Subaru’s performance division is expanding into the U.S. and to announce this plan, it has introduced the STI Performance Concept at the New York International Auto Show. Subaru of America, Inc. revealed that the STI Performance Concept signals the expansion of Subaru Tecnica International (STI) into aftermarket parts, STI-tuned cars and motorsports – its three core business areas.
In fact, STI-engineered parts have already started to replace Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) aftermarket parts in the U.S. market. This move is also evident with the heightened presence of STI in Subaru of America’s Global RallyCross team.
We’re expecting that more models that were tuned by STI will be offered in the U.S. Modifications to these cars will be more extensive, including upgrades to its suspension, performance, braking, chassis and aerodynamics.
Yoshio Hirakawa, president of Subaru Tecnica International, Inc., pointed out that STI’s plan is to offer cars and accessories “than drivers can really enjoy.” He also said that to win, the car has to have “high power” and balanced aspects of performance.
STI boasts of its engineering expertise and tuning prowess as it launches the STI Performance Concept. It features the racing engine that STI developed for the BRZ Super GT racecar, including changes to its suspension and chassis components and aerodynamics.
In Japan, STI has focused on tuning and offering performance parts for the WRX STI, Forester and BRZ models. We don’t know yet of any naming rules for the U.S. models but we know that the Japanese market makes use of the nomenclature “S model” for the WRX STI and uses “tS” on BRZ and Forester vehicles that utilize STI components.
In 1988, Fuji Heavy Industries established STI as its motor sports division. STI got an incredible start in 1989 when it tuned a first-generation Subaru Legacy that broke the FIA-certified world speed record over 100,000 kilometers.
STI didn’t stop there as it did very well at the World Rally Championship, taking three constructors championships and three championships for its drivers Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg. In the Nurburgring 24 Hour Challenge race, STI won its class twice in 2011 and 2012. Its BRZ-based Super GT also won in the Super GT series. [source: Subaru]