance. The Subaru WRX STI RA-R Is the Ultimate JDM STI… On the rural-road drive home from the track, the ride quality is firm and a bit busy (I'd counsel the STI team to develop magnetorheological shocks for the S210), but it's never harsh. Compare the BMW M2, BMW M3 Sedan, and Subaru STI S209 side by side to see differences in performance, pricing, features and more It should be noted that STI models, however, do not have access to all available WRX safety features. The gear ratios are short for sharp acceleration, and the by-product is an engaging, if slightly frantic, driving experience that is fully satisfying. www.caranddriver.com C/D TEST RESULTS 60 mph: 4.4 sec 100 mph: 11.2 sec 130 mph: 21.5 sec Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.3 sec Subaru is claiming the S209 will generate 1.08 g on the skidpad, and it certainly feels like we're generating a lot more than that in the valley turns that are compressing the suspension. It is capable of receiving SiriusXM satellite radio and has functionality for voice control, HD Radio, Bluetooth audio streaming and smartphone control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and NFC. The S209's infotainment system is comprised of Subaru's seven-inch touchscreen Starlink system with six speakers. The engineers at STI didn't stop at the engine, though. It's fast, it's agile, and it corners like a train. As a fun and relatively frugal daily car that can still thrill and excite on the track, the Type R is phenomenal - just close your eyes until you get inside. Once the turbo kicks in, the boost is visceral and raw, but not unmanageable. The Subaru Impreza (Japanese: スバル・インプレッサ, Hepburn: Subaru Inpuressa) is a compact car that has been manufactured by Subaru since 1992. LED headlights feature up front along with LED brake lights at the rear, and as with other STI models, a large hood scoop dominates the aggressive face. It creates 42 pounds of downforce at 75 mph in its standard position, 60 pounds in its max-attack setting. The main advantage to the regular STI, besides its lower cost, is that it's not a rare machine that you would feel guilty for abusing on track. But alas this isn’t a lap time challenge. The 2019 WRX STI S209 is the MOST Powerful, Rare, and Expensive Subaru Ever Made. From its bespoke wheels, tuned suspension, special chassis braces everywhere, and even special brake pads, all add up to quite the track assassin package even before you factor in the extra power. It's a revelation in this age of lifeless electric steerers. Subaru has offered 4-door sedan and 5-door body … As with all its S cars, the STI mods are laser-focused on optimizing driving dynamics. A lot. With EPA figures of 22/28/25 mpg, it's far more economical than the S209, and its hatchback-style rear cargo area also offers more space, with 25.7 cubic feet of volume with the rear seats up - more than double what you get in the Scooby. The additions to the S209's body have made it considerably wider than the regular STI, at 72.4 inches, an increase of 1.7 inches. At long last, Subaru and STI have surmounted the many high hurdles required to certify the STI operation as a U.S.-homologated manufacturer and to homologate the upgrades that are to be made to this new highest-performing Impreza. To keep the experience pure, a six-speed manual gearbox is the only available transmission. Now, it's finally our turn. Despite all its associated stereotypes and the memes that flood the inbox of a Subaru STI owner daily, the sport compact sedan is a brilliant enthusiasts' machine. It seats five in impressive comfort, with good headroom and legroom for all but the rear middle occupant, and both front perches have power-adjustability as standard. Well, do you like Pearl Blue or do you like Pearl White? Other dimensions are largely the same, with length at … Huzzah! The Most Powerful S-model Ever Unless you're after that ultimate edge, rather get the regular STI and put the extra money towards tires and other race-day essentials. It's still a good all-rounder and offers plenty of performance, just with a little more compromise. Most of the S209's exterior modifications are either to cover the wider tires or contribute to reducing aerodynamic lift by 30 percent. With a 15.9-gallon gas tank, mixed range is calculated to be around 270 miles. The Subaru WRX STI range has been completely free of recalls for 2018 and 2019. More importantly, the S209 manages another 40 lb-ft of torque than the WRX STI, and it does so at a slightly more accessible 3,600 rpm (vs 4,000). Subaru