Subaru WRX STI gets five-speed automatic option... Down Under

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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