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2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Sedan: The Wing Is Back

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Subaru, like Mitsubishi, has built a reputation on the back of years of success in World Rally Championship racing, but not long after the debut of the newest generation of the range-topping WRX STI, the company pulled out of the WRC. The reasons are many, but fans feared the ties to the company's rally racing heritage would be severed as well. Turns out there was nothing to fear. The STI is alive and well, and it's back as a big-winged sedan for the 2011 model year.

The reasoning behind the exeunt from WRC was that while Subaru was building and engineering all of its own parts and equipment for the series, the rules formula would soon make it so that the race cars resembled the production cars only in form--engines, chassis, would all be different. That's not what Subaru wanted out of the series, so they quit--and kept right on building and engineering the rally-inspired production cars that they want to race. And they're still racing them in the U.S. with people like Travis Pastrana behind the wheel for Rally America competition.

So what does any of this have to do with the 2011 Subaru WRX STI? Everything. Available for the first time ever in both four-door and five-door wide-body designs, the new STI rates the same 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet as last year, as the primary improvements are made to the suspension, which is retuned for even sharper handling, and lighter 18-inch alloy wheels.

Appearance changes for 2011 include sharper bumper corners and blacked-out fog lights, a new grille and insert, plus on the sedan, the enormous wing. Covering essentially the entire surface of the trunk, the sedan's wing helps the car achieve zero rear-end lift at high speeds, improving stability.

The suspension tuning  is borrowed from the 2010 WRX STI Special Edition, a tauter, JDM Spec C-based tune that cuts body roll and increases lateral G forces that can be held. The ride is also lower, with new pillow ball bushings up front and stiffer bushings out back to improve feel as well as changing camber and toe. Thicker anti-roll bars are also added front and rear. The new 18-inch wheels are 17.6 pounds lighter than the previous versions collectively, hugely reducing unsprung weight.

The photos in the gallery above show the official shot of the car, some photos from the unveiling this morning in New York and some images from the (poorly lit) preview held last night in NYC. Stay tuned for a video of the unveiling to come shortly.

[Subaru]

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Comments (26)
  1. What will it take for Subaru to make a wrx/sti that looks good?
    Every generation has a controversial look, is it really that hard to design a good looking car for 30k+? Can they just hire a European car designer? hell even American sports car companies understand symmetry.
    I mean the performance hasn't really changed in 7+ years. It this really the best Subaru can do?
     
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  2. I like the 4 door WRX, looks fantastic. When I am bored with my 07 speed6 I will be getting one of these.
    I can understand why people don't like the STI with the ginormous spoiler. Who in their right mind would feel comfortable driving around town with that thing on the back.
     
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  3. I think it's great that Subaru is bringing back the wing while also offering the hatchback. It's the best of both worlds from one great rally inspired car. I would've liked to seen them come out with a sort of coupe design like Toyota is while using the Impreza frame but hopefully it's in the works.
     
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  4. I think this is by far the best sti ever and the biggest jump by far in the right direction. The sedan looks 100 times better that the 3rd and 2nd gen. only problem is the interior loved the blue and black interior from the 2nd gens. i wonder whats the 0-60 in this machine??
     
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  5. And here I thought they would add more power to crush Mitsu
     
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  6. Apparently some people are just band wagon junkies. I love Subaru now, then, and Probably always will. They are great cars, I love the way they drive and you really get a lot of performance for the dollar. I am happy to see them offer more options for the STi, though I still think the rear of the sedan looks like the Saturn L-Series from earlier this decade. I don't think Subaru feels threatened by Mitsu, they know the potential of their motors can easily exceed what Mitsu has to offer. I would expect to see a power bump with the next gen.
     
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  7. To me, the whole rear 3/4 view reminds me of a Suzuki. That said, I'm glad they brought back the STi sedan. Still rather have a 360 if I had to have a Subaru.
     
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  8. Hey saaburu5.... You been living under a rock for the last 6 or 7 years? The Evo and there motors have been making far more power.. And making it easier and cheaper and in many more cars then the STI has been... Wake up and stop being a fanboy.
     
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  9. -@ Pete L
    LMAO! I'm not hating on Mitsu, I like cars in general and don't leach onto one brand and go along for the ride. I personally like Subies better, and from my experience they respond to modification better than Mitsu does, most importantly, without motor detonation. With that being said, I like the Evo, and the direction the company is headed, I just hope they can stay afloat. You can talk ish all you want, but when you act like you did with that response, you my friend come across as a fanboi.
     
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  10. The 2011 STI makes me realize how happy I am with my 2005 STi. Over the years the STI 'styling' has become more and more generic. I guess to try and appeal to a wider audience. And the 4 exhaust tips? OOOhh just like an american V8. C'mon son, get outta here with that... ummm... "stuff".
     
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  11. No word yet on a twin clutch transmission. Have an '06 STI and it works great on the track with some mods. My race bike has a speed shifter and slipper clutch - a twin clutch STI would be a very nice piece of gear. That would push me into a 2011 STI.
     
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  12. OK, so the hatch wasn't selling in the numbers expected. Withdrawal from the WRC also showed no confidence in the hatch and it wasn't good enough to beat Citreon/Loeb. This is just cheap engineering reaction by sticking a trunk on it. It doesn't look as if there is any improvement in the trunk capacity.
    At least 18" rims now look to be std but overall I think it's too much of a Mitsu mongrel to gain the kudos back from the Scooby hardcore.
    I'll keep my Bugeye Prodrive which I think looks better than any facelift models done since.
     
