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Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Web-popular features from the past decade

Annette Carrion
Oct 9, 2013

To fully appreciate the Subaru WRX STI, one must first know a little background on how the turbocharged AWD icon got started. The first generation Impreza launched in November 1992 as a predecessor to the four-door Legacy. It’s no secret that thereafter the Impreza WRX roots became deeply embedded in World Rally Championship (WRC). From 1995-1997 Subaru won three Constructors’ Championships with the Subaru World Rally Team and three Drivers’ Championships in 1995, 2001, and 2003. Although Subaru withdrew from the WRC competition in 2008 citing the economic downturn as its reason, one can’t deny the impact rally racing left on the Subaru marque - most notably the successful development of the WRX STI.

The Subaru Tecnica International (STI) version of the Impreza WRX was first introduced to the JDM market in 1994 with performance upgrades to the engine, transmission, and suspension. The U.S. market received the STI in 2004 – the famous blue with gold wheels car featured a six-speed manual transmission as opposed to the WRX’s five-speed. Power increased to 250 hp, which made it an instant hit with tuners who saw the potential of a rally car designed for the streets.

Due to the popularity of the WRX STI, we have compiled a list of the top 10 most popular features based entirely on website popularity over the past decade. These are the features you clicked on most. Below you will find a mix of a regular Joes, serial tuners and a professional motorsport driver who are united by common automotive interests: the need for AWD speed and corner killing.

But it’s not always about tracking this car. A few of these STI owners have kids or use their car as a daily driver, so don’t be surprised to find them hauling bags of groceries or shifting to school on any given day. That’s the beauty of the car: It’s a multi-purpose vehicle that’s capable in any weather and also affordable when talking high-performance.


2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Modern Muscle

Modp_0808_01+2005_subaru_impreza_wrx_sti+headlights Photo 5/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “One of the things that drew me to the STI, oddly enough, is its similarities to the muscle cars of the 60’s and 70’s", says Al. "The big hood scoop is reminiscent of the old 440 Dart scoop. It’s got big power without too many frills. And for the price tag, it can’t be beat. The STI, and EVO for that matter, are today’s modern muscle cars."

Why we love it: “Both the interior and exterior of Al’s black beauty of an STI are equally all-business. The lighting on this STI is particularly cool, thanks to the S2000 retrofit HID’s and angle eyes, and the carbon fiber on the Syms replica rear wing, front lip, Ureshi rear window spoiler and Varis rear bumper exhaust shield give the exterior a bit of subtle flare.”

Full article: 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Modern Muscle


2009 Subaru Impreza STI - Ken Block

Modp_0909_01_o+2009_subaru_impreza_sti+ken_block Photo 9/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “The build was so ambitious that Crawford had to shut the shop to the public for almost two months so his entire staff could work on the Gymkhana TWO machine nonstop, logging 16 to 18 hour days to meet the deadline.”

“The power and responsiveness of the Gymkhana TWO STI's engine impressed Crawford so much that he immediately tore the engine out of his time attack STI and swapped in an identical setup to the gymkhana car. Tuned on E85 ethanol fuel and controlled by a MoTeC M800 system, Block had 566 whp and 611 wtq available for tire annihilation.”

Why we love it: “The use of neon on the spoke of the wheels and under the hood. It's a fresh and innovative look that's new to the scene. Not to mention the performance gone viral.”

Full article: 2009 Subaru Impreza STI - Ken Block Interview


2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Tuned To Perfection

Modp_1007_02_o+2005_subaru_impreza_wrx_sti+full_view Photo 13/44   |   2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Tuned To Perfection

Article excerpt: “To produce competitive time attack horsepower, Jacob went in search of a high-quality turbo kit that was complete and easy to install. He eventually settled on P&L and its GT3076R rotated turbo kit along with its reverse manifold intercooler setup...With a safe pump-gas tune producing 407 whp and 356 wtq, Jacob already has a spare EJ25 that he plans to have P&L build for a targeted 550 whp.”

Why we love it: “Jacob and his partner at Tuned Perfection Autosports pulled out all the stops when building this track-ready time attack machine.”

Full article: 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Tuned To Perfection


2008 Mitsubishi Evo X and 2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Friendly Rivalry

Modp_0910_04_o+2008_mitsubishi_evo_x_and_2008_subaru_impreza_sti+sti Photo 17/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “A few weeks before getting the STI, I was telling my wife that I was not going to modify it. I was going to keep it bone stock since it was already fast. Little did she know I had already bought a set of Rally Armor UR mudflaps. The modding didn't stop until I recently got a '95 Miata as a winter beater.”

Why we love it: “Those pre-Miata mods include a list that certainly rivals the spec sheet for Archie's X, including a stunning set of gold 18x9.5-inch SSR Type F wheels wrapped in Falken rubber, BC Racing coilovers, Chargespeed Bottomline bodykit and a Cobb AccessPORT for ECU tuning.”

