First Drive: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI – Return of the wing

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Performance, Hatchback, Subaru, First Drive

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI – Click above for high-res image gallery

By most accounts, something went awry while Subaru was baking the last generation Impreza WRX STI. Maybe someone slipped in an extra cup of civility or forgot to add enough dashes of hardcore, but what was once little more than a thinly-disguised rally stage escapee had come out of the oven a little weaker than its predecessor. Subaru itself diplomatically admits that the priorities for the last generation STI were somewhat different from the 2011 model. The company stripped the line down to just the five-door hatchback in 2008, stressing functionality over style, and the whole recipe simply felt less focused than what we had come to expect from Japan’s all-wheel drive hero.

But that was then, and this is now. The company assures us that for 2011, we can expect a return to the fundamentals that helped establish the STI as a force to be reckoned with. Though the drivetrain remains unchanged, a slew of suspension adjustments and a lower stance have given the STI the ability to hoover up tarmac and gravel stages indiscriminately once again. It isn’t a completely new generation – more like a much needed do-over – but the changes are enough to make the 2011 model instantly recognizable from behind the wheel.

If that’s not enough to convince you, allow us to direct your attention to the rear of the resurrected four-door body style, dominated once again by the kind of spoiler that could double as a civil engineering exercise. Yeah, baby. The STI is back, and on more than just a wing and a prayer.

Gallery: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI: First Drive

Photos by Zach Bowman / Copyright (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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First Drive: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI – Return of the wing originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 19 Jul 2010 12:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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