2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Special Edition - Click above for high-res image gallery For the better part of two decades, those of us in the U.S. have looked longingly across the oceans as Subaru released a slew of special edition Imprezas in Japan and the UK. When the WRX finally made the trek to the States in 2002, followed by the STI two years later, our thirst for rally-bred performance was satisfied – to a point. While the WRX and STI (and by extension, the Mitsubishi Evolution) kept our turbocharged, all-wheel-drive lust at bay, a never-ending string of factory-fettled variants continued to come out of Fuji Heavy Industries. Names like Spec C, Type RA, Type RAR, S202, S203, S204, WR1, Spec D and RB320 all begged the question: Why not here? Well, ask and ye shall receive. After countless caffeine-fueled late nights at Subaru of America HQ, we've finally got a hyped-up STI of our own. And it's not only better than the standard model, it's less expensive to boot. %Gallery-88530% Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc. Only the most irritatingly obsessive Subie aficionados could spot the Subaru WRX STI Special Edition from afar, as the sole exterior differences are its dark gray 18x8.5-inch, 14-spoke wheels pulled from the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) Spec C and Aspen White exterior (more colors to be available once the initial 125 units sell out). Get a little closer and you'll notice the standard HID headlamps have been swapped in favor of conventional halogen units, and if you pull out your micrometer, you'll find the Special Edition sits one mm lower than its standard counterpart. That minimal ride height reduction comes courtesy of the JDM Spec C suspension, which has been swapped in unchanged from its Japanese cousin and features 16-percent stiffer front springs and 29-percent stiffer rear coils compared to the stock STI. The final pseudo-Spec C transformation comes in the form of a thicker rear anti-roll bar (by one mm) and a set of harder rear subframe bushings. And if you're wondering why Subaru just doesn't port the Spec C to the U.S. and call it a day, blame the Feds. The new hatch would have to be re-certified for the U.S. market, and there's no chance the safety boffins in Washington were going to approve the lightweight seats, plastic windows and other assorted kit for sale in the States. You can write your local legislator, but don't expect a response. Inside, all of the important bits are present and accounted for, including the six-speed manual gearbox, Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), driver-selectable Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and beautifully bolstered front thrones (you get a plaque with the release number, too). All you're giving up is the automatic climate control (replaced with a trio of manual knobs), six-disc in-dash stereo (swapped for a single-disc unit) and 10-speaker setup (who really needs more than four speakers, anyway?). While the Germans would doubtlessly have you paying out your orifices …
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|MPG||18 City / 25 Hwy|
|Transmission||5-spd man w/OD|
|Power||265 @ 6000 rpm|
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