What was once available only in the Land of The Rising Sun has officially made its way across the Pacific and onto the Land of the Free.
After a lengthy teaser campaign, Subaru has taken the covers off their most powerful, factory-built WRX STI, the 2019 S209. Built and designed to be the ultimate machine for the track and the open road, it carries Subaru Tecnica International’s (STI) high-performance pedigree and cranks its up to eleven.
Drawing inspiration from the company’s track car, the WRX STI Nurburgring Challenger race car, the S209 for the US market gets a wide bodykit upgrade. Bigger air intakes were also installed on the S209’s front end to feed the more powerful engine, as well as aid in cooling. Meanwhile, the rear also gets additional vents which help in cancelling out air turbulence and improve airflow.
Other key upgrades that trickled down from the WRX STI Nurburgring Challenge are the front, rear and underbody spoilers, front bumper canards, a carbon fiber roof panel and a bigger rear wing.
Hiding underneath those huge fenders are grippy Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT600A tires that measure 265/35 and are shod in 19-inch BBS forged alloy wheels. Behind those are huge cross-drilled disc brakes from Brembo that deliver faster stopping power. It comes with high-friction pads, six-piston calipers at the front, and two-piston calipers at the rear.
Under the hood is a heavily-upgraded 2.5-liter EJ25 Boxer turbo. It comes with a more powerful HKS turbocharger, a high-flow air intake system, a unique intercooler water spraying system that helps lower intercooler temperature, high-flow fuel pump, larger fuel injectors, STI-tuned ECU, forged pistons and con-rods, and high-performance mufflers paired up with hand-polished stainless steel exhausts.
The result is an engine that cranks out 345 PS and a higher boost pressure of 1.24 bar (WRX STI only had 1.11 bar). Power is then sent to all four wheels via a close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with limited-slip front and rear differentials. It also comes with a revised STI Drive system (Intelligent, Sport, Sport #), active torque vectoring, multi-mode vehicle dynamics control and a driver-controlled center differential.
Handling was also given attention in the S209 as it now comes with specially-developed Bilstein dampers, stiffer coil springs, a new stabilizer bar and pillow-type bushings for the front and rear. The cross member and the rear subframe are now reinforced to improve body rigidity.
Lastly, Subaru and STI also worked their magic inside the car itself. Instead of the traditional Subaru star cluster on the steering wheel, it now has a STI badge which reminds drivers they’re in something special. A S209 serial number badge also makes its way in the cabin, along with new Recaro front bucket seats.
Like the WRX STI S208 released for the Japanese market, only a handful of units will be made for the US market. In fact, Subaru already announced that only 200 units will be manufactured for the US. Pricing for the 2019 S209 will be announced at a later date.