This S206 version of the Impreza WRX STI is a product of the STI tuning division of Subaru. Japan fans are in luck since this model will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show and is available in the country too. But it won’t be offered in the UK similar to the special STI-tuned S202, S203, S204 and R205 models that came previously. Subaru considers the S206 to be the “crown of its STI tune cars.”
The revisions to the S206 when compared to the standard WRX STI include additional power for its engine (which was exclusively built) and a group of sporty styling upgrades.
It also received a complete makeover for its suspension. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer engine got an extra 20bhp over the standard WRX STI to reach 316bhp. Its torque was also raised by 18lb ft to 318lb ft. Other modifications include an improved twin-scroll turbocharger, STI-tuned ECU and sports muffler with lowered back pressure exhaust.
Subaru has yet to release the official performance figures of the car but it has announced that it has raised the accelerator response and its mid-range torque was also boosted to offer an improved driveability. The suspension revisions include an exclusive set of Bilstein front shock absorbers and STI coil springs.
It also has a flexible tower bar and draw stiffener at the front that provides a better straight-line performance. It keeps the car steady during cornering to enable it to make “precise and quick” adjustments mid-corner. It features new 19in BBS alloys with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Aerodynamics is improved by putting in a new spoiler, grille and lower bumper. Meanwhile, the large fixed wing at the rear has been removed.
Its interior boasts of Recaro racing bucket seats and the use of Alcantara trim. In addition, Subaru offers a distinctive NBR Challenge Package edition of the S206. With this model, Subaru seeks to celebrate its class win at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. The vehicle has a carbonfibre roof and rear spoiler. Only 300 units of the S206 will be built but 100 of these are the NBR editions that have already sold out.
The Subaru Impreza WRX STI was already a highly optimized performance vehicle with specific chassis tuning and aluminum front lower L-arms that reduce unsprung weight. But the new 2011 model has major changes in chassis tuning, which includes a lower ride height as well as new pillow-ball bushings in the front and stiffer bushings in the rear subframe, supporting the double-wishbone suspension. All of these help improve camber and toe stiffness.
Both the front and rear suspension systems of the Subaru WRX STI use higher-rate springs as well as thicker front and rear stabilizer bars compared to the 2010 model (21 mm vs. 20 mm in the front and 19 mm vs. 18 mm in the rear). The spring rates increased by 15.6 percent in the front and 53 percent in the rear.
The 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX STI also has new standard 18-inch aluminum wheels that feature high-luster paint. They also weigh 17.6 lbs. less than the previous model’s standard wheels. The 2011 model’s optional 18 x 8.5-in. BBS forged aluminum-alloy wheels, which lessen unsprung car weight, are highlighted by silver high-luster paint.
The new car has a Brembo Performance Brake System, which is exclusive to the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. This brake system uses ventilated 4-wheel Super Sport anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The Super Sport ABS is able to control the braking forces independently at each rear wheel, thereby optimizing braking ability during hard cornering in order to lessen understeer.