The 2019 Subaru STI S209 is peak Subaru for America. It’s the most powerful and most expensive vehicle with the Subaru badge on it, and there will only ever be 209 of them sold. It’s put together in STI’s small shop in Kiryu, Japan, where workers build approximately 2-3 cars per day. Subaru’s long-used 2.5-liter EJ25 turbocharged flat-four is back for another round, but it’s been modified to make more power than a regular WRX STI. The redesigned intake, larger HKS turbocharger and better-flowing exhaust system ramp output up to 341 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, gains of 31 and 40 respectively over a regular STI. It can hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 162 mph. A huge number of changes were made to the suspension, steering, aero and brakes to make the S209 drive better and produce quicker lap times on track. You can read a full deep dive into all of the intricate changes in our First Drive story here. A couple of Autoblog staffers, News Editor Joel Stocksdale and Senior Producer Chris McGraw, happened to spend some time in S209s in their respective portions of the country. Check out their thoughts in the discussion below. Chris McGraw: So how was the 2019 Subaru STI S209? Joel Stocksdale: When the S209 showed up, I was excited to drive such a special car, but I was also unsure I would like it. It's massively expensive, and I already had mixed feelings about STIs to begin with. They have an ornery, old-school nature that has frustrated me before, especially the slow-spooling engines. But man, I'm in love with this thing. CM: That's interesting to hear. For those who don't know, you and I rarely see eye to eye when it comes to cars, so I was eager to hear your thoughts on the S209. I drove this back in early November, and it had been awhile since I had driven an STI in general. The frustrating, ornery, old school nature is something I love about the STI, and I adored driving it from the start, especially in the mountains. Though I wish it had been on winter tires for the cold weather at the time. JS: That's totally understandable. The summer tires on this thing are not happy with snow and cold. But thankfully it's been dry and warm enough here that they're still good. And that's one of the things I love about this car. Between the tires and the all-wheel drive, it has astounding grip. Turn the wheel, put the hammer down, and let it claw you around corners. It's got so much grip that I'm a little nervous taking it through highway ramps with a lot of speed. I know it has the grip, but I also worry that I might not feel the limit until it's too late. Probably best to leave the really fast cornering to the track. [slideshow id='2227030'] CM: I definitely tested the grip on …
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