Overview

       

Subaru Tecnica International, or STI, is the division of Subaru that specializes in motorsport vehicles that dates back to 1988. When you see a Subaru model that has STI on the end of its name, you can be sure that it was built for speed and all-around high performance. For the 2020 model year, there are just a couple of STI vehicles; the most WRX STI series, which debuted in 1994, and the BRZ tS (which stands for "tuned by STI").

       

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History of the STI

   

Before we delve into the modern-day STI models, let's look at the history of the STI division. Subaru entered the world of rally car racing all the way back in 1972, but the first Subaru STI didn't enter a race until 1989. It was a Subaru Legacy Turbo STI, which ended up breaking the FIA World Speed Endurance Record. Over the next few years, Subaru would unveil the first STI road car in Japan (these cars weren't available in the United States until 2004). Americans were ecstatic to see the WRX STI finally become available as a production car after watching it dominate in rally car racing. STI variants of one model or another have been released now and then, but the WRX is the only one to consistently have one each year.

   
   

Subaru WRX STI

   

While the Subaru WRX STI has been built for the person who truly enjoys being behind the wheel, it's still practical for everyday driving - especially since it has Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive. It also comes with wide performance summer tires, meaning you'll switch to winter tires when it gets cold, maximizing road grip all year round. The powerplant is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that puts out 310 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque. Its partner, a fully synchronized close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, allows satisfyingly quick gear shifts. It also gets Brembo performance brakes and vehicle dynamics control with active torque vectoring, but the highlight just may be the STI sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension that's tuned for the track and is marked by a double-wishbone and pillow ball bushings for optimal cornering. The suspension's mounting points are reinforced to let this WRX STI handle like none before it, and the quick-ratio power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering completes the picture.

   
    

Subaru BRZ tS

   

The 2020 Subaru BRZ tS is a hot coupe with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 205 horsepower and 156 lb.-ft. of torque. It's offered only with a fully synchronized 6-speed manual transmission - but nobody's looking for an automatic tranny on a car like this, anyway. Its other standout performance features include a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, STI-tuned vehicle stability control with track mode, and a specially tuned four-wheel independent suspension with Sachs performance shock absorbers, quick-ratio electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, and Brembo brakes. The BRZ and this tS variant are unusual in that they're the only Subarus that don't come standard with symmetrical AWD.

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