The 2014 North American International Auto Show opened its doors to the media for day two of press days, and Subaru took the wraps off its range topping Impreza WRX STI. Built to be the baddest STI of all time, on paper the car seems to deliver. Yes, the requisite outrageous bodywork is present and accounted for, with a unique nose, ultra-wide fenders, LED lighting front and back, capped off with an absolute over the top rear wing. The look is convincing, yet not at all cheesy. Still, no one will confuse you for the stereotypical granola eating Impreza owner. For the full effect, make a run for your local Subie dealer to snatch up the limited edition Launch Edition, which gives you WR Blue paint and gold BBS wheels. Only 1,000 will be built for the US.
Of course, looks are nothing without performance to back it up. The WRX STI sports a new 2.5L turbocharged boxer four good for 305hp. With no apologies to posers, a six speed manual is the only transmission choice. As God intended. Other enhancements include firmer springs, a stiffer chassis, quicker steering, Active Torque Vectoring, Multi Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential and Brembo brakes. If some of that sounds like I am speaking a foreign language, my interpretation is the WRX STI will likely have incredible handling on tarmac, dirt, and gravel.
Inside, the STI features Alcantara seating with red and black leather bolsters, flat bottomed steering wheel and the obligatory STI badges. For the first time audiophiles can rejoice, as Subaru has put a premium Harmon Kardon audio system on the option sheet. Need more posh? Go for the WRX STI Limited, which adds full leather interior and a power moonroof. No pricing, performance, or when we expect to see the WRX STI in showrooms have been disclosed, but I think I speak for all of us when I say I cannot wait.