hasn't established an order bank yet, partly because it's still trying to work out how it will allocate the 209 units among its 600-plus dealers. Power output is rated at 341 horsepower with 330 lb-ft of torque, all of which can only be exploited through the use of a six-speed manual transmission. By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the  Terms of Use. The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the 2019 Subaru STI S209 can seem unlikely rivals. However, this car is front-wheel-drive and is, therefore, less grippy in inclement weather, but those who have driven it will be aware that it is exceptionally agile and responsive. The 31-hp and 40-lb-ft upgrade seems modest, but the effort required to achieve it was extensive. It's simple and focused but comfortable enough to not be offensive. It costs $63,995 before an $885 destination charge. The first S-model to be offered in the U.S. from Subaru Tecnica International (STI). These noisier, dustier versions are credited with reducing fade by 30 percent. It's also the quickest one, but not by as … Each new S-model has pushed the limit set by its predecessor and each could be considered a study of everything STI engineers knew about motorsports and vehicle development engineering at the time. This "hysteresis" often causes drivers to turn in too much and then correct. These include the front splitter and canards, side spoilers, functional air outlets in the front fenders, and that big adjustable carbon-fiber wing in back (which carries over from the S208). If you're looking for an investment opportunity, these are expected to hold their value well and become future classics, and they'll be awesome fun to drive too, but for an all-round performance sedan, there are certainly more polished alternatives out there - even if they're less engaging. Thanks to the aforementioned short gear ratios, fuel economy is far from the STI S209's strongest suit. The S208 is a limited-run, Japanese-market STI S-line model, and the progenitor to the new S209. However, it is very expensive - even though you can see where the money went. Compare the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, Mercedes-AMG C63 Sedan, and Subaru STI S209 side by side to see differences in performance, pricing, features and more The current, US-spec STI, meanwhile, uses a 2.5-liter H4 engine. Much of this work centers on removing the "slop" or slack that exists in all suspensions and is responsible for the momentary delay between turning the steering wheel and the vehicle beginning to turn. Various braces have been added too, but Subaru attributes one of the biggest benefits in handling to the bespoke Dunlop tires. As standard, the S209 is fitted with adaptive LED headlights, a rearview camera, stability and traction control systems, and numerous airbags: frontal, side-impact, curtain rollover, and driver's knee. Perhaps I just need more practice or I'm hurrying it. Compare the Audi RS3, BMW M3 Sedan, and Subaru STI S209 side by side to see differences in performance, pricing, features and more One of the highlights in the 2019 Detroit Auto Show is the arrival of the WRX STI S209 – the first S-series Subaru to enter into the U.S market. The S209 is the 10th S-line car since the S201 of 2000 and the follow-up to the Japan-only S208. But is the North America-certified 2019 Subaru WRX STI S209 a "real" S model, or will the fanboys still be grumpy? We talk to an expert to find out why. So why not get a regular WRX STI? This is a car that is built to enjoy and the only way to do that is to drive it hard. The same sort of familiarity doesn't exist for the Subaru WRX STI S209. The engine is strong, the manual gearbox is present and correct, and the thing sounds monstrous. Also included are front and rear limited-slip differentials that aid in cornering ability, while Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers in front offer good initial response and easy pedal modulation. Is the 2019 Subaru WRX STI S209 the ULTIMATE Subaru to BUY? The S209 is 1.7 inches wider than the regular STI with a 0.6-inch increase in track width. The US-only S209 is our guilty pleasure, and it's a beast of a car. Subaru's performance vehicles are always equipped with the company's symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, and that's a big part of how good the S209 is in the corners, but for this special model, unique upgrades enhance its ability and its grip even further. The S209 is the first special-edition S model available in the U.S. and the