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Review of 2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STi

2008 Subaru Impreza WRX STiQuestion: What do Colin McRae, Richard Burns, and Peter Solberg have in common? They all are professional drivers, and they all drive for Subaru. These men are not just professional drivers the way you think of a deliveryman or a truck driver. These men are rally drivers. They know performance, and they demand it. These men take hairpin curves at speeds approaching triple digits without flinching. Absolute control is what they live by, and absolute control is what Subaru delivers, as their latest ad campaign puts it, “Now in street legal”.

The Japanese car company has been at the top of the performance car game for years, and their latest offering for 2008 delivers in spades. The new Subaru Impreza WRX STi hatchback is a street legal version of the much celebrated rally car that has won world championships at the hands of the above-mentioned drivers.

2008 subaru impreza wrx sti
2008 subaru impreza wrx sti (1)
2008 subaru impreza wrx sti (2)
2008 subaru impreza wrx sti (3)

A more powerful engine, electronic stability control, and updated rear suspension are the features that stand out the most over the base model Impreza WRX. Designers have also spent some time changing the body details to include more streamlined fenders, a more integrated hood scoop, and a bit longer and wider stance. Also leading the pack of features that make this car wonderful is the Engine Management with adaptive driving technology. This car actually learns how you drive and adapts it self to you; now, if only your mother-in-law could just learn how to hold on tighter, you’d be all set.

One of the most standout features of the Impreza WRX STi is the engine. 224-horse power may be enough for the base model to get around, but not the STi. Nope, the designers decided to throw a supercharger and an intercooler into the mix, adding 69 horses to the carriage to bring the total up to 293-horse power. The newly powered-up engine makes 290 foot-pounds of torque at a racy 4,400 RPM. All this adds up to a mighty powerful grocery getter.

This might be too much power for some to handle. Luckily, Subaru has some tricks left up their sleeve. They’ve put in a symmetrical all wheel drive system that delivers power to the wheels at once, offering superior performance and traction. The engine is an aircraft-inspired, longitudinally mounted four-cylinder boxer. That means it has four horizontally opposed cylinders that fire opposite each other. This balances the pistons as they fire, allowing for a much smoother operating vehicle. Believe it or not, some motorcycle companies have been using this idea for a while, but one shudders to think about a motorcycle with this much power.

Does that still sound like too much power for the 18-inch by 7-inch aluminum allow wheels to handle? Well, it gets better. Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamic Control System can funnel just about all the power you want to feed it into the wheels without losing itself in the moment. All the precise engine control and braking that a good professional racer has to do; this system does it for you, and better. The VDC system constantly monitors the stability of the vehicle, and knows when the driver is about to lose control. The car then applies indivdual brakes and adjusts engine power output to compensate for any driver’s over confidence. How does it know? You don’t have to know how it works, but you can bet your life that it will. The result is a car that handles better in slick situations, grips better in corners, and does it all without you even knowing it.

If for some reason, there is still someone out there that despite all these traction control and stability increasing features, can’t handle it, or perhaps a careless driver doesn’t know how unbelievably cool your car is and pulls out in front of you, Subaru has got your safety in mind. Subaru’s advanced airbag system senses your seat position to allow for perfect deployment every time. Seat mounted side curtain airbags and front passenger occupancy detection add to the safety features in this car. The engine’s low placement in the car helps reduce cabin intrusion in case of a front-end collision. These features are part of what gives the Impreza WRX STi a five star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Standard Features:

  • Dual Overhead Cam, 293 horse power boxer engine (turbocharged)
  • 290 foot pounds of torque at 4,400 RPM
  • Double wishbone rear suspension
  • Vehicle Dynamics Control System
  • Tuned Exhaust with Single Chrome Outlet
  • Rear Spoiler
  • LED Taillights
  • 6 Speed Manual Transmission
  • Brembo Brakes
  • Bucket Seats
  • 120 Watt 6 Disc, MP3/WMA Stereo with Auxiliary Audio Input Jack

Other standard features that make this car a leader in its class are high intensity headlights, analog gauges, and an engine immobilizer for those people who would purport to drive this thing without owning one.

The low center of gravity, traction control system, and the wider stance make this car a far superior ride than anything else in its class, if there is anything else in its class. With all of the features above, this car also has a five star crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As if Subaru hasn’t done enough, their website claims that their Indiana manufacturing facility makes zero landfill waste and has a wildlife refuge on the grounds. Sounds like owning this car is like dating an underwear model that can cook, clean, and talk European rally racing while saving small animals from the cruel clutches of mankind.

If high performance is what you’re after, this car is for you. If superior handling is what you desire, this car will satisfy. If your local grocery store is 14,000 feet up a mountain, and the only way to get there is by 12 miles of gravel roads around hairpin corners with shear drops on one side, and you only have ten minutes to get there; this is your car. Perhaps you just want phenomenal power with total control in a sporty little package with bucket seats. Well, this is the car.

By JSC Editor

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