Subaru rules out more powerful WRX STI

No Cosworth tuning for new WRX STI, says Subaru

The new Subaru WRX STI goes on sale in the UK this summer, but the 305bhp saloon won’t get a domestically-tuned version

Subaru has ruled out another domestically-tuned version of its new WRX STI for the foreseeable future.

Asked about the potential for another model in the Cosworth CS400 mould, managing director of Subaru in the UK Paul Tunnicliffe said he wished to avoid pursuing “a niche within a niche.”

The CS400 was the most expensive, most powerful Subaru ever launched in the UK, with 395bhp and 400lb ft of torque. It was a project Tunnicliffe inherited from his predecessor – but he felt it was an “indulgent” concept for the times, and cited its lack of a manufacturer warranty as a notable sticking point.

While admitting that the UK brand remains free to explore its own tuning projects, he also indicated that he’d now be wary of doing so without the blessing of Subaru Tecnica International (STI).

For its part, WRX product guru Masuo Takatsu confirmed to Autocar that while the current car was considered a balanced prospect with 296bhp from its 2.5-litre turbocharged Boxer engine, the Japanese tuning division were already exploring higher outputs.

Tunnicliffe confirmed that the UK firm maintains a relationship with Prodrive – the British engineering firm previously responsible for the WRC team and several memorable Impreza variants – but for now dismissed the notion of it becoming involved with the current car.

Even without an old fashioned hike in power, Tunnicliffe confirmed that around 160 orders for the new WRX STI have already been placed by British buyers, and he was confident of selling 250-500 cars in the UK – a volume that would see it overtake Subaru’s other performance offering, the BRZ.

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