2019 Detroit Auto Show: Subaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSpecial STI
About 15 years ago, automotive enthusiasts rejoiced when Subaru finally brought the coveted WRX STI to America, and now the company is going to make those folks (and more) even happier with the introduction of the all-new STI S209. For the first time the Japanese car company will offer a limited-edition S-Line STI model — the S209 — exclusively in America. Subaru has offered many higher-performance products from Subaru Tecnica International — STI for short — in Japan only (S201 thru S208), so the arrival of the S209 on U.S. shores is a big deal.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceMore Power
Powering this special STI is a reworked 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine that delivers 341 horsepower — a healthy bump from the standard STI’s 305 horses. The HKS-built turbocharger gets a larger turbine and compressor that generates 18 psi of boost, while the engine gets forged pistons and connecting rods that are both lighter and stronger.

© Subaru of AmericaBetter Airflow
The larger turbo needs more air, so the S209 gets a new intake duct, a silicone turbo inlet duct, and an intercooler water spray to lower the intercooler temperature. Vents on the front fenders provide additional engine cooling, while at the rear vents break up air turbulence to reduce drag. Also aft of the engine bay are high-performance mufflers that are lighter and provide better airflow through to larger stainless-steel exhaust tips.

© Subaru of AmericaImproved Handling
The S209 is only available with a close-ratio 6-speed manual gearbox that delivers power to all four wheels via Subaru’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. Front and rear limited-slip differentials are standard, as are the Driver-Controlled Center Differential, Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. Power is put to the ground via Dunlop GT600A performance tires developed exclusively for the S209. These grippy tires contribute to the S209’s ability to corner at more than 1g.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceUnder the Skin
Contributing to the S209’s impressive performance are specially developed Bilstein dampers, stiffened coil springs and a 20mm rear stabilizer bar. The front crossmember and rear subframes have been reinforced to further improve handling. Brembo brakes are standard, featuring cross-drilled steel rotors and 6-piston monoblock calipers up front with 2-piston monoblock calipers at the rear. These provide plentiful stopping power, thanks in part to high-friction brake pads.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceStanding Out From the Crowd
The lucky few who will own one of these limited-edition STI models will want others to know that they possess something special. The S209 will signal exclusivity via wide fenders, front bumper canards, a carbon fiber roof, a special rear wing and S209 badging. Exclusive 19-inch BBS alloy wheels complete the look.

© Subaru of AmericaUnique Interior
Inside this STI is equally special —S209 badging adorns the dashboard as well as the head restraints of Recaro sport seats. The flat-bottomed steering wheel is wrapped in Ultrasuede with silver stitching; it also features an STI badge in the center instead of the typical Subaru star cluster. Each S209 gets a serial number badge on the center console.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceLimited Run
Only 200 STI S209s are expected to be built, and all of them will be coming to America. Lucky buyers will get to choose from WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels, or Crystal White Pearl with the classic gold wheels. Pricing is expected to be announced closer to the on-sale date later in 2019.

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content ExperienceSubaru STI S209

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