Torrents of rain slam into the windshield of your Subaru Impreza STI. Your solid roofline is getting hammered by sheets of liquid rocks. You whip down a straight at 127 mph to the sound of a signature exhaust ring mixing with muddied earth caking your floorboards. Near-zero visibility with no fog lights, but your Blobeye WRX headlights are angled low. Here comes turn 4. Heel-toe from 5th to 4th. Your flat-four screams at 6,500 rpm as you clip the apex and come out wide. 6,750 rpm. There’s 5th. There’s 6th. 126, 129, 134, 139, and then – fantasy shattered. You’re at your desk. Your mid-month reports are due. Time to focus again at work. Sigh. You park your imaginary Subaru WRX STI and decide that keeping your job has its place. But before you get to wrapping up your reports, you procrastinate a little more and read this article about the Blobeye WRX.
It was the early ’90s, and the world was moving past the earlier gas crisis. Japanese automakers were known for their efficient small-displacement engines, but something was still left to be desired. There wasn’t any appeal beyond driving something practical. And sales were soft. Then, Subaru smashed a world speed record by holding 139 mph for 448 hours, and the rest is pretty much history.
The 2004 Subaru STI was the first year of the WRX in North America. It brought a racer’s edge to daily driving and has since become an icon. How could it not? After all, that unmistakable body was designed by Peter Stevens: the draftsman behind the McLaren F1 supercar. Let’s dig deeper and see what makes this member of the Subaru Impreza STI family tree so unique.
You don’t have to be an automotive enthusiast to know about this version of the Subaru Impreza STI. At a glance, the oversized rear wing, World Rally Blue Paint, and gold BBS wheels are instantly recognizable as a fast car from the recent past. But how fast exactly? Here’s the spec sheet on this iconic vehicle:
You don’t need more than five minutes behind the wheel of this particular Subaru Impreza STI to know what it was built for – speed, control, and laughs. There aren’t many cars out there that bring us back to those blissful soap-box racers of our youth where all you had was a steep hill, fighter-pilot goggles, and a few cheering friends as crazy as you.
The race-designed seats are just barely comfortable. The interior is spartan from any modern niceties. The rear bench might as well not even be there. But who cares. The second you are thrust into the driver’s seat under the force of a perfectly balanced powerband is all that matters.
Outside of the in-dash six-disc CD changer, you can angle your headlights, control the engagement of the center differential, and cool your turbo with a nifty spray button (all within easy, unobstructed reach). Short of an ejection seat trigger, what else do you really need? This thing is part of a 46-time World Rally Championship family.
With a vehicle like this, it’s no surprise that we still get calls here at Quantrell, your Subaru dealer in Louisville. Enthusiasts are still hoping that we might have one hiding in storage. We wish! Here’s a look at some of the most popular questions and answers that we get around here at Quantrell Subaru:
That’s a highly subjective question, and it depends on your driving style, tastes, and preferences. If you were to ask us, which we guess you just did, we’d have to say the 2021 Subaru WRX STI would come out on top. It offers the same signature rally look and the very latest in Subaru driving technology.
To scare your in-laws away when you put them in the passenger seats! But in all seriousness, the latest iteration of this racing legend offers incredible performance, enhanced space and comfort, awarded safety from the IIHS, and classic rally style.
The more appropriate question is: Can you drift? The latest Subaru Impreza STI is still built to be a rally car first. As such, the chassis, suspension, and tuning dynamics are precision designed to help you throw your ‘Ru sideways into a long looping turn. See your local SCCA and autocross clubs for driver training near Louisville.
Yes. While the 6-speed manual is standard, a performance automatic with manual mode is sold in limited numbers.
The questions continue, as does the legend. If you have a Subaru Impreza STI from any era and want to show it off, we’re always looking to see what our enthusiasts have in their stable.
We want every classic Subaru enthusiast to know that they’ve got a home here at Quantrell Subaru. Though we sell the very latest from the Subaru line of vehicles, we’ll never forget where we came from. And how could we? Stop in and show off your ‘Ru and see what’s in the showroom. Even if it’s just for fun, because that’s the point, too, isn’t it? Subaru vehicles are fun to drive and ready for anything. Race-proven. And enthusiast-supported. Check out our classic Subaru SVX page and let us know what you think. We’ll be building out a whole section on our website devoted to classic Subaru vehicles, so look out for features on the BRAT, Baja, and more. See you on the track!
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