Europe’s Euro 5 emissions standard has already killed off Mazda’s RX-8; is it any wonder that the Impreza STI is running scared? Autocar reports that the next-gen STI, due sometime in 2012 will not offer another version of the 2.0 turbocharged gas engines that have powered the car since it got a reputation for bargain thrills. Instead, a two-liter turbodiesel is likely to be the main engine on offer, as Subaru strives to keep the STI grunty without blowing its emissions limits.
Though a downsized turbocharged gas engine (likely 1.5 liter displacement) may still be on the table, the switch to diesel heralds a sea change in the STI’s orientation: rather than staying in its rally-focused mode, the STI will concentrate instead on circuit racing. Meanwhile, the Mitsubishi Evo XI is said to be going to a diesel-hybrid system, as it follows the STI from the gravel stage to the track. America was late to the Evo/STI party in the first place… will a move towards diesel performance once again doom the US to do without these AWD budget-blasters?