2017 Subaru WRX STi Sport Package
2.4 L Turbo 4 Cylinder 305 HP with 6 Speed Manual Transmission
World Rallye Blue with Black Leather interior
I can feel the smirk on my face get bigger as I’m walking up to this WRX for the first time. I think to myself “wow that is way more aggressive then my little 2008 Impreza” As you walk around you do notice more bulging fenders, quarter panels, a really big wing, and the typical STi hood scoop.
The model that we got to drive was the Sport Package STi which came with the huge rally wing, LED front and rear lights, power driver’s seat, and sun roof. From the front the car has an aggressive look to that commands respect, and does speak volumes when seen in a rear view mirror. Ours was also erupted with the 6 speed manual and carried an MSRP $40,796. The performance level of the car is tremendous, The majority of the performance you feel is due to the speed you can carry around corners or on/off ramps. Grip level, suspension set up, and brakes are the prime reason why this car is still on the top 100 Ring times, and tied with a Ferrari F430 and ahead of some late 2000’s model Porsche GT3’s.
Sitting in, and driving the car you can tell where money was spent. I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing but it depends on the type of person you are. The majority of people who will buy the STi will not be concerned that only the driver’s seat is power, or that the exhaust rumble is loud (that’s what the girl friend says) or that the suspension is too stiff.
The interior is iconic Subaru except for the Recaro seats, and actual carbon fibre trim. The radio is the same as you find in the standard Impreza with 6 speakers that can be fed AM/FM/bluethooth, and XM radio. The infotainment system styling is also straight out of the Impreza and is adequate. For the Audiophiles out there In the Sport-Tech model does get a premium Harmon Kardon 9 speaker sound system and navigation as well. Regarding the quality of materials and styling but a Subaru will always have a unique perspective on interior styling, and where the R&D funds are spent.
Transmission wise the new STi gets 2 choices a CVT and a 6 speed manual, ours came with the manual. Shifter feel is direct and throws are short. The clutch is aggressive and is heavier than the pedestrian Impreza and rightfully so since it also has to deal with almost twice the power. Motivating the 2017 STi is the tried and true 2.5L flat 4 being fed 17PSI of boost from a twin-scroll Turbocharger, the outcome of all this is 305hp and 290lb-ft or torque. Peak torque is at 4,000 rpm so if you keep the rpm’s around there or above that the car feels very motivated and moves down the road with authority. Below that the STi feels more sedate and could make a nice daily driver.
Transferring all this power is a slick 6 speed manual, and a trick centre differential that can be controlled from the console toggle switch. Power can be split 50/50 to the front and rear or as low as 20/80 front rear or you can leave it in full auto and the car will send power to the best location based on your driving. On top of the adjustable differential the STi also offers a cool engine management system called SI-DRIVE. This system has 3 different settings, I, S, and S#. I- which is the intelligent mode opens up the throttle more gradually and can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%. S- Is the nice everyday sport mode which makes the car more lively and good for “spirited driving”. S# is the most aggressive map and doing a pull in 3rd or 4th gear and mid pull you switch maps you feel as if the car just got fed a few extra PSI of boost. Throttle response is very sharp and you feel as if the car is always waiting for you. To be honest the car spent most of the time in this mode and the fuel consumption shows it. As The Colonel say’s “last I checked it still takes gas to make power” and the STi is no exception. Another member of the Strada crew who drove the car said that it reminds him of a go-kart, and in essence it is a big go-kart.
All the small quibs that the 99% of people out there would have issues with this car “oh the suspension is to hard” or “the radio is not that good” or “why is that wing so big?” “400km to a tank!?!” and that is fine, that is not the car for them. The 1% who will buy this car, will buy it for all the reasons that the 99% of the others won’t, and use it.
Strada Talking Points:
- Superior handling.
- Appreciable level of performance
- Innovative center differential controls
- Bold street presence
The quick review...