fifth STI we've run at VIR. See All 2019 Subaru STI S209 Exterior Photos, See All 2019 Subaru STI S209 Interior Photos, See All 2019 Subaru STI S209 Trims and Specs. The quick (13.3:1) ratio is shared with the WRX STI's, but it seems quicker still, and sure enough, I never find myself unwinding an excess input. While we have no serious gripes with the system itself, as it is intuitive and easy to use, the graphics aren't as crystal clear as in some competitors' cars. The STI's main focus is on performance, and as such, the vast majority of its features are dedicated to going faster. Per the Development Division of Subaru Tecnica International (STI): We are pleased to announce that Subaru Tecnica International Inc. has approved Motul 300V Power 5W-40 for WRX STI - S209. Fuel economy figures for this model are also slightly better, so you save money in the long run too, even if it's a slight saving. The STI has the kind of interior that you would expect from a hardcore Japanese performance car that you can live with daily. The S209 is not difficult to spot. Limited to 1,000 units, this was a MotorTrend long … For this saving in outlay, you lose out on 31 hp and 40 lb-ft of torque, but you still get a spacious interior, a six-speed manual gearbox, and symmetrical all-wheel-drive. It starts at a base price of $36,595, a difference of $27,400. Check out some informative Subaru STI S209 video reviews below. The two cars certainly look similar, but a number of important differences set them apart. The STI doesn't have a particularly large trunk, with just 11.8 cubic feet of volume, but it is enough for three medium-sized suitcases. The S209 is available in limited numbers and only in the abovementioned colors, with the darker hue getting the darker wheels and the lighter paint option getting the brighter wheels, so the choice here is rather limited, just like the car. Naturally the springs and dampers are uniquely tuned for STI, with the springs lowering the body by roughly the same 10mm the oversized tires raise it. The power and torque curves are fatter, too, with torque up about 10 percent everywhere north of 3,600 rpm. Later during a ride-along with former Subaru rally racer Chris Atkinson, I notice he's not correcting his steering inputs, either. STI S208. This is the first time any Subaru S-Line product landed on our shores, and Subaru wanted to do right by its longtime omission. Subaru STI (2.5L Turbo 305hp) vs Audi RS3 (2.5L Turbo 367hp) 0-280 Kph Acceleration Top Speed ! © 2021 MotorTrend | MOTOR TREND GROUP, LLC. Its official EPA estimates are 15/21/17 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles, which is worse than many SUVs and trucks will return. The NHTSA has not yet tested the Subaru WRX range, but the IIHS has awarded the vehicle a Top Safety Pick+ award. But the chassis development work is even more extensive and impressive. Variable drive modes and the expected traction and stability control systems also make an appearance. Well, you may be less aware of a similar forbidden-fruit injustice Subaru has been perpetrating against its American fans since 1998: The STI S-series cars, sequentially numbered S201-S208 have been restricted to the Japanese market. STI’s small shop in Kiryu, Japan, is building just two or three S209’s per day, and their handiwork – right down to hand-polished exhaust tips … Subaru Ends EJ20 Engine with WRX STI Final Edition. STI bolted two under the front of the S209 [see above], connecting a crossmember to the unibody structure near the front suspension on each side, and one in the rear, connecting the rear shock towers. Suspension nerds are encouraged to geek out with us in the suspension sidebar. Visibility all-round is good too, with the exception of out the rear window, where all you'll see is the carbon fiber wing. The latter car's Brembo brake hardware carries over, but with higher-performing pads. I also utilize these turns to try out the different center-differential locking programs, and the (-) setting definitely seems to leverage the engine's substantial torque to help turn the car in, though Atkinson says he generally leaves it in its automatic setting. You know Subaru Tecnica International (Subaru's motorsport subsidiary since 1988) from the scores of Impreza WRX STI models we've gotten over the years. I don't probe the claimed top speed of 162 mph, but a few blasts through the gears confirm that Subaru's acceleration estimates of 4.9 seconds to 60 mph and 13.3 seconds in the quarter are conservative by at least 3-4-tenths. These