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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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

  • Lou_BC Ironic, the Honda Ridgeline, a truck that every truck guy loves to hate is in 6th place.
  • 28-Cars-Later I keep forgetting I own it, but the space look on the ext cab reminds me of my 'Yota pickup of the same model year. I'm pretty sure there is some vintage of Hilux which features the same looking ext cab window (maybe '88?) its a shame these things are mostly gone and when available are $1,000,000,000 [INSERT CURRENT CURRENCY].
  • Sayahh Imagine if Ford had Toyota design and build a Mustang engine. It will last over 300k miles! (Skip turbo and make it naturally aspirated.) Maybe Yamaha will help tune it...
  • Sobhuza Trooper Isuzu's crime was to build some damn good trucks.Shame on them.
  • El scotto Listen, unless you were Lord Headly-Stempmoor or such when you got off the off the boat, boot in Canada, you got the short end of the stick. People got on the boat, these days a plane, to escape famine, becoming cannon fodder in yet another stupid war, or the government thought it was A-OK to let soldiers kill you. Juneteenth is just a way to right one of the more bad ideas in the American experiment. Instead we have commenters who were buying tater chips and diet soda at Wal-Mart and got all butt-hurt because they heard someone who wasn't speaking English. I'm going to go fix a couple of frankfurters with salsa and guacamole and wash them down with a lager or three
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