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Subaru Logo Subaru Impreza WRX STI

Malaysia Subaru STI

Motor Image is looking to reignite the Subaru brand in Malaysia with the introduction of the new Forester and Impreza hatchback between June to August. This includes the highest factory spec Impreza possible, the 2.5-litre, 16 valve, turbocharged WRX STI.

Subaru STI

The problem with a launch in Singapore is the lack of any feasible area to test a car outside of everyday driving situations. While this might be fine for any normal family car a which the plebeian versions of the Impreza definitely are with its sedate new styling a the 247hp 2.0 S-GT, let alone the 296 in the STI, demand a more clinical challenge.

Motor Image did locate a short slip road with a couple of switchbacks but due to the fact that there were only two STI testers and media from the entire region were here for the one-day only event, we were each limited to one pass each way, hardly allowing us to build towards the limits of the STIs adhesion.

In under eight minutes with either car, a few snap judgments had to be made. If motoring journos in Malaysia are fortunate enough to get their hands on a test unit when it finally arrives here a prospectively in August a then youll probably hear more about the STIs performance on Malaysias more liberal roads.

The S-GT is basically a WRX spec car and a twin-scroll turbo results in it producing 247hp at 6,000rpm and 333Nm at 2,400rpm. Despite these figures actually trumping the 2.5-litre WRX (224hp and 306Nm), it certainly doesnt feel that way. It doesnt even feel like it could outrun, say, a Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Motor Image is looking to reignite the Subaru brand in Malaysia with the introduction of the new Forester and Impreza hatchback between June to August. This includes the highest factory spec Impreza possible, the 2.5-litre, 16 valve, turbocharged WRX STI.

Subaru STI

Subaru STI

Shannon Teoh was in Singapore to get an introductory feel of the two new Imprezas that will appear on our shores this year.

The problem with a launch in Singapore is the lack of any feasible area to test a car outside of everyday driving situations. While this might be fine for any normal family car a which the plebeian versions of the Impreza definitely are with its sedate new styling a the 247hp 2.0 S-GT, let alone the 296 in the STI, demand a more clinical challenge.

Although this might be due to some sort of transmission lag with the rather unsatisfying four-speed auto box. Certainly, it didnt seem like peak torque was coming at 2,400rpm and in fact, was closer to 4,000rpm before the car seemed to make haste.

If there is a manual version, its not coming here, which is a shame since apparently, the manual 2.5 WRX beats the 2.0 S-GT in the 0-100km/h sprint by two seconds with the S-GT coming in rather unimpressively, just under 8 seconds.

There was no real opportunity to test the symmetrical all-wheel drive a where weight distribution of the drive system is evenly balanced between left and right thanks to the four-pot boxer engine a although the ride seemed decent enough.

Motor Image will be bringing this car in as the warm family car, with the auto box making it simple enough for non-enthusiasts while the Sportshift would allow some scrolling through of the four ratios for a more involved drive.

Subaru STI

But if cheap and sedate are not words in your dictionary, it looks like the acronyms WRX STI will be in the next few months.

With 296 ponies charging in at 6,000rpm and 407Nm coming through at 4,000rpm, the UK spec STI will be a real steal if it does come at the RM300,000 mark that Motor Image Sdn Bhd general manager John Lim is trying to price it at. Reported to do the 100km/h sprint in under 5 seconds, its about half a second quicker to the ton than its longstanding rival, the new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (the Evo IX was priced at RM284,872 without warranty).

Its interesting to note that the UK-spec STI is different from the Japanese-spec STI. The JDM car uses a 2.0 liter boxer-4 engine with a twin scroll turbo good for 304 horsepower, while the UK-spec one we are getting uses a 2.5 liter engine with a single scroll turbocharger.

The thing thatll strike you first when you climb in is how the interior doesnt look or feel like the traditional rally-derived performance car. Subaru have tried to make this feel like a car thats priced in its range.

With the as-confusing-as-an-M5 electronic dials and switches to adjust your Drivers Control Centre Differential and Subaru Intelligent Drive, it definitely lends itself to the idea of state-of-the-art.

There is in fact a tangible difference between the three SI-Drive modes a Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp a each getting progressively happier to give you all the power you want. There was no time to fiddle with the DCCD though, which will decide the locking behaviour of the differential, giving you either more traction or more turning capability with its rate of response in re-channeling torque.

The wheel arches are so huge now that you certainly cant call them boring a its more love it or hate it. Whatever the case, you cant ignore it when its there in the flesh.

Subaru STI

Subaru STI



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