Originally Posted by THAWA
I think the better question is, why did the 98-01 RS come with STi/WRX wheels?
That may also be an issue of cost. The wheels were already in circulation overseas, so why produce something new?
But when they wanted to release the new-age car in the US, I'm sure that a 16" version of the wheel they decided to use in Europe (remember it was the same wheel, just 17" instead) was the economical choice. And it likely just happened to translate to a 6.5" width.
One of those unfortunate coincidences, I think. I don't personally believe Subaru "removed" 0.5" to spite anyone.