The WRX STI S209 is Subaru’s most powerful model ever

It looks extra-menacing, too
by Drei Laurel | Jan 15, 2019
PHOTO: Subaru
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The Subaru WRX STI S209, the most powerful Subie ever created, has finally been unleashed at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Thing is, its production is limited to just 200 units—all of which will be available exclusively in the US market.

Oh, well. It is what it is. But anyway...

Just how potent is the S209’s engine? The modified 2.5-liter EJ25 turbocharged Boxer mill is capable of churning out a whopping 341hp. Maximum boost pressure has been increased to 18psi (up 1.8psi over the regular WRX STI), and the setup features stronger and lighter connecting rods and forged pistons.

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Those with the pleasure of even being presented the option of buying this baby will also be glad to know that it comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. Should be fun.

Now, let’s get to its looks. The S209 builds on the base car’s already aggressive demeanor with a handful of performance upgrades. Like the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge race car that inspired it, the S209 features a wide-body design that extends its overall width to 1,839mm. Larger fenders allow for wider tracks and 19-inch BBS gold alloy wheels wrapped in Dunlop GT600A summer-only tires.

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The added vents, besides looking cool, provide the vehicle with added engine cooling and drag reduction, while Brembo brakes with cross-drilled steel rotors handle stopping duties. Performance mufflers with hand-polished stainless-steel exhaust tips provide less airflow resistance and better acoustics, Subaru says, while the wing, under-spoilers, and carbon-fiber roof panel are all carried over from the Nürburgring Challenge racecar, too.

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Finally, the icing on the cake: The conventional Subaru logo featuring the brand’s star cluster has been replaced with ‘STI,’ and the D-shaped steering wheel is now wrapped in suede with silver stitching. There’s also S209 badging scattered throughout the vehicle, including on the headrests of the Recaro bucket seats.

Again, only 200 units are being produced. Hey, at least the company’s ‘S’ cars aren’t exclusive to Japan anymore—they’re in the US, too! Now, we weep.

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PHOTO: Subaru
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