Usually when we hear about the sports cars forbade us bet loosed on the rest of the world, we are racked with violent fits of envy. Today, however, we can be thankful we're not getting a special model: the 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI automatic.

Subaru's hardest-core rally-bred super sedan will get not just any automatic, but...wait for it...a standard five-speed slushbox. No fancy-fangled twin-clutch gearboxes like the Mitsubishi Evo X here. Just good ol' torque converters and manumatic paddles.

Heresy. Plain and simple. The decision to purchase, own, and maintain the high-strung WRX STI is not one made rationally. It's one made out of passion for driving, the love of Subaru's heritage, and an outright thirst for speed--on a budget. In other words, an automatic totally misses the point of the car. As do those that would buy it.

We consider ourselves lucky that we're not being subjected to the car or its owners. Yet.

[Subaru of Australia via]