Is This the End of the WRX STi?
The Subaru WRX STi is now legendary, offering supercar performance, and rally car handling for a price you’d normally associate with family cars. With 300hp, 300lb/ft of torque and a 0-60 sprint time of 5.2 seconds, it is an extremely popular car. This week however, it was announced that the STi will no longer be sold in the UK, one of the world’s biggest performance car markets. Once stocks run dry, UK buyers will never again be able to buy the vehicle new.
There have been a lot of questions as to the reason the car has been pulled, and many more theories. The official Subaru line is that dwindling demand has meant that the STi just isn’t viable any more, and it’s relatively easy to see why. Go in to a Subaru car shop, and you’re faced with several options, and the STi doesn’t quite fit in. The standard WRX is fast enough as it is, with almost identical handling, and of you want an all-out sports car, then the BRZ is the better choice.
Many are wondering if this is the beginning of the end for the STi across the world.
In recent years, the Impreza has come under heavy criticism. The latest model looks nothing like previous generations, and has somewhat alienated the fans. It is also simply not as good as its main rival, the Mitsubishi Evo. New buyers have not been tempted because the STi cannot match European cars in terms of interior quality. Plastics and fabric inside the STI are of an extremely low quality when compared to rivals.
The other main issue of course is that drivers are starting to look for economy. With diesels engines starting to put out incredible amounts of torque, the performance increase you’d get from an STi simply isn’t enough to attract buyers when economy is taken into account. Even heavier sports cars with a vast amount more power are now more economical than the STi.
You can still buy the STi in many markets, particularly where fuel is cheaper, but with the car leaving the UK, many believe the rest of Europe will soon follow. Die hard Impreza fans are likely to miss it, but it’s unlikely that anyone else will.