Full article: 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X and 2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Friendly Rivalry


2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Bridging the Gap

Modp_1004_01_o+2008_subaru_impreza_sti+front_wheel Photo 21/44   |   2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Bridging The Gap

Article excerpt: “Wanting to build something fresh and new, Logan and his father went to look at the new '08 STI and they both liked the practicality and uniqueness of the five-door hatchback body style.”

Why we love it: “Logan's clean yet aggressive-looking Impreza has taken home some heavy metal hardware, including Best in Show. It takes tremendous attention to detail to snag the big trophies, and Logan has certainly paid great attention to every area of his Subaru's appearance and performance.”

Full article: 2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Bridging the Gap

2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Homebrewed Champion

Sccp_0811_01_z+2007_subaru_impreza_wrx_sti+front_right_view Photo 25/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “It currently makes 496 whp on a Dynapack hub-mounted dyno using 91-octane water-grade California fuel. OK, vitamin water-grade. Sorry, Governator. Martini's aim is to break the 550 whp mark on K&N's Dynojet dyno come USCC competition time.”

Why we love it: “Don't think that Martini is just a champagne-sipping armchair builder who cuts checks left and right. He's the guy who spends late nights working on his car, has installed every part himself, obsesses about how much rubber will fit under his fenders, and worries about which turbo and which A/R ratio will help him make the most power. He even tweaks his Motec ECU himself.”

Full article: 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Homebrewed Champion


Subaru Impreza CZS Type-Z - The STI Subaru Never Built

Modp_1001_01_o+subaru_impreza_czs_type z+front_side_view Photo 29/44   |   Subaru Impreza CZS Type-Z

Article excerpt: “Based on the Japanese Impreza Anesis sedan, this is a complete custom build, a car that Zero/Sports decided to create for the simple reason that Subaru hasn't thought about it yet. Subaru has been criticized for moving away from the sedan shape, not that the new hatchback hasn't been well received, quite the contrary actually. But the real hardcore fans of the Impreza WRX STI just can't forget the bloodline, the roots of which has come to be such an iconic car around the world.”

Why we love it: “It doesn't look out of the ordinary, it's precisely what a WRX STI should look like. This is a testament to Zero/Sports' flawless work in building this one-off creation from something that started off with a simple idea and a few sketches.”

Full article: Subaru Impreza CZS Type-Z - The STI Subaru Never Built


2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Billy Schweiger

Modp 1106 01+billy schweigers 2008 subaru impreza sti+cover.JPG Photo 33/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “As you can see, the car has a modest outward appearance, but under the hood is where it gets interesting. Good for more than 400 whp, Billy’s STI is a seriously quick car — he also daily drives it!”

Why we love it: “We think Billy has done everything right with his Subaru in our book. The obvious lean toward performance and track use is very cool, and we like that he also drives the car on a daily basis.”

Full article: 2008 Subaru Impreza STI - Billy Schweiger


2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Michael Mercado

Modp 1205 01+2004 subaru impreza wrx sti+cover Photo 37/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “I now have a real autocross conqueror, I saw regular top-five placings in both the 2010 and 2011 autocross seasons and turned out the top PAX time at our biggest event of the 2011 year, Motor Magic in Minot, North Dakota. Last year I drove away from my wedding in it with a girl that will never forget her first ride and is still convinced I’m crazy. I’ve spent more money than I care to remember, had more fun than I can remember and met some of the best people I’ll ever know. This is what it’s all about!”

Why we love it: “Michael has done a great job of taking a capable platform and improving just the areas that needed attention. No outlandish bodywork or colors here, just pure, unadulterated Subaru performance.”

Full article: 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Michael Mercado


2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Zenkai Motorsports

Modp 1108 01+2009 subaru impreza wrx sti+cover Photo 41/44   |   Top 10 Subaru WRX STI Features

Article excerpt: “On the dyno, the Zenkai STI put up exactly what Quirt and CP tuner William T. Knose Jr. was expecting. ‘It was good to see that our motor was only down 0.5 hp after a season of racing,’ Quirt says. ‘When we originally tuned the motor, it made 540 whp and it put down 539.5 whp during the Shootout.’”

Why we love it: “The good vibrations and consistently strong performance by Zenkai Motorsports continued during the time attack, where the car once again finished second with a best lap time of 1:03.090. To put that in perspective, when Crawford’s own Unlimited-class beast set the Firebird time attack track record (albeit in the dark on a poorly lit track), Japanese racing legend Tarzan Yamada peddled Tony the Tiger to a 1:02.1. The less-than-1-second difference says a lot about just how solid a package Zenkai and Crawford have put together, especially in light of the fact that it’s a Modified/Limited-class build.”

Full article: 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX STI - Zenkai Motorsports

By Annette Carrion
124 Articles

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