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Subaru's STIng Operation

February 6th, 2008


Subaru’s constant All-Wheel Drive Impreza WRX STI is launched today with an extra weapon in its armoury – a second version in the range.

Third generation WRX STI is available in both entry-level and spec.R variants, with the range-topper adding lightweight BBS wheels and leather Recaro seats.

Both models offer blistering 0-100 km/h performance of 5.2 seconds – 0.2 seconds quicker than its predecessor.

But it doesn’t come at a cost to fuel consumption. New WRX STI is a remarkable 11.2 per cent more fuel efficient.

WRX STI’s zero-lift flowing aerodynamic design shares only roof, bonnet and front doors with its WRX stablemate.

But it is underpinned by the same exceptional five-star occupant and four-star pedestrian safety rating shared by every new generation Impreza.

WRX STI’s 2.5 litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed turbocharged boxer engine achieves an impressive 7.3 per cent power hike, up from 206 Kilowatts in the superseded model to 221 kW at 6000 rpm. Torque is up 3.8 per cent to 407 Newtonmetres at 4000 rpm.

Pricing for the Impreza WRX STI starts at $59,990 recommended retail price (rrp) for a car that includes a vast array of new equipment to further distinguish it from WRX. The spec.R variant is $64,990 rrp.

WRX STI is a technological tour de force including:

  • Multi-mode Driver Control Centre Differential
  • Subaru Intelligent Drive
  • Multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control
  • STI close ratio six-speed manual gearbox

Other features unique to WRX STI include:

  • Aerodynamic flared front and rear guards – zero lift design
  • Wider car – 55 mm greater than WRX
  • Quad exhaust system – airflow resistance reduced 38 per cent
  • Rear wing and diffuser to optimize road holding
  • STI front and rear bumper and grille
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • STI front door sill panels
  • STI instruments
  • STI-branded 4-pot front, 2-pot rear Brembo brakes
  • Xenon low beam headlights with pop-up power jet washers
  • Colour-coded electronically folding wing-mirrors with integrated indicators
  • Dunlop SP 600 tyres
  • Body stiffened at strategic points to aid performance car rigidity
  • Lighter front suspension – improved steering response and cornering, reduced NVH

Subaru’s Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive) system debuts in WRX STI, giving the driver access to three different engine settings – Intelligent (I) mode, Sport (S) and Sport sharp (S#).

The new multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) enables three different settings – Normal, Traction and Off.

The multi-mode Driver Control Centre Differential (DCCD) is enhanced too.

It can control the torque distribution ratio between front and rear axles, allowing drivers to tailor their preferred settings.

This includes three automatic Limited Slip Differential (LSD), settings as well as a manual mode.

WRX STI has front and rear LSDs, minimizing torque loss and maximizing driving pleasure.

Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: “Third generation Impreza WRX STI is by far the most sophisticated and technologically advanced.

“It is radically different to the superseded car and achieves a new benchmark that competitors will find difficult to match with such comprehensive specification, combining performance, style and sophistication.

“The level of driver control via SI-Drive, multi-mode VDC and multi-mode DCCD is unparalleled.

“WRX STI is a fitting performance flagship for our new generation Impreza line-up.

“It will appeal to customers who want not only exhilarating performance but also the comfort and drivability that come with this much more refined vehicle.

“This new model will broaden the appeal of the WRX STI. We expect that even buyers of the much more expensive European hot hatches and sports sedans will be tempted.”

He added: “Subaru World Rally Team driver Petter Solberg was involved in some testing of the new WRX STI.

“Petter says the superseded car was less comfortable than his World Rally Car, but the new generation WRX STI offers noticeably greater comfort while trading none of its performance.”

Subaru anticipates annual sales of around 650 WRX STIs.


Impreza WRX STI features a sporty hatchback design with a deep-set character line flowing from front to rear bumper.

The model differs considerably from the popular WRX, sharing only the bonnet, roof and front doors.

WRX STI adds flared guards, vented bumpers, quad exhausts, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear diffuser and aerodynamic rear wing.

