By on June 11, 2010

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?

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13 Comments on “Evo, STI Going Diesel?...”

  • avatar

    1.5 liter gas engine? Why even call it an STI anymore after that?

  • avatar

    See?! Global Laming is real!

  • avatar

    First subaru dropped out of Rally. Now they want to take a “rally” care and add massive low down torque. How is that going to help in dirt, snow, etc?

    Is the value of my 05 going to go up?

    Is the 0-60 going to be anywhere comparable?

    Hm…while googling I found this:

  • avatar

    Wait, there’s actually going to be another manual diesel wagon arriving on this side of the pond?


    Let’s see how many people buy it.

  • avatar

    Based on VW TDI sales IMO a diesel will be a smart marketing move. They may well end up selling a lot of cars to buyers who wouldn’t have even considered the current version or a replacement of it with another gasoline engine.

    • 0 avatar

      They might be able to sell me one.

      I’ve got an 07 STI Limited. I’m not fond of it. It’s a great car to drive in the mountains and on the track but around town it’s a miserable little tin can. It rattles, the road noise level is absolutely obscene and the “wait for it… wait for it… wait for it… no, seriously, it’s coming… hang on… almost there… almost there… just a bit longer… wait for it… still waiting… any second now… any se-VRRRRRRROOOOM” throttle response gets old after about 5000 miles. I’m replacing it with a 2002 E55 as soon as the owner of the E is ready to sell; hopefully I’ll make enough on the swap to throw a Kleemann blower and some coilovers at the AMG.

      I drove an 09 last year and it seemed to be less of a rattly, noisy (censored)box than the 07 is; if they threw a diesel in it I might actually consider buying another one.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure I see how adding a diesel would address your problems with the STI? I’d disagree about your extreme rendition of the turbo lag but everybody has different expectations and a turbo diesel might well address that, perhaps at the expense of all out performance which would be sorta anti-STI.

      Nice buy there on the Limited, though it sounds like you may have expected the heated leather and sunroof was going to change what is essentially a pretty raw car into something else, and then you found out it is still the same old STI in there. You may have been better suited to pick up a Legacy SpecB. The 08+ STI is definitely smoothed on the edges, though still not the quietest as it is what it is, just a lowly Impreza chassis with some serious hardware bolted on.

      I bet the E55 is more up your alley, a more expesive ride will make less compromises and a Benz like that is a world away from an STI. Be careful throwing coilovers at it, you might do some research into suspension first, you could take that sweet german ride quality right back to STI land with the wrong hardware.

    • 0 avatar

      Adding a diesel would help simply because they produce a great deal of torque at low RPMs, which is what the STI lacks. The car is a complete slug off-boost, and because it’s totally lacking in low-end torque (I think it makes something like 120 or 150lb-ft of torque at 2500rpms, if memory serves), 1st gear is annoyingly short (you’re out of it halfway through the intersection at 20mph in normal driving) and it doesn’t have the balls to pull second from a stop or close to it without excessive clutch slippage. None of which matters when you’re beating the hell out of it on a track or on a winding road, but as a daily driver if you have to deal with a lot of stoplights and stop-and-go traffic, it gets old. With a nice, torquey diesel that still put out a good amount of power (say, 300hp/500lb-ft)-or, for that matter, the 3.6 F6 with some forced induction-and better build quality to take care of the rattles and squeaks in mine, I’d seriously consider buying another one.

      I was expecting the STI to be a little bit more refined than it turned out to be, yes; I didn’t get much seat time in the car (none at all in the Limited, actually, just a standard STI) before I bought it, and at the time I was basically looking for the fastest new car I could afford that didn’t have an I4 in it. I didn’t really consider the lack of torque because at the time it seemed mostly adequate and I figured I’d get used to it (I was coming out of a car with a 5.6L V8), and the refinement issues (rattles, road noise) didn’t really enter into the equation because I didn’t test drive the car as much as I should have. That said, I didn’t really expect the Limited to be any more polished than the standard car; the reason I went that route was because the gold wheels, brake calipers and trunk-mounted carrying handle on the regular car attract more attention than someone that drives the way I drive really needs to attract.

      I did look at a LGT SpecB, and yeah, in retrospect I would probably have been happier going that route. On the other hand, I’d still probably have ended up getting rid of it; I know someone that has a regular, slushbox LGT. It’s better than the STI, but with 10k on it now it’s started to develop rattles of its own, and the tire roar is still the loudest of any car I’ve ever driven besides the STI. So I’d probably have had the same complaints about that, just not as soon.

      You’re right that the E55 is defnitely more up my alley. When I bought the STI I expected some of the compromises; cheap interior, cheap paint, tinny doors, crappy stereo-I mean c’mon, it’s a $35k car that’ll chase Corvettes, Ferraris, Porsches and the like without humiliating itself, they had other, more important things to spend money on first. Most of that doesn’t really bother me. Hell, even the stiff ride doesn’t bother me. The lack of torque does now that I’ve had it for a while, but that’s not exactly an engineering failure, it’s the nature of the car. I wasn’t expecting squeaks and rattles from a $35k car though, especially not ones that started at 2500 miles, and I wasn’t expecting deafening road noise. Loud, sure, but not THAT loud. When you add that to the nature of the turbo 4 it’s just not the car for me anymore. It’s an excellent car for what it is though, and even though I’ll probably be happier with the E I am going to miss it.

  • avatar

    Every blog about automobiles making their debut in European or Japanese markets should have the following disclaimer in the title:

    …but, it ain’t coming here…

  • avatar

    What do you mean, “the next-gen STI, due sometime in 2012 will not offer another version of the 2.0 turbocharged gas engines…”

    The STi has a 2.5 liter engine. In Japan, it might be 2.0, but I’m not sure. The Evo is 2.0, if memory serves.

    Boy, I’d miss winding this engine all the way up to 6.5k. The shorter rev range of the turbodiesel is blah. At least, I thought so with regard to the current Golf TDI.

  • avatar

    The words “Boxer Diesel” are practically automotive porn to me. Then again, I thought my Peugeot 505 SW was sexy…

  • avatar

    Makes sense to go diesel, if they want their cars to enter the competitive touring car circles.

    A 2 liter turbodiesel with a good tune can give nearly 200 bhp and a hundred foot-pounds more torque than a comparable gasser. 0-60 mph times won’t suffer too much… make it a 2.5 and performance should be the same as the current 2.0 (Japan still uses the 2.0 boxer-turbo)… at least in terms of 0-60… high speed acceleration may suffer a bit… but then who (besides Jack Baruth) actually gets to go over 130 mph on the road nowadays?

  • avatar

    If this is an emissions play then I doubt it is coming to the US this way. Subaru has shown a willingness to develop a discrete powerplant for the USDM STI as they did in 2004.

    Sounds like commenters here are salivating over a diesel STI but I am not convinced yet. It would certainly be interesting but I am not sure the overlap between diesel fans and rally-style car fans is enough to support such a product here in the US. There is already a diesel sport Impreza in Europe which is close to the normal WRX other than powerplant. That one might be an easier sell in America, though Subaru has revealed no plans to bring a diesel Impreza or Legacy to the US AFAIK.

    I predict the next gen USDM STI continues on with a version of the 2.5 gas turbo engine in 2012.

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