• First STI-built vehicle exclusively for the U.S.
  • Production limited to around 200 models
  • Output rated at 341 horsepower
  • Upgrades include wider body, high-performance suspension
  • S209 price expected to top the $41,395 of current WRX STI

 

Subaru unveiled its most powerful production vehicle to date in the 2019 STI S209. Limited to roughly 200 units and available exclusively in the United States, the new S209 is based on the already impressive Subaru WRX STI.

This high-performance compact sedan from Subaru Technica International (STI) motorsports division features a turbocharged 2.5-liter flat – or “boxer” – 4-cylinder engine that will make an estimated 341 horsepower. That would be a 31-horsepower bump over the standard WRX STI.

As with every Subaru except the BRZ coupe, the S209 routes power to all four wheels via Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. The only transmission offered is one that driving enthusiasts will appreciate: a 6-speed manual.

More than just extra power

Beyond the power bump, the 2019 Subaru STI S209 features other performance upgrades over the existing WRX STI, which itself isn’t exactly a slouch.

Among the highlights are an exterior body treatment that is 1.7 inches wider than the standard WRX STI, wider front and rear tracks, Dunlop GT600A summer-only 19-inch tires, BBS alloy wheels, and performance-enhanced coil springs, stabilizer bar and other suspension components that Subaru says will allow the S209 to boast over 1.0 g of lateral grip.

On the stopping side, Subaru’s S209 features Brembo performance brakes with cross-drilled rotors and 6-piston calipers up front to complement the 2-piston rears. This rally-inspired vehicle gets a recalibrated SI-Drive mode system with a trio of settings – Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp.

Also: Check out the latest from the North American International Auto Show

Unique aesthetics

The STI S209’s exterior color and BBS wheel combinations will be World Rally Blue Pearl with gray wheels or Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels. 

If the rear wing and widened body isn’t a big enough clue that this is a special car, the S209’s cabin features its own unique touches with a D-shaped steering wheel wrapped in Ultrasuede, an STI badge in place of the Subaru star cluster, and S209 badging, including a serial number on the center console.

Pricing

Subaru notes that the S209 is considered the first “STI-built” Subaru sold in the Unites States. Prior to this, STI-built models were exclusive to the Japanese domestic market.

Just as significant, the S209 will be highly limited, with only “around 200” units being produced. Subaru isn’t releasing pricing until closer to its on-sale date in late 2019. For an idea, however, note that the standard Subaru WRX STI currently starts at $41,395.

With its extra horsepower and limited production, we can only expect the 2019 Subaru STI S209 to arrive higher than that price.

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