Subaru launches WRX S4 STI Sport # special edition in Japan

Subaru has announced yet another iteration of the iconic WRX, called the S4 STI Sport # – a symbol for ‘sharp’ in musical terms. As usual, the special edition is being launched for Japan only at this stage.

Yes, the Subaru WRX lives on. However, the next-generation model is said to be around 1-2 years away. So, in the meantime the company is introducing special editions to keep the candle burning. Such as the case with this S4 STI Sport #.

It mainly comprises of cosmetic enhancements, but there are some interesting performance parts taken from the STI catalogue. At the front is a special grille in dark grey silica, underscored by a more aggressive spoiler lower down featured in black. Completing the darkened theme is a set of 18-inch aluminium wheels, also in black.

So, how about those performance upgrades? To improve handling Subaru has installed a flexible strut tower brace for the front end, as well as a flexible draw stiffener for the front and rear. There’s also a rear suspension brace in the boot, highlighted in cherry red.

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Around at the back you’ll find an STI-made low back pressure performance muffler set, which should enhance the engine sound, while the engine uses a high-flow air filter for improved performance and response. The CVT auto (yes, in Japan the STI is available with a CVT) also receives a special oil cooler.

There’s no mention of any specific engine spec changes. In Japan, the STI uses a 2.0-litre turbo flat-four ‘FA20′ engine that produces 221kW and 400Nm – we get a similar unit in Australia for the WRX, developing 197kW, while our STI uses the old 2.5 turbo. All of this grunt is sent through a constant all-wheel drive system via a CVT automatic.

Subaru is planning to build just 500 examples of the STI Sport #, and all are destined for the Japanese market only. Buyers have a selection of four exterior colours to choose from: Ceramic white, Crystal black silica, Ice silver metallic, and WR blue pearl.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.