The body is 50 mm shorter than the superseded car, while the wheelbase has increased by 85 mm. Width is increased 55 mm to 1795 mm.

Front track is 40 mm wider than previous generation WRX STI and rear track is up 45 mm. It is 55 mm wider than the new generation WRX.

Subaru’s engineers have achieved a zero-lift aerodynamic design.

The curved design flows from the front bumper to rear wing and combined with the rear diffuser, minimizes lift, maintaining vehicle stability at high speeds.

The rear roof spoiler includes an integrated LED brake light.

Indicators are also integrated into the colour-coded wing mirrors, which can be electronically folded.

Body rigidity is enhanced by increasing metal joint strength at strategic points, including between sills and pillars, and hatch corners.

Entry-level WRX STI has 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels while the spec.R adds lightweight 18-inch BBS wheels. Both wheel patterns include a moulded STI emblem in the hub centre.

Functional vents in the front bumper and guards aid engine and intercooler cooling.

Distinctive WRX STI badges highlight the grille, tailgate and rear edges of the front guards.

Front fog lights with sporty alloy-type surrounds are standard together with side sills unique to the model, plus Xenon self-levelling headlights with pop out power jet washers.


Obsidian black pearl
Pure white
Spark silver metallic
Lightning red
Dark gray metallic
WR blue mica


Impreza WRX STI offers the greater interior space shared by all new generation Imprezas.

Noise, vibration and harshness was a key engineering priority and is markedly reduced compared to the superseded car.

The sweeping cockpit-style dash treatment includes a darker, low sheen finish.

The instrument cluster is unique to WRX STI.

Coloured illumination is added to the glovebox, driver and passenger foot wells and open centre console tray, improving low light visibility.

Black and silver highlights feature throughout the spacious cabin, enhancing its streamlined, sporty design.

The centre console features illuminated STI badging, dual cup holders with a sliding privacy panel and an open storage tray beneath the air-conditioning controls.

An alcantara-cushioned centre storage unit houses auxiliary jacks and adds further space for personal items.

The entry-level model includes STI embroidered sports bucket seats with leather and alcantara trim. Designed to help reduce fatigue, especially on long drives, they offer improved support and absorb vibrations to optimize ride comfort.

WRX STI spec.R variants get leather and alcantara bucket seats jointly developed with Recaro. Refined side and shoulder support as well as air filled lumbar support offers a comfortable position for spirited driving.

All front seats feature height adjustable seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. The driver’s seat has a double pretensioner.

The rear seatback angle has been optimized for enhanced ride comfort.

Rear seatbelts are all three point A/ELR with retractors.

Large door pockets with bottle holders are added for greater functionality.

Satellite navigation is optional on both models together with Bluetooth compatibility (depending upon the software in individual mobile telephones).

As with all Imprezas, cabin dimensions are increased in the key areas of head, leg and shoulder room.

Air ducts beneath the front seats aid rear seat air circulation.



Impreza WRX STI’s 2.5 litre four-cylinder horizontally opposed turbocharged boxer engine
produces 221 Kilowatts of power at 6000 rpm and 407 Newtonmetres at 4000 rpm.

Power is up 7.3 per cent and torque 3.8 per cent, compared to the superseded model, with a 0-100km/h time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.

It offers improved off-the-mark acceleration and overall drivability across the operating range, while meeting stringent Euro STEP4 emission standards.

Fuel consumption is 10.3 litres per 100 km (combined) – an 11.2 per cent improvement.

Among the changes: increased intercooler efficiency, optimized catalytic converter performance, a modified tumble generator valve and modified spark plugs.

The front of the engine sits 22 mm lower in the engine bay, producing a lower centre of gravity for safety and balance benefits plus noise reduction.

Improved power and torque is also achieved by incorporating the Dual Active Valve Control System (AVCS). This form of variable valve timing is applied to both the intake and exhaust valves. It particularly benefits torque at low to mid-range speeds and aids fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and idling stability too.

By controlling the intake valve timing and lift to suit the engine load and speed conditions, AVCS optimizes the engine volumetric efficiency and combustion process.

WRX STI also has Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) for instant, efficient response to driver input.

