There won’t be a new Subaru WRX STI, but the Subaru Tecnica International brand isn’t dead.
Along with performance parts for the new WRX sedan and Sportswagon, the STI badge looks set to spread across the Subaru range with a set of more performance-oriented Tuned by STI models.
“We acknowledge the long love affair Australians have had with the WRX STI, and the STI brand,” Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read told media.
“The STI engineers and that team, that did all these great things, haven’t packed up and gone home. They’re still there,” Mr Read told CarExpert.
“Part of that change in direction with the STI brand is how it can play a role not just in one model variant, but across all the product. There is exciting options and development in a number of different areas that will feed its way into all the different models,” he said.
In a similar vein to Renault RS-Line, the Tuned by STI badge is likely to feature on cars packing a range of fast-looking accessories or handling upgrades instead of more power.
That’s potentially a slightly different formula to what we’ve previously seen from Subaru models Tuned by STI.
The 2008 Liberty GT tuned by STI, for example, was a limited-edition featuring 10kW and 11Nm more than the stock model, backed by a Bilstein suspension setup and a range of exterior add-ons.
The BRZ tS tuned by STI, on the other hand, featured a range of handling-oriented improvements over the stock car, but no more power.
Along with Tuned by STI editions, expect to see a range of performance parts for the new WRX under the STI name.
The STI badge could also be dusted off for limited-edition versions of the WRX, although what that will look like hasn’t been locked in just yet.
“In some ways, there being no STI variant allows us to explore some very cool and different options around the likes of future special editions, and Tuned by [STI]. Watch this space for some more activity in that area,” Mr Read told media.
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