Subaru's Late Holiday Gift for North America

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
subarus late holiday gift for north america

Yesterday, Subaru released a teaser video for a rip-roaring special edition of the WRX STI. Hours earlier, AutoGuide reported the brand filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reserve the “S209” moniker, which we (and every other automotive outlet) now believe is the car in the video.

Those in the know will recognize that the designation is one number higher than the Japan-only S208, which exists as the Christmas ham on Subaru Tecnica International’s table. The S208’s 2.0-liter turbo flat-four generates 329 horsepower and 319 pound-feet of torque. It also boasts shorter ratio steering, upgraded suspension with Bilstein dampers, BBS wheels, upsized Brembo brakes, a sizable rear spoiler, carbon-fiber roof, and a unique aero kit.

STI has been building special edition S models since 2000, when it debuted the S201. Thus far, track-focused cars have emerged every year, just never in America. That doesn’t appear to be the case for the S209.

Titled “From Japan With Love,” the video shows the camouflaged Subie flying around Virginia International Raceway and notes “Something special from Subaru Tecnica International is coming to America for the first time ever.”

Currently, the American-market STIs use Subaru’s old EJ25 2.5-liter flat-four — which makes 305 horsepower in standard trim and 310 horsepower in the Type RA — exclusively. Tuners have proven it’s capable of more. The car in the clip has a lot of RA-like touches, but some of the pieces are highly reminiscent of the S208. Unfortunately that hasn’t given us any hints as to what’s under the hood.

Thankfully, we’ll only have to wait a few weeks to find out. The probable WRX STI S209 makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 14th, 2019.

[Image: Subaru]

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  • JoDa JoDa on Dec 24, 2018

    "nothing…nothing…nothing…aaaand there is all the boost" Yes, but the monkey-boyz just love them.

  • JoDa JoDa on Dec 24, 2018

    "you can count on some major engine out service by 100k" The next one will probably have a blown version of Toyota's Dynamic Farce engine. Subaru H4 engines are going away.

  • Brett Woods 2023 Corvette base model.
  • Paul Taka Hi, where can I find 1982 Honda prelude junkyards in 50 states
  • Poltergeist Make sure you order the optional Dungdai fire suppression system.
  • Prabirmehta I charge my EV at home 100% of the time. The EV is used for in-town driving and the gas guzzling SUV is used for out of town trips. This results in a huge cost saving and rare trips to the gas station.
  • Conundrum Three cylinder Ford Escapes, Chevy whatever it is that competes, and now the Rogue. Great, ain't it? Toyota'll be next with a de-tuned GR Corolla/Yaris powerplant. It's your life getting better and better, yes indeed. A piston costs money, you know.The Rogue and Altima used to have the zero graviy foam front seats. Comfy, but the new Rogue dumps that advance. Costs money. And that color-co-ordinated gray interior, my, ain't it luvverly? Ten years after they perfected it in the first Versa to appeal to the terminally depressed, it graduates to the Rogue.There's nothing decent to buy on the market for normal money. Not a damn thing interests me at all.