When the bonnet is opened between 30 and 50 cm, gas struts take over to complete a smooth operation. No prop is needed to hold the bonnet.

The quad exhaust system reduces airflow resistance by 38 per cent for increased power output and a sporty exhaust tone.


WRX STI’s six-speed close-ratio transmission is refined to match the increase in low to mid-range torque.

Torque distribution to front and rear wheels is delivered smoothly and quickly, to suit driving environment and style so that each wheel always receives optimum power.

Shift feel, clutch operation and fuel efficiency all benefit.

A triple cone system is added to first gear, in addition to the carbon synchros on fourth and sixth gears. This produces smoother gear change feel, complemented by the short stroke gearshift.

The addition of a groove within the shift keys of the 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 speed sleeves reduces vibration and improves the overall shift feeling.

Multi-mode Driver Control Centre Differential (DCCD)

This rally-derived technology offers three modes, using a simple control located on the centre console.

AUTO- is ideal for agile, sporty driving on good grip surfaces - Limited Slip Differential strength is decreased.

AUTO+ helps optimise safety on lower grip, slippery surfaces - LSD strength is increased.

AUTO is the default mode. It enables the electronic system to optimise differential strength - suitable in most conditions.

MANU (manual) allows the driver to increase or decrease front: rear torque split to suit individual needs and driving style. Torque split is normally 41:59.

Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-Drive)

The SI-Drive system in WRX STI offers optimum drivability and power delivery across the operating range.

Drivers have the option to refine performance to suit their preferences by using a simple dial on the centre console.

It features three modes, each of which is clearly displayed on the instrument panel:

Intelligent offers very gentle, smooth power output - best suited in congested conditions at low speed, or for smooth freeway cruising. Activated by pushing the dial down.

Sport is the default mode. It optimizes performance on city and highway drives and is ideal for routine, day-to-day driving. Activated by turning the dial left.

Sport # boosts engine revolutions for sharp, sporty driving. Provides dynamic performance for true driving enthusiasts through highly responsive engine and throttle control. Activated by turning the dial right.

SI-Drive regulates the engine control unit, and fine-tunes the electronic throttle control.

The modes can be changed while the car is moving.

A blinking indicator light located in the tachometer advises the driver when is the optimum time to change gear.


A new double wishbone rear suspension set-up teamed with WRX STI’s wider tread offers exceptional performance and sharper handling. The reduced height of the strut towers also reduces cargo area intrusion.

WRX STI has inverted KYB dampers.

The front strut suspension offers high lateral rigidity, improving steering response and cornering stability. Lighter than the previous system, it reduces cabin shock levels over bumps and contributes to the significant NVH reduction.


In line with all new generation Imprezas, WRX STI achieves a maximum five-star rating for occupant protection in crashworthiness testing by the independent Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) and the highest possible four-star pedestrian rating.

Every Impreza has dual front, side and curtain airbags.

WRX STI features four-pot ventilated front Brembo brakes and 2-pot rear for superior stopping power.

A new tie rod booster, coupled with ultra low expansion brake hoses, produces a more positive brake feel and pedal strength.

Impreza adopts a refined version of Subaru’s ring shaped reinforcement system that
cocoons the passenger cabin with a series of steel rings. This adds strength and absorbs energy in the event of a collision, reducing the risk of occupant injury.

WRX STI features strengthened metal joints between pillars and sills and also around the hatch area, benefiting rigidity of the high performance variant.

New Impreza’s frame structure negates the need for a subframe, better absorbing energy in collisions.

High tensile materials are used around the cabin for added strength and better pedestrian protection during a front end collision.

The layout of the rear frame is set to the height of standard car bumpers, transmitting energy effectively to the frame during a rear end collision. The frame is designed to compress gradually, which is important in cars with a short overhang.

The front bulkhead also features an energy absorbing design while the rear of the bonnet can easily compress to reduce injury.

Safety pedals reduce injury to the driver’s lower legs in a heavy frontal collision. They are designed to retract and move down.

Every Impreza has Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) as standard.

WRX STI adds a multi-mode function to VDC, offering Off, Traction and Normal settings.

