Subaru confirmed today it will be debuting the WRX STI S209 at the Detroit Auto Show on January 14th, 2019. There you have it. Our original post regarding Subaru’s teaser video, published December 20th, 2018, can be seen below.
The WRX STI is getting old, so Subaru has been at work cranking out new special-editions to keep its rally sedan fresh. Earlier this year, we got the big-winged WRX STI Type RA, and soon, we’ll get something else. Subaru put up a teaser video on its YouTube channel today with a camouflaged STI running around Virginia International Raceway, promising a reveal next month at the Detroit Auto Show. We think it’ll be called the WRX STI S209.
A couple of days ago, AutoGuide uncovered a trademark application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for the S209 name. Back in 2000, Subaru created the Impreza WRX STI S201, a limited-edition model with more power, upgraded suspension components and a wacky aero kit. Every few years since then, Subaru has rolled out an S20x version of the STI, the most recent being the S208 of last year. All have been for the Japanese market only.
Subaru titled this video “From Japan With Love,” and wrote “[s]omething special from Subaru Tecnica International is coming to America for the first time ever,” in the description. To us, that seems to indicate the S209 will actually make its way across the Pacific for our consumption.
Even though the car is camouflaged in the video, the aero tweaks over a standard STI are pretty obvious. It looks like the wing is borrowed from the Type RA, while there are some very prominent dive planes just ahead of the front wheels. The wheels look like the gorgeous forged BBS alloys from the Type RA, too, and naturally, they’re painted gold.
What we can’t see is what’s under the hood. The WRX STI S208 uses a 2.0-liter flat-four tuned to put out 325 horsepower. US-market STIs so far have only used Subaru’s old EJ25 2.5-liter flat-four, which makes 305 horsepower in standard trim, and 310 horsepower in the Type RA. A power bump would be nice, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s in the cards.
Subaru says this special STI will debut on January 14th, and we’ll be there to see it.