• Oct 21st 2009 at 11:01AM
  • 18
Subaru WRX STi Carbon -- Click above for high-res image gallery

Most people we talked with don't seem to understand the point of the Subaru WRX STi Carbon unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show – but it's a JDM-only car, and frankly, there are a lot of things that outsiders don't understand about the Japanese market.

The carbon-roofed A-Line will come with two choices of engine, but since the model isn't earmarked for America, we probably don't need to worry about it. That said, the powerplants are as intriguing as the car: a 2.5-liter turbo with 296 horsepower, and a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo with 305 hp. Both will operate through the only tranny on offer: a five-speed automatic. If you got past that last sentence, there's also suede inside. So you'll be more comfortable shifting... your automatic. Have a look at it in the gallery of high-res photos below.

Photos copyright ©2009 Jonathon Ramsey / Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Although I HATE automatic transmissions, this is propably not a bad idea for busy Tokyo traffic. I imagine this caters towards 40+ crowd
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its probably a direct shift gearbox automatic instead of a regular automatic, DSG's are really nice. I cant imagine them putting a regular automatic in a car that powerful, when it gets confused and laggy it would be the death of you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's a 5 speed auto, if I'm correct. Having lived in japan, i can understand the need for an Auto trans.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks nice an all, wished the NA market got the push button start and Recaro's. They need to put on more performance parts and make an enthusiast edition. The new STI is a tad too watered down.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I saw that push button start too. Noticed Legacy and Outback get turn signal mirrors outside the US too (2010 model).

        Lack of a push button isn't as bad as the lack of stop/start systems that are seemingly in every country but the US.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Subaru dropped out of WRC after the development of the 2.0. With much invested in the 2.0, it would be foolish to drop the engine. Pulling out of the WRC is only temporary and a matter of financial necessity in a very bad economy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I wish we had the 2.0l in NA.

        I think Subaru dropping out of WRC had more to do with the new rules more than the economics situation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      whoopie.... an A-spec STI, *now, NEW AND IMPROVED!!! with Carbon Fiber, and Alcantara!"

      The dark roof treatment does slightly lessen the hunchback look, but it still looks liffy, and the rest of the bodywork is cartoonishly styled, and blunt on the front.

      Underneath, it is an A-spec "luxury" version of the japanese WRX STI. They have had an A-spec, or A-line, or whatever they call the automatic version, for a few years now.

      They also have had in the past a Legacy 3.0R Spec B with a 6-speed stick, and they have never sold an H6 with a manual gearbox in the US, ever, that I can tell.

      More subarus for the domestic market that the US will never ever see.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But that's why Subarus are like Legos.

        If you don't like what you got, parts and peices from other Subarus will most likely bolt right on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There's nothing wrong with automatic transmissions. What are wrong are torque converters. So does this thing have a slushbox?
        • 5 Years Ago
        yes, it does.

        it is not an automated gearbox. it is a hydraulic automatic, and is only one of the SEVERAL versions of the WRX STI that Japan gets.

        and it is in Japan only, not the US. All US cars are 6MT.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does it make sense to offer two different engines wich have a 8hp difference? I mean...it's 2% more powerful...
      • 5 Years Ago
      no matter how ugly subaru makes their cars, sti wrx is still one hot hatch
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't see what the big deal is. That's a lie, I do.
      So, flame me, mark me down, I don't care.....

      I'd rather have a flappy paddle car that's faster/more efficent (not that this STi IS) than a standard manual.
      We've reached the point where it is possible and does indeed occur in many cars, so I say YAY! I grew up in the 80's pushing buttons to shift (except at the arcade playing Race Drivin') my 'first cars', and actually never learned to drive stick (in a real car, that is. I'd drop the clutch in that Testarossa like I stole it) until I was 18. I have and DO own cars that are manual (even swapped a manual into my Legacy on PURPOSE), but if I could afford it I'd buy something with buttons/paddles.
      Besides, no one makes fun of race cars for having transmissions that don't involve a clutch pedal, or do only for pit stops.

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