Article by Anthony Alaniz. Images by Subaru Media Worldwide.
With the automotive market moving to a global scale, one would think that the idea of great, market-exclusive cars would slowly be fading into the past. Sadly, that is not the case, especially with two new versions of the 2015 Subaru WRX.
The 2015 Subaru WRX STI is already looking to be a high performing achiever, but Subaru went ahead and released two versions even more powerful, specifically for the Japanese domestic market.
When will this madness end?
There will be a Subaru WRX S4 version along with a Subaru STI Type S—just not here.
The Japanese WRX takes the American-standard 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and ups the power to 269 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, up from 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. In the S4, power is sent through Subaru’s Sport Lineartronic continuously variable transmission to all four wheels.
Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive is just one feature on the new trim, which also includes Subaru’s EyeSight electronic safety aids. This helps achieves Subaru’s four values: sport performance, safety performance, smart driving and sophisticated feel.
And like magic, Subaru has its name.
Other modifications include a tuned suspension, stiffened steering gearbox mounts and torque vectoring adding a dose of performance onto the car. Visually, a rear diffuser, unique tailpipes, LED low-beam headlights, lip spoiler and 18-inch wheels for some added pizzazz.
Inside, it comes with a sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel, bucket seats and new boost gauge along with black trim.
While the WRX S4 sounds fun and all, the one we’re most excited about—and will grumble about until we get behind the wheel of one—is the WRX STI Type S. This version sports the same turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder mill found in the American-market STI. Horsepower is the same at 305, but torque is turned up to 311 lb-ft, more than the 290 found on American roads.
A proper manual transmission is the only box available.
The STI Type S comes with Subaru’s Driver’s Control Center Differential system as standard, which is supposed to enhance steering response while maintaining a flat ride through corners.
The Type S receives some of the appearance enhancements on its more plebian offering, like 18-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights.
While it is unlikely we will ever see these two cars on our shores anytime soon, we can only hope some of their best bits make it to U.S.-spec’d offerings in the future. The WRX S4 and WRX STI Type S are just the latest in a long line of cars we never see on our shores. One day that will change.