Normal uses the full system, controlling power and braking in emergency situations via ABS, EBD, TCS and VDC. It is ideal for daily driving.

Traction controls only braking and torque delivery. It cancels the engine’s torque reduction control.

Off enables driving without VDC and TCS and is ideal for experienced drivers.

The VDC button is located on the right-hand side of the dashboard.

VDC works via the electronic control unit (ECU) using information from sensors tracking wheel speed, steering position, front/back and lateral (sideways) G force, and yaw rate to monitor forces that could destabilize vehicle running.

In extreme situations, such as when swerving, sideslipping or entering a spin, VDC activates to control each wheel individually, via braking, engine output, and the All-Wheel Drive system. This improves stability by using the car’s most stable wheels.

In cases of extreme oversteer, VDC activates, applying brakes to the front and rear outside turning wheels, producing yaw – a force that opposes the oversteering tendency. With understeer, VDC applies brakes to the inside rear wheels to counteract the effect.

Both the VDC and ABS Anti-Lock Braking systems are controlled from the one digital ECU.

VDC is designed for a “driver’s vehicle.” In normal conditions it is purely a monitoring system, and applies no control.

But near the car’s performance limits it gives the driver more control – resulting in safer and more comfortable driving.

All manual transmission Imprezas, including WRX STI, have Hill Start Assist.

This prevents the car rolling backwards on a hill while first gear is engaged and the clutch depressed, or forwards when reverse is engaged and the clutch depressed.

As with all Subarus, the flat horizontally opposed boxer engine is designed to go under, rather than into, the cabin in the event of a heavy frontal collision, again minimizing occupant injury.

Bonnet shape and pillars are designed to reduce blind spots and enhance driver visibility.


All Imprezas are equipped with the latest advanced engine immobilisers and DataDot theft protection.

Impreza WRX STI has only one double-locking barrel lock, located in the driver’s door.

An added feature on WRX STI is the option to unlock the driver’s door-only, using the remote control key, or passenger doors too.

It also has an alarm system with ultrasonic sensors, which is armed by using a remote function.

All Imprezas have remote tailgate unlocking.


Impreza WRX STI features a premium 10-speaker six-stack in-dash CD system that adds tweeter speakers installed in each door gusset.

An auxiliary terminal is installed in the centre console.

Steering wheel audio controls are standard.


The optional navigation system features an intuitive seven-inch touch screen display within easy reach of the driver.

While it removes the six-stack CD changer it includes:

  • DVD/CD player
  • AV input jacks
  • WMA/MP3 compatibility
  • VGA screen for in-car entertainment
  • Bluetooth compatibility (depending upon the software in individual mobile phones).

New Impreza WRX STI model specifications at a glance:


  • ABS anti-lock brakes with four-wheel discs and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Brake Assist
  • Child seat anchor points including ISO FIX
  • Constant All-Wheel Drive
  • Curtain airbags – full length front and rear
  • Dual front airbags
  • Dual side airbags
  • Four wheel disc brakes (ventilated)
  • Front seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. Double pretensioners on driver’s seatbelt
  • Front adjustable seatbelt anchorage
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Rear door child lock
  • Seatbelt indicator lights – front seats
  • Shock absorbing brake and clutch pedals
  • Side intrusion bars
  • Three-point A/ELR rear centre seatbelt
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control – multi-mode


  • Alloy pedals
  • AM/FM radio, six-stack in-dash CD, MP3/WMA compatible, 10-speakers
  • Auxiliary jack
  • Bottle holders in each door + two cup holders in centre console
  • Cargo area light
  • Cargo hooks
  • Cargo security blind
  • Central locking – remote. Two keys supplied
  • Climate control air conditioning
  • Cruise control – steering wheel buttons
  • Driver’s footrest
  • Electroluminescent gauges – multi-information display
  • Height and reach adjustable steering column
  • Height adjustable driver’s seat
  • Immobiliser security system
  • Leather sports steering wheel with audio controls; leather gearshift
  • Map lights (2)
  • Power steering, mirrors and windows
  • Privacy glass
  • Rear illumination instrument display
  • Rear under seat air ducts
  • Remote fuel lid release – tethered fuel cap
  • Sports bucket seats
  • Sports body kit
  • STI badging
  • Vanity mirror
  • 60/40 split/fold rear seat
  • 12V/120W power jacks


