Subaru suggests that STI owners may just have found themselves in possession of collectors’ items overnight, following a Subaru Corporation announcement today.
The Japanese manufacturer has stated through a Subaru of America media release that it will fast-track its investment in future performance technologies, confirming there will be no STI variant for the new generation Subaru WRX.
This announcement heralds change at the All-Wheel Drive bespoke vehicle manufacturer and paves the way as Subaru Tecnica International (STI) focuses on bringing forward the latest technologies for future Subaru models.
Whilst the new generation Subaru WRX will not include an STI model, the love that loyal Kiwi Subaru fans have for STI can live on through STI-inspired performance and styling parts, and via special limited edition vehicle offerings. STI’s journey is not over and has instead morphed into future performance technologies, such as, the new electric concept model, the STI E-RA CONCEPT.
“So, essentially the STI legacy will still live on in the new realm of electric cars.” Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director, Wallis Dumper says.
“This is a clear statement of a strong future technology drive by Subaru Corporation and Subaru Tecnica International. In January, Subaru Corporation revealed the exciting STI E-RA CONCEPT at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. This hugely powerful All-Wheel Drive project is based around the STI E-RA electric race car and has been launched to gain experience with new motorsport technologies for the carbon-neutral era.”
“E-RA stands for Electric Record Attempt and this bespoke, high-downforce race car is going to harness its up to 800kW, generating 1073bhp via its four electric motors, to better the time attack category lap record at the Nürburgring circuit in Germany from 2023 onwards.”
“Today’s STI announcement aligns with our current New Zealand government’s drive toward low emission vehicles, including electric vehicles. Our government has a desire to be ahead of the rest of the world, with the introduction of effectively a CO2 ‘tax’ which the customer will pay at the point of registering their new vehicle. This certainly poses a challenge for the New Zealand automotive industry, given our smaller size in the context of the global automotive market, as it’s the larger markets that truly influence each brand’s manufacturer,” Mr Dumper says.
Despite these challenges, he is pleased Subaru has committed to the Nürburgring record attempt with the E-RA. And while Mr Dumper believes this electric race car signals a more sustainable future, he also predicts that the May arrival of the all-new, increased-in-power WRX GT wagon and WRX 2.4T sedan into New Zealand, will meet the demands of Subaru performance car enthusiasts right now.
Destined solely for New Zealand and Australian Authorised Subaru Centres, the exhilarating, rally-bred WRX GT wagon combines the legendary turbocharged performance of the WRX sedan, with a touch of sophistication, and an abundance of practicality. The wagon variant will not be seen anywhere else in the world in this thrilling format.
Mr Dumper also hints at some exciting developments following the arrival of the much-anticipated, larger capacity, more powerful WRX.
“Subaru New Zealand will be creating something special for STI fans which we will announce following the WRX 2.4T launch,” he says.
“In the meantime, any Kiwi owners of STIs are probably feeling like they are sitting on a very good investment in light of Subaru Corporation’s announcement. We already know how much the historic Subaru Impreza STI 22Bs are worth, with some enthusiasts in overseas markets securing record auction prices and a New Zealand example recently listed for around $500,000. Further endorsing the increased value of STIs, is the revelation from the market that the last special edition WRX SAIGO STIs from this current generation have already almost doubled in price since we sold out of our limited stock last year,” Mr Dumper concludes.
You can read DriveLife’s full review on the WRX STi here.