For the first time in three years, Subaru is offering up a four-door version of their performance icon, the WRX STI. This is the first time that Subaru has ever offered an STI in two body styles. That's right, you can also buy the five-door STI. And while we love hot little performance wagons, you have to admit the wing is pretty sweet. Or at least admit that the four-door Impreza body is so... awkward looking (we know, we know) that the looks are actually improved by a 14-inch wing.
New for the STI(s) this year is an improved suspension consisting of stiffer bushings, stiffer springs, and thicker anti-roll bars at both ends of the car. The 2011 STI also sports less unsprung weight than the 2010 model due to lighter 18-inch wheels that are a combined 17.6 pounds less heavy. While power is unchanged (305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque), high-speed stability of the four door is greatly improved, as is at the limit handling, by – you guessed it – that mega wing.
Since the four-door is marginally lighter than the five-door, 0-60 mph times might improve. However, since there's less weight over the rear wheels (and since the STI's diff is slightly rear-biased) they might be a bit slower. Also, the sedan STI features two mufflers (still has four pipes) as opposed to the wagon's one giant muffler (and four pipes). Subaru claims that while this has no bearing on horsepower or torque, it makes the car sound, "Meaner and louder."
We mentioned to Subaru that we dig the new wing, but really think the wheels should be gold like the classic STI/BBS marriage of years past. Even the optional 18 x 8.5-inch BBS wheels are silver. Our Subaru PR pal smiled at us and said, "Glad we gave you something to bitch about." Also, a quick PSA for those of you thinking about buying a new STI and deleting the wing: Subaru highly recommends you also change the trunk springs, because minus the weight of the wing, the trunk will smash in the rear window.
Update: The 2011 STI is also available in Limited trim, meaning leather seats plus a sunroof.