We thought Subaru was finished with the WRX STI lineup following the reveal of the 2018 WRX STI Type RA, but the Japanese automaker is back with yet another high-performance sedan. This one's called the WRX STI S208, and it does two important things: adds horsepower and sheds weight.
If the S208 name sounds a tad familiar, that's because this car is a follow-up to another car: the WRX STI S207, revealed in 2015 at the Tokyo Motor Show. Once again, Subaru will take to the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show to reveal the WRX STI S208. Unfortunately, also like the S207, the car is a Japan-only affair. So, what earns the WRX STI its S208 badge? A carbon-fiber panel replaces the regular car's steel roof, lowering the center of gravity. Subaru and STI have worked to tweak the suspension for better handling, and there's also more power on tap.
How much power? We don't know yet. Subaru said only that the S208 features “improved engine output” over the S207. As a refresher, that car made 323 hp over the standard STI's 305 hp rating. The S208 should handily outpower the WRX STI Type RA, which boasts 310 hp. Note also that the S207 used Subaru's 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine instead of the turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-4 found in the Type RA.
The WRX STI S208 will likely be the final limited-run version of the current WRX STI. Subaru has said it's planning to introduce a next-generation WRX and STI no sooner than 2020. The current sport sedans have been on the market since 2015, but received a slight refresh for 2018.
Looking towards the future, Subaru will show a sporty sedan concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show alongside the WRX STI S208 and the BRZ STI Sport.That concept, called the Viziv Performance Concept, may hint at the next-generation WRX and STI in general design and engineering.