include the various suspension and braking upgrades, but also a paddle behind the steering wheel for spraying water onto the intercooler, helping cool the charged air in the system. (The “RA” stands for “Record Attempt,” which was actually what the first STI carwas built for, though it is a slight departure from the brand’s better-known all-… The Subaru WRX STI is an engaging car even in regular form. The total amount of lateral grip is the second obvious takeaway from this drive. In this format, the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four-banger utilizes a larger turbocharger with more boost to produce 341 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 31 and 40 units respectively over the plain-jane STI. Despite a $65,000 price tag straight from the dealer, the 2020 Subaru WRX STI S209 is selling for over list value. As with all its S cars, the STI mods are laser-focused on optimizing driving dynamics. 2019 Subaru WRX STI S209 Review: Forbidden No More, But at least you don't have to wait 25 years to import one, Front-engine, AWD/4WD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan, 2.5L/341-hp/330-lb-ft turbocharged DOHC 16-valve flat-4. To assess the suspension's slop-reduction for myself, I strap into the nicely bolstered Recaro seats, grab the Ultrasuede steering wheel, and head out onto the winding 13-turn Palmer Motorsports Park in rural Massachusetts. It actually starts cheaper than the regular STI, at $36,300, and produces an impressive 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Remember how BMW used to reserve its most powerful M3 engines for the European market, along with tasty specials like the Evolution and CSL? The regular Subaru WRX STi is a far cheaper alternative to this hardcore S209 model. A decently-sized glovebox is also in place. Subaru Has Exciting Plans For Next-Gen WRX STI, Subaru Could Have A BIG Next-Gen WRX Surprise, Ford Compares Ram TRX To The Nissan Pathfinder, 2021 Audi RS3 LMS Boasts 340 HP And Lots Of New Tech, Here's How Much The Mercedes EQA Will Cost, Watch The Mercedes G-Class 4x4 Squared On The Move, 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing First Look Review: The V8 Lives, First Look At The Electric Genesis GV70e SUV, © 2010-2021 CarBuzz Inc. All Rights Reserved. This new footwear adds about 24 pounds of the S209's 90-pound weight gain over the Type RA. They're SP Sport Maxx GT600A that contribute to a claimed lateral g figure of 1.08. They're wrapped around forged BBS wheels that are a half-inch wider than the RA's (now 9.0 x 19). In terms of warranties, there are four: a basic, three-year/36,000-mile warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty, and three years/36,000 miles of roadside assistance. The 2019 Subaru STI S209 is very similar to the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA, which was based on a regular 2018 STI but featured weight reduction, suspension tuning, and tweaked calibration across the car for improved track performance. They've all been tuned by STI, but these U.S.-legal models have been built in the same plant that built our mainstream Imprezas, while the S models have always featured low-volume hand assembly work conducted at a separate STI factory. If you like gold wheels with blue paint, tough luck. Subaru announced their new STI S209, the highest-performing STI ever made. This is a track car that you can live with on the road, but if you're after something with exceptional levels of refinement, the S209 will likely disappoint. It's not cheap and costs over $20,000 more than a regular STI, but its 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine has been extensively improved along with the rest of the car. My sole complaint on the track is that the shorter-throw shifter keeps hanging up between gates on my 3-4 upshifts. With 341 hp and 330 lb-ft, its 2.5-liter turbo engine handily outmuscles the 2.0 liters in all its S-models predecessors, and it'll certainly be rarer—only 209 are planned, as compared with 300 to 600 of each earlier model. The engine itself responds very quickly to throttle inputs when in its sportiest setting, but regardless of what you do, there is a fair amount of noticeable turbo lag. All over the world, these enthusiasts had access to hardcore S-line models with greater performance and handling ability. Other features include adaptive LED headlights, a rearview camera, keyless entry with push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and cruise control. 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