Beast From the Far East: Subaru Teases a Hotter WRX STI You Can't Have

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
beast from the far east subaru teases a hotter wrx sti you cant have

Monday brought an ever-increasing barrage of Facebook and Twitter posts on the importance of voting from your obnoxious friends and family, but it also brought us this interesting tidbit from Japan.

The TC 380, which sounds like the name of a Brazilian pocket pistol, is actually a Subaru — one you won’t be able to find in American dealerships, apparently, but one you could probably build yourself.

Subaru teased a lone image of the badge yesterday, adorned with the unmistakable profile of the WRX STI. While the model gains a slight horsepower bump for 2019 (310 hp), it doesn’t come close to the 380 hp figure.

Australia’s Drive tells us the TC 380 is to be a Japan-only variant of Subaru’s scrappy WRX STI, which eschews the U.S.-spec model’s turbo 2.5-liter Boxer four in favor of a turbo 2.0-liter. That mill generates 304 hp and 311 lb in regular versions, but the new badging tells us to expect far more oomph. The publication claims Subaru arrived at this higher level of performance by way of a new turbocharger, exhaust system, and catalytic converter sourced from HKS.

While nothing’s stopping U.S. STI owners from sourcing more power from the aftermarket, it’s always nice having stock gear beneath the hood, leaving that warranty fully intact. Drive claims this overseas model will also add a new intake and strut tower brace designed by rally driver Toshihiro Arai. Recaro seats and a carbon fiber lip spoiler completes the package.

All of this to say we’ll likely never see this model arrive stateside. While the Impreza underwent a design change and platform swap for 2018, the WRX and its brawner sibling stayed put, delaying the introduction of a new generation (built atop the Subaru Global Platform) until 2020. More power will hopefully be part of that package.

[Images: Subaru]

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  • ACCvsBig10 ACCvsBig10 on Nov 06, 2018

    blah blah make a flat-6 turbo sti then we can talk. but Japan would never give us Americans something better than they could have.

  • Stuntmonkey Stuntmonkey on Nov 06, 2018

    > in favor of a turbo 2.0-liter. Interesting. Savage Geese in his typical clinically-depression delivery kept complaining about the WRX ECU on FA20 DIT pulling timing under acceleration. Wonder how much the factory can really squeeze out of it

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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