Subaru’s WRX STI was a performance car that quickly gained a cult following among car enthusiasts for its all-wheel drive, turbocharged engine, and rally racing heritage. However, after nearly three decades, Subaru has made the decision to discontinue the STI in the United States. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the STI, its impact on the market, and the reasons for its discontinuation.
A Brief History of the Subaru STI
The Subaru STI was first introduced in 1994 in Japan as a high-performance version of the WRX, which was already a popular compact car. The STI was designed with rally racing in mind, and it quickly became a dominant force in that arena. In 2004, the STI made its way to the United States, where it continued to gain a following among car enthusiasts.
Over the years, the STI underwent numerous updates and improvements. Its turbocharged engine became more powerful, its suspension was refined for better handling, and it gained a variety of unique features like a rear wing spoiler and Brembo brakes.
The Impact of the STI
The STI quickly became a favorite among car enthusiasts for its performance capabilities and rally racing heritage. It helped to solidify Subaru’s reputation as a maker of reliable and high-performance vehicles, and it inspired a whole new generation of sports cars. The STI’s all-wheel drive system, in particular, was a game-changer, providing superior grip and handling even in challenging conditions.
The STI also helped to expand the market for performance cars in the United States. Its popularity among enthusiasts created a demand for other high-performance vehicles, which in turn led to the introduction of cars like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and the Ford Focus RS.
The Discontinuation of the STI
In 2021, Subaru made the decision to discontinue the STI in the United States. The move was part of Subaru’s broader shift towards electrification and more environmentally friendly vehicles. While the STI was still selling well in other parts of the world, sales in the United States had been declining steadily for several years.
The decision to discontinue the STI was met with disappointment from car enthusiasts, many of whom had grown attached to the car’s unique features and performance capabilities. However, Subaru has emphasized that it is still committed to providing high-performance vehicles, and that the discontinuation of the STI does not mean the end of its sports car legacy.
Alternatives to the STI
While the STI may be gone, Subaru still offers the WRX as an alternative. The WRX has many of the same performance capabilities as the STI, including all-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, and excellent handling. However, it lacks some of the unique features that made the STI so popular, such as the rear wing spoiler and the Brembo brakes.
Subaru has also been expanding its lineup of hybrid and electric vehicles, which it sees as the future of the automotive industry. While these vehicles may not have the same performance capabilities as the STI, they offer a more environmentally friendly option for consumers who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Subaru STI was a beloved performance car that captured the hearts of car enthusiasts around the world. Its discontinuation in the United States may be a disappointment for some, but it is part of Subaru’s broader shift towards electrification and more environmentally friendly vehicles. While the STI may be gone, its legacy lives on, and Subaru remains committed to providing high-performance vehicles that continue to inspire and excite car enthusiasts around the world.
Q: What made the Subaru STI so popular among car enthusiasts?
A: The STI was popular for its all-wheel drive system, turbocharged engine, and rally racing heritage. It was also known for its unique features, such as the rear wing spoiler and the Brembo brakes.
Q: Why did Subaru discontinue the STI?
A: Subaru discontinued the STI in the United States due to declining sales and its shift towards electrification and more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Q: What alternatives does Subaru offer to the STI?
A: Subaru still offers the WRX as an alternative to the STI. The WRX has many of the same performance capabilities as the STI but lacks some of the unique features that made the STI so popular.
Q: Does Subaru still make high-performance vehicles?
A: Yes, Subaru remains committed to providing high-performance vehicles. While the STI may be gone, Subaru still offers the WRX and is expanding its lineup of hybrid and electric vehicles.