If you've browsed through any of the tuner magazines or fan sites and salivated over the WRX spec C that's on offer in Japanese domestic market (JDM) spec, you won't have to wait much longer for the real thing. Well, almost the real thing.
Soon, the new 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Special Edition for the U.S., that's being shown for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, will appear at dealerships, with a distinctive white paint and charcoal wheels, borrowing the look, and the specially tuned performance suspension, from the JDM spec C model.
Aimed at those willing to sacrifice a little bit of comfort in the name of performance, it brings stiffer front springs and rear dampers, a slightly thicker rear stabilizer bar, and stiffer rear subframe bushings.
Every pound counts for the best lap times, so there are some minor feature sacrifices. Halogen headlights replace the HID units, and a single-disc, four-speaker sound system replaces the ten speaker system with CD changer. Also, manual air conditioning replaces automatic climate control.
For the U.S., we get the same engine as the standard STI in the spec C—a 2.5-liter turbocharged-and-intercooled, horizontally opposed 'flat' four-cylinder engine making 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive.
2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI
All the rest is also the same as in the standard 2010 Impreza WRX. A range of automatic and manual performance modes for the Driver Controlled Center Differential are accessed through a switch on the center console, while the stability control system has three different modes. Ventilated four-wheel Super Sport anti-lock braking, part of a Brembo Performance Braking System, are ready for the track, yet still include the handy Incline Start Assist feature that keeps the car from rolling back on inclines.
The 2010 Subaru WRX STI Special Edition will be available first in a very limited edition of 125 units, all painted in Aspen White with the same charcoal-colored 14-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels that are used in the JDM STI spec C model. Following the limited run, the Special Edition will become a regular production model and be offered in other colors.
Also at the LA show, Subaru will also roll out a WRX that goes in the opposite direction; the 2010 WRX Limited, a special version of the WRX Premium, adds leather upholstery, a moonroof, and Sirius Satellite Radio. Prices haven't yet been announced.
Stay tuned through next week as TheCarConnection.com and High Gear Media bring you more on these new WRX models, along with all the latest news and announcements directly from the LA Auto Show. And while you're waiting, and while we update our review information for 2010, familiarize yourself by reading our Bottom Line on the 2009 Subaru WRX STI.