Subaru’s Japan-only WRX S4 gets ‘tuned by STI’ edition

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2016 Subaru WRX S4 tS

2016 Subaru WRX S4 tS

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A new generation of Subaru’s Impreza has arrived but the car’s WRX and WRX STI models are still some years away.

In the meantime, Subaru will continue with some special edition offerings, the latest of which has just been announced for the Japanese market.

It’s called the WRX S4 tS, and basically it's the WRX S4 with some STI goodies bolted on. The WRX S4 is a more powerful, CVT-equipped WRX sold exclusively in Japan since 2014, and tS signifies that the car has been “tuned by STI.”

2016 Subaru WRX S4 tS

2016 Subaru WRX S4 tS

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Most of the modifications have been borrowed from 2015’s WRX STI S207, including a pumped-up version of the familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter flat-4. Peak output is 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, thanks in part to new intake and exhaust systems.

An oil cooler has been added for the CVT and the handling has been improved with the addition of a front strut tower bar, adjustable front suspension dampers, and front-to-rear active torque split. Beefier Brembo brakes and 19-inch forged BBS wheels  have also been added at all four corners.

For the cabin, Subaru has added STI-spec Recaro bucket seats up front, a custom speedometer, and the latest features from its EyeSight suite of electronic driving aids.

2016 Subaru WRX S4 tS NBR Challenge Package

2016 Subaru WRX S4 tS NBR Challenge Package

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A more hardcore option is the WRX S4 tS equipped with the NBR Challenge Package. This commemorates Subaru’s 2015 and 2016 victories in the SP3T class of the Nürburgring 24 Hours using a motorsport-prepped WRX STI. The package includes an STI-spec 19-inch wheel set from BBS as well as a carbon fiber rear wing, suede-lined steering wheel and special badging.

There are currently no plans to offer the  WRX S4 tS outside of Japan.

As for the next WRX and WRX STI, we can expect them around 2018. They should offer more power than the respective 268- and 305-hp ratings of the current models, and possibly some hybrid tech too.

 
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