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  13. When does it come out for sale.
     
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  14. The 2011 looks A LOT better than any WRX STI before it that's for sure! Performance wise it's going to be the same story. This car looks fantastic! It's ONLY the people who are bitter for some reason that say it somehow looks like a Saturn, etc.(You can say that about ANY car out there!) And the WING is no more over stated then the EVO / STI's of the past or even the current EVO X; just goes to show the hate / discontent coming from these bitter people. The 11' STI is BADASS, period!
     
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  15. Some of these comments I’m reading are just mind boggling! I’ll address a few...
    For one, the rear end of the 2011 looks A LOT more like a BMW M5/M6 than it does a freaking Saturn L-series or Suzuki! And what is wrong with a Turbo 4cyl like the STI having a quad exhaust? We're not even talking about some "massive" exhaust here. Subaru doesn't understand "symmetry"? What exactly are you talking about?? What is disproportioned about the 11' STI? Seriously! The car looks extremely well proportioned.
     
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  16. Former 2005 WRX STI (White/Gold)owner, loved it. I sold it when I deployed to Afghanistan. The wife's criteria is 4 doors, good in the winter, and suitable for a kid. The 2011 WRX STI Sedan meets my criteria. I hated the hatchback. Good choice Subaru! I will pick it up when its released for sale. I am back on the bandwagon, 305HP on a frozen lake is fun.
     
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  17. If AWD is not an absolute requirement, how will the '11 STI compete with the 2011 Mustang GT, V8 412hp (closer to 435hp) with a 3.73:1 rear diff + brembos for under $32K... 0-60 in 4.3s 1/4 in 12.7 @ 108mph... impressive numbers, and it handles well. I had an 01 GDB STI in Japan, incredible car, loved it, but the weight gain of the latest STIs makes them feel sluggish comparably. I am a huge fan of Subaru, but I just have to state the obvious.
     
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  18. @JD
    Are you serious? Domestic fans seem to have a hard time understanding that horsepower is not the most important aspect in a car. The sti has an enormously superior suspension. AWD IS a requirement for many people... those AWD components are not cheap and add signficantly to the price of a car. I'd like to see what that mustang would cost with front and rear forged alunimum double wishbone suspension, 3 limited slip differentials, better aerodynamics, more axles, and two more doors. How much more would it weigh?
     
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  19. How is the mustangs suspension inferior when it pulls a higher skidpad and better slalom? I'm just saying is all
     
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  20. Are you seriously comparing a Mustang to a Subi? Dude, don't even get me started on your freaking live rear axle, I like the Mustang don't get me wrong, but the Subi is more of a practical car, that's still very powerful, and the AWD makes it safer to drive, and you have fuel economy as well, and you can always relly on Subi for a sick car. If I wanted to blow money on gas, I'll call you and tell you that I'm gunna buy a 'stang k? Please never ever compare American muscle to Japanese Import EVER again
     
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  21. The Subie is much better in the snow, rain, and dirt and has 4 doors, but numbers don't lie. You're paying a premium price for a high end performence car that gets put on it's a$$ by the competition. The mustang has more HP, faster 0-60 and 1/4 mile (even without AWD) holds mor .G on the skid pad, faster slalom, better brakes, better warranty, much nicer interior and features, rave reviews on it's 6 speed manual, and yes better gas mileage (I know you fan boys won't believe me - look it up ... seriously) You seem to have your bias, but I'm in the market for a sporty car around the 30-35K range so I've researched just about everything and the new 5. OH is the best thing out there.
     
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  22. You rednecks really want to compare a Mustang with STI? US muscle cars can only go in straight lines. Mustang is made for drag and STI for rally, and okay so the STI is slower and the Mustang "beats" STI 0-60. But put them in STI's land and the STI will PWNNNNN Mustang; no chance. I never heard of a Mustang being in the WRC.
     
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  23. You rednecks really want to compare a Mustang with STI? US muscle cars can only go in straight lines. Mustang is made for drag and STI for rally, and okay so the STI is slower and the Mustang "beats" STI 0-60. But put them in STI's land and the STI will PWNNNNN Mustang; no chance. I never heard of a Mustang being in the WRC.
     
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  24. The change for 2011 Subaru Impreza will an availability of a hatchback and the new 2011 Subaru Impreza has an optional navigation system with 4.3-inch touch screen.
     
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  25. Sti's never have trouble selling, hatch or otherwise. I'm an 05 owner and the new 2011 Sedan is much better looking. The car has changed in 5 years. SI Drive, wider taller wheels, revised suspension making it a beast at the Nur. Do you not like the wing that creates 0 rear end lift at high speeds? Fine. Join a forum and trade trunk lids with a WRX owner who wants it. Beautiful car. When I can afford to trade, I will. Want to compare to an american sports car? How about fast in dry, wet, snow and ice with 4 doors and standard Brembos? Not enough? Try easy upgrades. Spend less than $1,000 (including part and a legitimate tune) and bump up 60whp(about 360-370 crank hp with AWD...). Yes, I know many who have. It's the fastest Sports Car for the money in all driving conditions, period.
     
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  26. One more comment for the American Muscle guy... I'm a fan of all sports cars. One all time favorite being the ever improving Vet. But, how many American cars are made with a hood scoop that doesn't do anything? The STI has a functioning hood scoop. Case closed. lol
     
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