Big news for the baddest player in the Subie set, as the 2011 Subaru WRX STi adds a four-door sedan to the existing five-door wagon and gains a host of cosmetic and mechanical enhancements. The sedan configuration had been absent from the STI ranks since 2008. "The continuous evolution and development of the WRX STI is driven by the strong, loyal and vocal support from thousands of enthusiastic owners of this exciting high-performance vehicle," said Tom Doll, executive vice president and COO of Subaru of America, Inc. "The 2011 four-door WRX STI will expand the appeal of this iconic performance model to a wider range of driving enthusiasts."
Beyond the return of the sedan variant -- which uses the same "wide-body" design theme as the wagon and gets its own prominent but extremely functional rear spoiler -- cosmetic changes for the 2011 Subaru WRX STI include edgier fascia details, a revised front spoiler lip, new grille with blackout inserts, and wider, blacked-out foglamp nacelles that further accentuate its aggressive stance. While the Sedan and Wagon get their own distinct exhaust pipe treatments, the pair do share new 18-inch lightweight alloy wheels wrapped in 245/45 Dunlop SP600 summer performance tires and offer new BBS forged-aluminum wheels as an option.
Making a seriously good thing even better, Subaru revamped the WRX STI's chassis settings to give its renowned road rocket a more neutral feel in corners with less body roll and increased grip. Specific modifications for the 2011 models include stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars plus new pillow-ball bushings up front and stiffer rear subframe bushings that improve camber and toe stiffness. Ride height also has been lowered.
No changes to the drivetrain of the 2011 Subaru WRX STI set. Output of the 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four carries over at 305 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque, which passes through a six-speed manual transmission and on to Subaru's trickest version of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive that includes a Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) that allows for three custom settings for the STI's Vehicle Dynamics Control and Traction Control systems as well a front and rear limited-slip differentials. As before, massive Brembo brakes supply bountiful stopping power and feature Super Sport ABS that allows individual control of the forces applied to each rear wheel.
While its basic cabin design carries over, the color theme on the 2011 Subaru WRX STI's has been changed to black and silver to highlight its sporting character. All metal bits are finished in either dark metallic or sharp silver while the trim panels, steering wheel air bag cover and steering wheel switches are now a uniform dark-cast metallic. The new 2011 Subaru WRX STI Sedan and Wagon will go on sale late this summer, although pricing has not yet been announced.