The third generation rally-inspired ’08 Impreza WRX STI debuted at the 2007 LA Auto Show. The 2008 Subaru Impeza WRX STI is built exclusively as an aggressively styled wide-fender 5-door model with a design strongly influenced by the brand’s competition heritage. The bulged fenders and rear quarter panels, along with the rear gate-mounted spoiler and aerodynamic ground effects, give the WRX STI a direct link to Subaru competition cars. The hood scoop, brake cooling intakes, and engine heat outlets are all functional.
The WRX STI was first launched into the USA market in 2004 and has been making performance tweaks since its first first generation. The WRX STI’s revised 2.5-liter intercooled turbocharged Boxer engine, now with Dual Active Valve Control System (Dual AVCS), produces 305 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, a gain of 12 over the previous model and 290 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm, 400 rpm earlier for better response. Though it is more powerful, the 2008 WRX STI still achieves the very stringent Bin 5 Tier 2-Federal (EPA) and LEV2-California Tier 2/Bin 5 emissions certification.
Exclusive to the Impreza WRX STI is the Driver Control Center Differential (DCCD) version of Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. The DCCD system now offers three selectable automatic performance modes in addition to the six manual differential-locking settings. For the first time, the DCCD AWD system integrates the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system, also with three driver-selectable positions.
The 2008 WRX STI offers five-spoke 18×8.5-inch standard wheels (with Dunlop SP600 245/40R18 tires) but there are optional 18×8.5 BBS forged aluminum-alloy wheels. Fog light insert covers add to the no-nonsense look of the WRX STI and fog lights are included with the BBS wheel option package. The Brembo Performance Brake System employs ventilated 4-wheel Super Sport anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The braking system is enhanced by slightly larger rotors.
The 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, which will show up on dealer floors in early January, will start at $34,995 .