• Jul 7th 2010 at 6:41PM
  • 34
2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Special Edition - Click above for high-res image gallery

If you're in the market for an all-wheel drive hatchback with 300 horsepower and an extensive track pedigree, you're probably looking for a Subaru WRX STI. Hope you know how to drive a stick, though, because the only available transmission here in the States is a six-speed manual. If you're thinking "good!" we're most definitely with you, but if you're interested in a slush box you're going to have to pass on the STI all-together. Unless you live in Australia.

is offering a five-speed automatic for the Australian market, apparently because of high demand. Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia says in the post-jump press release that the company has had "increasing inquires about an auto over the last two years and we're delighted to be able to deliver what a significant number of customers have requested." Senior added that the five-speed slush box will reflect the hatchback's athletic nature while appealing to a wider audience.

We're all for car-buyers getting whatever they want, as long as a proper manual transmission is also offered. Keep in mind that the automatic tranny is only being announced for the Australian market, and there is no indication that we'll see a five-speed slusher in the States. We wouldn't be surprised if we did, though, considering Americans' love for the automatic, coupled with the fact that the Land Down Under is such a small market.

[Source: Subaru]
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Subaru Australia has announced that the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Model Year 2011 Impreza WRX STI will be available for the first time with the choice of an automatic transmission.

Following on from the news that sedan variants are to be reintroduced to the range, Nick Senior, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, said: "We can now confirm that the revised sedan and hatchback Impreza WRX STIs will add the option of a five-speed automatic transmission.

"We've had increasing enquires about an auto over the last two years and we're delighted to be able to deliver what a significant number of customers have requested."

Mr Senior said the transmission would reflect the performance and engineering values of STI to produce a "fantastic driver's car that will expand its appeal to a wider audience."

Impreza WRX STIs will also continue to be available with a six-speed manual transmission.

Unveiled at the New York International Auto Show this year, revised Impreza WRX STI sedan and hatch are due on sale during the last quarter of 2010. Subaru STI specialist retailers are now taking orders.

Pricing and full specifications will be announced at launch time.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Now all the STI needs is a sunroof.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The STI is also available in Japan with an automatic, as of last year I believe.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, upon searching it's called the STI Carbon and was released for 2010 MY.
        • 5 Years Ago
        STI Carbon is something else, IIRC.

        The WRX STI A-spec or Spec.A (as opposed to Spec.C or Spec.D, or Legacy Spec.B) is the Automatic version.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you consider the Subaru, this kind of Subaru, and the kind of people who drive this kind of Subaru, it makes perfect sense.

      People who drive this kind of Subaru are, be definition, crazy people. And crazy people are also likely to do other crazy things like skydiving, bearbaiting and base jumping. -- activities that are rather likely to result in one or more of your legs no longer being able to move under their own power.

      Enter the Automatic STI: all the power, made for those people who have have probably lost a leg in a para-hangglide-windsurfer-powerline accident.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No way any real STI enthusiast would get the auto tranny. As the first thing we do is up the power. I'm at 400hp (Crank) just with a Turboback exhaust, AEM Cold Air intake and a Cobb Accesport ECU programmer. The 6 speed manual trans can handle in excess of 500hp. The auto tranny would explode into a smoldering pile of goo at anything other than stock power if even then. My opinion of Autralians has now been officially tarnished
      • 5 Years Ago
      More power please.
        • 5 Years Ago
        More power isn't one of the things that this car needs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great idea i say. Never understood why "enthusiasts" always have an issue with an automaker offering an automatic. Its not like they're dropping the manual. I mean isn't one of the main points of running a business to *make money*? Believe it or not, automakers have to make money so if offering an auto in the STI will sell more, I'm all for it. That just gives them more of a reason to keep the model alive and make extra money for improvements. Now if ever they drop the manual from this line-up THEN I'll start the b****ing and moaning......
        • 5 Years Ago
        Too true. I don't know why I should care what transmissions other people use. It's not like it effects my driving experience any.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Seriously? You haven't seen this happen dozens of times before? It starts out with manual only. Then manual and automatic. And eventually its all automatics. In fact, this is whats happening to cars altogether. Like they said, if theres a market for it, they'll make it. Theres a very small market for standard transmissions. We may as well bitch, because were at the market's mercy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If Subie can sell more cars this way, more power to them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why automatic? Couldn't they develop a DCT like Mitsubishi?

      And jte: they DO need a 6 speed. Shoot, we moving on to 7s and 8s and Mercedes Benz about to get crazy insane with a 9.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Uhm what? I don't get it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A few years ago, I would have thought this was a weenie option, but right now, it looks mighty tempting. Reason being, my wife (who can only drive automatic) is insisting that my next car be an automatic. To be honest, I'd be more interested in a 6-speed dual clutch, but the STI or WRX is fast enough that I could manage with a 5-speed slushbox. I think this could do well in the U.S. But of course, keep the stick for the purists.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Same here.... so long as the auto has flappy paddles so I can stay entertained at least a little bit while driving.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ahhhhhhhh, so much ugaree!!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      How about a five speed auto for the Forester and Imprezas? That's the least Subie could do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      i was told that Subaru's STI manual trannies are the same internally as the Nissan 350z. if this is true, then subaru should use the same 6 speed automatic on the 370z. Or ask ZF or Aisin for a double clutch to compete with the evo X on that front.
        • 5 Years Ago
        doesn't nissan use a 7 speed auto on the 370z?
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