  • 18-inch five-spoke wheels with STI logo – spacesaver spare
  • Colour-coded mirrors and door handles – mirrors with integrated indicators and electronic folding
  • Double locking system
  • Front fog lights
  • Grille unique to model
  • Headlights auto off
  • Quad exhaust – airflow resistance reduced 38 per cent
  • Rear diffuser
  • Rear roof spoiler with LED brake light
  • Rear roof mounted radio antenna
  • Rear wiper
  • Self-levelling Xenon headlights with pop-up washers
  • STI badging


  • Dual Active Valve Control System (AVCS)
  • Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)
  • Front and rear Limited Slip Differentials
  • 2.5 litre four cylinder DOHC horizontally opposed turbocharged boxer engine.
    221 kW/6000 rpm, 407 Nm/4000 rpm

Other features

  • Alarm security system
  • Auto hatch unlock on key
  • DataDot security technology
  • Three-year unlimited kilometre warranty

Impreza WRX STI spec.R adds:

  • 18-inch lightweight BBS alloy wheels (8.95 kg v 12.18 kg in entry-level model)
  • Recaro seats with leather and alcantara


DVD satellite navigation with Bluetooth compatibility*. This option loses in-dash six-CD, replaced by a single CD.

*Depending upon the software in individual mobile telephones.

Impreza WRX STI MY08 pricing

These are retail recommended prices and do not include dealer and statutory charges.

Impreza WRX STI $59,990
Impreza WRX STI spec.R $64,990

DVD satellite navigation $2990

MY08 Impreza WRX STI highlights


  • Aerodynamic flared front and rear guards – zero lift design
  • Colour-coded electronically folding wing-mirrors with integrated indicators
  • Dunlop SP 600 tyres
  • Wider – 55 mm greater than WRX
  • Quad exhaust system - airflow resistance reduced 38 per cent
  • Rear wing and diffuser to optimize road holding
  • Front and rear bumpers and grille unique to model
  • Xenon low beam headlights with pop-out power jet washers
  • 18-inch alloy wheels


  • Larger cabin, shorter and lighter body
  • Significant improvements in NVH
  • STI front door sill panel
  • STI instruments
  • Premium plastics and trim


  • 2.5 litre DOHC turbocharged engine - 7.3 per cent more power, 3.8 per cent more torque than superseded model
  • 11.2 per cent more fuel efficient
  • Dual Active Valve Control System (AVCS), ensures optimum power and torque output
  • Engine meets strict Euro STEP4 emission standard
  • Newly developed double wishbone rear suspension ensures optimum drivability
  • Framed doors for enhanced safety and NVH
  • Multi-mode Drive Control Centre Differential
  • SI-Drive
  • Multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control
  • STI close ratio six-speed manual gearbox
  • Body stiffened at strategic points to aid rigidity and performance
  • Braked towing capacity improved 33 per cent to 1200 kg
  • Lighter front suspension – improved steering response and cornering, reduced NVH
  • Double wishbone rear suspension – sharper handling, less cargo area intrusion


  • Vehicle Dynamics Control across the range
  • ANCAP five-star crashworthiness rating for occupant safety; four-star pedestrian rating
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • Ring-shaped reinforcements around the cabin
  • Hill Start Assist

Impreza WRX STI retail network

Impreza WRX STI is available through specialist retailers.

They offer specially trained staff, including technicians.


Rolfe Subaru, Phillip

Tynan Subaru, Sutherland
Scuderia Veloce Motors Subaru, Lindfield

City Subaru, Newstead
Toowong Subaru
Key Motors, Townsville
Zupps Subaru, Gold Coast

South Australia:
Eblen Subaru, Glenelg
Jarvis Subaru, Adelaide

Performance Subaru, Hobart

Subaru Interactive @ Docklands

Western Autralia:
City Subaru, Victoria Park
Osborne Park Subaru

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