Tommi Mäkinen beats the snot out of 2015 Subaru WRX STI


For the recent launch of the new 2015 WRX STI, Subaru Canada took a bunch of Canuck auto journos to Buttonwillow Raceway, where they were introduced to a driver worthy of showing them what the STI is capable of. Tommi Mäkinen. We all get to go on some pretty cool events, but still I can’t help but feel jealous that I was not part of this trip. I mean come on, this is Tommi freakin Mäkinen, a real rally superstar. Watching him catch air in this bone stock, Canadian spec STI is most excellent, but it would have been better in person.

Just a note for some of you young bucks who might think that Mäkinen was solely a Mitsu pilot. Sure, his fame came from his performance in Subaru’s main rival’s machines, but the final two seasons of his career were spent in a Subaru. It is actually kind of frightening to think that the Finn retired fully 11 years ago! It seems like yesterday.

Wing It! Subaru Debuts WRX STI Four Door

It’s been well documented here at The Garage that hardcore fans of the Subaru Impreza WRX were not exactly thrilled at the all new 2008 Impreza, and the concessions Subaru made to make their hero car appeal to a wider audience. While Subaru made substantial improvements to the 2009 car to win back fans, there was some unfinished business that Subaru is now addressing.

At the New York Auto Show, Subaru took the wraps off the four door Impreza WRX STI, which will sell alongside the five door model. The previous generation STI was sold as a four door only, but when the current car went on sale in 2008, the WRX STI was only available as a five door. The STI’s signature giant rear wing is back, and one can hear the purists rejoicing. The 2011 STI also features a heavily revised suspension, with some of the changes previewed on this year’s STI Special Edition. The new car also features lighter 18″ wheels. The WRX STI drivetrain remains unchanged, which means a boxer 2.5L turbo intercooled four rated at 305hp, coupled to a six-speed manual. The 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI four door hits the showroom floor this summer.

Subaru Announces Impreza WRX STI Special Edition


For those of you who feel the beloved Impreza WRX STI has gone a little soft, Subaru has responded with the Special Edition; a sportier, decontented STI. The Special Edition borrows suspension from the Japanese STI spec C, including a thicker rear stabilizer bar, stiffer rear sub-frame bushings, upgraded springs and JDM 18″ alloys. The drivetrain is untouched, meaning you get the standard STI 2.5L boxer four, good for 305hp and a six-speed manual.

What does the STI Special Edition owner give up? The HID headlights are replaced by halogens, auto climate control gives way to manual A/C, the 10 speaker, 6-disc CD stereo is replaced by a single disc 4 speaker unit, and no turn signals in the side mirrors. Even with the upgraded suspension, the Special Edition will sticker at $32,995USD, a full two grand less than a regular STI. A limited run of 125 cars will be offered in Spring of 2010 in Aspen White, then the car will be available in all STI colors.

Welcome back from vacation – a news explosion


Here we are, back in The Garage after a few days of R & R and the virtual newspapers have certainly piled up at the door. I’ve got close to a thousand posts to sift through to see what has been going on. As we left, PT had just beaten the crap outta Tag. Silly little French Canadian thought he could rough up the hockey player wannabe. Tie Domi has nothing on our boy Paul. I hear there is some other Canadian racer has pissed off his boss and may never see the inside of an F1 car again. Poor Jacques… Will he ever learn to keep his mouth shut?

Until I get some more reading done, let’s chat about the X-Games. Moto-Cross superstar Travis Pastrana has won overall, after Colin McRae had a roll that Nicky Grist figures cost them a second and a half. Must have been a hell of a quick roller. Word has it that Travis & Colin are heading to Vegas to have a Cary Hart do a commemorative tatty.

Thanks to Flat Over Crest for the killer shot above from the X-Games practice sessions. Be sure to visit them for all the news and tons more great shots by lensman Andrew Harvey.

Top 10 most wanted cars from a teenager’s view


The guys & girls at the Florida Car Club have posted their list of the top 10 cars a teen would want. The list is as follows:

10th – Dodge SRT-4

9th – Pontiac GTO

8th – Volkswagen GTI

7th – Mitsubishi EVO

6th – Acura RSX

5th – Scion TC

4th – Subaru WRX STI

3rd – Nissan 350Z

2nd – Ford Mustang.

1st – BMW M3

This is a pretty lofty list, I hope these guys come from well off families! Not that I disagree with the cars, but I think the expectations of many young people are way off in left field. When we were in high school (I know, I’m going to sound old here) the special cars were the ones that cost more than about three grand. The rest of us scraped together enough to pick up something that was half that. I was very proud of the big green 69 Plymouth that I inherited when my grandfather stopped driving.
With 2 guys who had “real” jobs in our circle, we built 4 VW Rabbits over a couple of years. The original built Rabbits were sold to finance the new GTI when it made its’ debut in 1982. That car sold for something like seven grand. You could throw a few bits on the car and have a truly fun car that could be driven reliably. Many of us even got our first taste of autocrossing behind the wheel of a GTI.

While the FCC guys have the GTI on their list, it is now a thirty thousand dollar car. Gone is the cheap little pocket rocket. Number one on the list is an M3 of all things. A wonderful ride, no question. But how much money does a kid have that a car of this magnitude is even on his radar?

Perhaps this list should be the Teenagers top ten cars to dream about list.