For U.S. Subaru enthusiasts, it has long seemed like the folks at Fuji Heavy forgot that we might be interested in special-edition WRX models too. New hotted-up variants of the all-wheel-drive hero car have been released in the UK and elsewhere on what seems like a monthly basis, but here in the States, we've largely done without. Thankfully, at last there is just such a U.S. model in the pipeline, and it's headed for the LA Auto Show.
The the 2010 WRX STI Special Edition starts by utilizing the suspension package form the JDM WRX STI Spec C (1mm thicker rear antisway bar, stiffer springs and more robust rear subframe bushings), and the model also inherits the charcoal 18 x 8.5-inch 14-spoke alloys from that car as well.
Interestingly, the Special Edition is decontented somewhat. Unlike the standard U.S. STI, the SE makes do with a downgraded stereo (single-disc CD/four speakers versus six-disc/10 speakers), manual HVAC controls, conventional halogen headlamps, and indicator-free side mirrors. It isn't immediately clear if this change in specification helps shave any weight, but the smaller stereo alone probably helps the car drop a few pounds.
Subaru says it plans to initially offer the Special Edition in a limited run of 125 units this Spring, all painted Aspen White. Later in 2010, the Special Edition will become a normal production model available in other colors. Pricing has not yet been released, but if you're at all interested in one of the first 125 examples, we'd suggest getting on a list with your local dealer now. Check out the full press release after the jump and the high-res gallery below.
SUBARU INTRODUCES 2010 IMPREZA® WRX® STI® SPECIAL EDITION AND IMPREZA WRX LIMITED AT THE LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW
+ Subaru hybrid tourer CONCEPT makes us debut
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 3, 2009 – Subaru of America, Inc. is introducing the 2010 Impreza WRX STI Special Edition at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which runs December 4-13 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Available in an initial limited run of 125 units, the WRX STI Special Edition features upgraded performance suspension (derived from the Japanese domestic market spec C), unique Aspen White paint and custom spec C wheels. Pricing will be announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Also at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru is introducing the 2010 Impreza WRX Limited model, which adds a leather interior, standard moonroof and SIRIUS® Satellite Radio over the feature content of the Impreza WRX Premium model. Turbocharged excitement remains courtesy of the 265 HP, 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine powering Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system through a five-speed manual gearbox.
WRX STI Special Edition
The 2010 WRX STI Special Edition is aimed at the driving enthusiast who is willing to trade a few amenities to gain an extra measure of handling performance over the already extraordinary WRX STI. Suspension for the new version of this high-performance machine is adopted from the Japanese domestic market WRX STI spec C model, which adds a 1-millimeter thicker rear stabilizer bar, stiffer rear sub-frame bushings plus upgraded and retuned springs. The front springs are 16-percent stiffer, while the rear shocks have been stiffened by 29-percent.
Available in early Spring, the first 125 units of the 2010 WRX STI Special Edition will be painted in exclusive Aspen White, set off by the charcoal-colored 18 x 8.5 in. 14-spoke alloy wheels from the JDM WRX STI spec C. The WRX STI Special Edition will then become a regular production model later in 2010, available in standard colors.
The WRX STI Special Edition was developed by Subaru Tecnica International, the high-performance and motorsports subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Compared with the standard 2010 WRX STI, the WRX STI Special Edition features halogen rather than HID headlights; a single-disc CD player / 4-speaker audio system instead of the 6-CD /10-speaker system; manual air conditioning in place of automatic climate control, and body color side mirrors.
All other aspects of the WRX STI Special Edition remain as on the standard model, including the 305-horsepower / 290 lb.-ft. turbocharged/intercooled Boxer engine, 6-speed manual transmission and a high level of driver-selectable powertrain- and dynamic handling-control systems. The car's bulged fenders and rear quarter panels, rear gate-mounted spoiler and aerodynamic ground effects give the WRX STI a direct link to Subaru competition cars. The hood scoop, brake-cooling air intakes and engine heat outlets are all functional.
The Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which remains exclusive to the Impreza WRX STI, offers three selectable automatic performance modes in addition to six manual center differential locking settings. The WRX STI is in addition equipped with limited-slip front and rear differentials. The Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system features three driver-selectable positions. On all WRX STI models, the 18-in. wheels are fitted with Dunlop SP600 245/40R18 tires.
The Brembo Performance Brake System employs ventilated 4-wheel Super Sport anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). Side-curtain airbags and front seat side airbags are standard. The Incline Start Assist feature can momentarily prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when being driven away from a stop on an incline.
SUBARU HYBRID TOURER CONCEPT
The Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept Car is being used as a way to showcase a new Subaru design language and to highlight the development of a gas/electric hybrid system based on Subaru's boxer engine and Symmetrical AWD. Subaru announced that it will launch a hybrid car in 2012.
The most striking feature of the concept car are its unique gull-wing doors that emphasize its spacious interior. The interior highlights a grand touring concept focused on interior volume and comfort. It features four independent seats with open spaces surrounding the occupants. Through clever packaging of the AWD system, a flat floor design is created allowing increased leg room for rear seat passengers.
Powering the Hybrid Tourer is a 2.0-liter Horizontally-Opposed direct fuel-injection turbo gasoline engine that improves fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. The turbo has been designed to improve engine responsiveness and environmental friendliness and utilizes Subaru's Lineartronic (CVT) mated to a new Hybrid system that incorporates Symmetrical AWD. The powertrain features a unique gas/hybrid two-motor system with an electric power/drive motor in the front and another drive motor in the rear. The electric motors are powered by new high-performance lithium batteries.
At start-up and extremely low speeds when fuel efficiency is low, such as when driving the car into a garage, the rear electric motor is used primarily to allow driving without engaging the gasoline engine. During normal driving, the front engine is primarily used. Under full acceleration, the rear motor assists the driving power of the engine to achieve advanced driving performance. When accelerating uphill, the front motor, which is normally used as a power generator, transfers power to the front axle for improved performance. The Hybrid Tourer Concept also implements a stop/start system that stops the engine when the car comes to a halt to reduce unnecessary fuel consumption.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru boasts the most fuel efficient line-up of all-wheel drive products sold in the market today based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy standards. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero- landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.