Automotive

Subaru reworks rally favorite for Japanese special editions

Subaru reworks rally favorite ...
The WRX S4 tS will only be on sale for six months
The WRX S4 tS will only be on sale for six months
View 26 Images
The WRX S4 tS sits on new BBS wheels
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The WRX S4 tS sits on new BBS wheels
The WRX S4 tS Nurburgring is fitted with a massive rear wing
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The WRX S4 tS Nurburgring is fitted with a massive rear wing
The WRX S4 only comes with a CVT gearbox
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The WRX S4 only comes with a CVT gearbox
The pink highlights are an STI staple
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The pink highlights are an STI staple
Big wings and boxy arches are straight out of the STI copybook
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Big wings and boxy arches are straight out of the STI copybook
Pink trim highlights replace the fake carbon you'll find on regular cars
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Pink trim highlights replace the fake carbon you'll find on regular cars
The bucket seats are Recaros designed specifically for this model
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The bucket seats are Recaros designed specifically for this model
The leather wrapped steering wheel is fitted to both the S4 tS and Nurburgring
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The leather wrapped steering wheel is fitted to both the S4 tS and Nurburgring
Subaru thinks owners will try to push that speedo dial right to the end of its travel
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Subaru thinks owners will try to push that speedo dial right to the end of its travel
Unfortunately, there's no manual gearbox option
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Unfortunately, there's no manual gearbox option
Just in case you weren't sure this was a special edition
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Just in case you weren't sure this was a special edition
The chequered flag is a nod to Subaru's racing heritage
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The chequered flag is a nod to Subaru's racing heritage
The CVT gearbox has a more robust cooler fitted
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The CVT gearbox has a more robust cooler fitted
Stopping the WRX is handled by these babies
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Stopping the WRX is handled by these babies
The S4 tS Nurburgring edges closer to boy-racer appeal
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The S4 tS Nurburgring edges closer to boy-racer appeal
The WRX has been given a boost, both in performance and handling
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The WRX has been given a boost, both in performance and handling
Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
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Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
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Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
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Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
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Body stiffening should tighten up the WRX S4's handling
New dampers and springs were chosen for flatter cornering 
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New dampers and springs were chosen for flatter cornering 
The dampers are the same as those used on the STI S207 launched in Tokyo last year
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The dampers are the same as those used on the STI S207 launched in Tokyo last year
The BBS wheels fitted to the WRX S4 tS 
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The BBS wheels fitted to the WRX S4 tS 
The wheels from the WRX S4 tS Nurburgring
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The wheels from the WRX S4 tS Nurburgring
Spoiler alert - there's a big one on the WRX S4 tS Nurburgring
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Spoiler alert - there's a big one on the WRX S4 tS Nurburgring
The WRX S4 tS will only be on sale for six months
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The WRX S4 tS will only be on sale for six months
View gallery - 26 images

The Subaru WRX is a legend among rally enthusiasts and boy racers, but the legend is under threat from a new brand of hyped-up hot-hatch which offers 99 percent of its back road pace in a comfier, more practical package. Although it hasn't been given the complete overhaul it really needs, STI has given the WRX a mild work over with fitter, faster special editions for Japan.

Under the skin, the WRX S4 tS has been reworked with a glut of chassis changes that debuted on the S207 in Tokyo last year. A flexible strengthening brace (tower bar), adjustable dampers up front and sticky 255 section tires should all tighten up the car's handling, as should the new rear subframe.

Power comes from the same boxer engine you'll find in the regular WRX, with an unchanged 221 kW (300 hp) of power on tap. Modified air intakes and a new exhaust system have liberated 10 percent more torque, which is channeled through a Lineartronic CVT gearbox. That's right, even though this is a faster, fitter WRX aimed at enthusiasts, there's no manual on offer.

The pink highlights are an STI staple
The pink highlights are an STI staple

Putting handling aside, Subaru has done a fantastic job making its special editions look, well, special. The S4 tS sits on gorgeous 19-inch BBS wheels, and it's been fitted with a subtle bodykit that doesn't fall into the boy-racer trap which afflicts so many modified WRXs. If that's not enough, there's also an optional Nurburgring package with a big rear wing and black BBS wheels.

Inside, both cars have been with exclusive Recaro bucket seats and lots of leather on the steering wheel, gearknob and door trim pieces. Trim pieces finished in a special shade of Subaru Technica International pink replace the fake carbon fiber you'd usually find on the dashboard.

The WRX S4 tS will cost JP¥4,968,000 (US$48,500) in regular trim, and ¥5,292,000 ($51,650) in Nurburgring spec. Both models will be on sale in Japan between the start of October and the March 12 2017.

Source: Subaru

View gallery - 26 images
1 comment
gonetropo
you lost my interest at CVT gearbox. truly awful things. Subaru need to bring it out in manual.