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Old 03-20-2010, 06:10 PM   #1
ricochet
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Default 2010 STI Special Edition Track Test

2010 Subaru STI Special Edition
Track Tested, Driver Approved
Ryan Douthit, Driving Sports TV



Click to view the full video review.
Subaru official STI SE info page.
NASIOC STI SE News Thread.

At the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, Subaru introduced a new special edition of the 2010 Subaru STI. It was called, simply enough, the Special Edition.

Recently, I finally had a chance to drive the production version of the new SE on the Streets of Willow. But before we get into the driving, let’s look at what makes this edition so “Special.”

It’s all about handling: Suspension has been lifted from the Japanese-market spec-C, a 1-millimeter thicker rear sway bar, stiffer rear bushings and stiffer springs: 16-percent stiffer under the nose, 29-percent stiffer in the aft. Wheels, too, have been copied from the JDM model, which look great against the Aspen White body, but they sport the standard 245/40SR-18 Dunlop summer treads.

Sounds expensive, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, this Special Edition is actually less than the standard STI. Seriously. $32,900 and it’s yours. That’s $2000 less than the standard 2010 STI and only $1000 more than Mitsubishi’s Ralliart Sport Back.

How was Subaru able to bend the JDM-enhanced reality-distortion pricing model? It made some cuts in the stuff any track buff will surely not miss: the AC controls go old-school, with a standard knob replacing the automatic system; HID headlights are downgraded to halogen projectors and the stereo rewinds to the 2005 model year with a single CD head unit pushing four speakers.

If Subaru hadn’t provided me a list of these downgrades, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Not on the track, at least.

The drivetrain is unchanged from the standard STI. The already-potent turbo-charged 2.5-liter boxer motor puts out 305-horsepower and 290-ft-lbs of torque. This time tested and tuner-approved powerplant is attached to Subaru’s six-speed manual transmission with a driver-controlled center differential and all the usual go-fast goodies.

I’ve always liked the new hatchback version of the STI. Yes, even the hatchback styling. But, considering its potential, it was too softly sprung for tarmac. This new Special Edition’s Spec-C suspension treatment fixes that issue, nicely.

Since this was a press event, with two cars for 10 drivers on a single sunny day in the California desert, we didn’t have the time to run hard number tests. But the overall impression was quite positive. The enhancements strike superb balance between capability and everyday drivability – without the need of costly aftermarket suspension upgrades. (Great! Leaves budget for power adds.)

On the limit, the car behaves much more balanced, with a touch more twitch in the tail – just enough to inspire. It’s still not a Porsche GT3, though, so don’t expect it to corner like it’s “on rails.” Conversely, it won’t bite you in the ass when you let your guard down. Around town, it’s just as easy to drive as any STI.

This is really how the car should have been delivered in 2008. Though, better late than never is certainly welcome. Some may gripe that the power output should have been increased, but I will disagree, especially at the lowered price point. The stock power is very well suited to the setup and, for those that do want more, a Cobb Accessport and some aftermarket pipes will continue to fill the aftermarket need.

The 2010 Subaru STI Special Edition will be available in dealers soon. The first 125 unnumbered, unsigned and unplaqued editions will be available exclusively in Aspen White. After that, it will continue to be available in standard STI colors for as long as people want to keep buying them.

Subaru STI SE Track Test YouTube Excerpt:
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Last edited by ricochet; 03-20-2010 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
dowroa
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Good production value... but there isn't anything there.

Thanks!

- dow
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
Akrexak
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I want to test drive one..
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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If you want to get into a new STI for less money this is a great car...but some of the stuff given up is hard to justify especially if you are wanting to buy this car for a DD/weekend warrior car.

Great trim level!
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:14 PM   #5
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it didn't really give up anything except the nice and fancy ac control was downgraded to manual ones like the older models, the fancy stereo is downgraded to a basic single cd/am/fm unit with just four components instead of having separate tweeters and the underseat subwoofer, and the headlights aren't HIDs. The only thing that is even really "given up" is some headlight performance, sound performance, and now you can't be lazy and have to adjust your own ac. To me, these SMALL inconveniences are worth $2000. Especially since it upgrades alot of other things in return...sounds like a deal for anyone driving their sti as it is intended to be used. You don't have to be a track whore to demand the best out of your vehicle. AND, when the dealership tells you, "You can have a better handling car for $2000 less, but you have to give up a small amount of sound performance, lighting performance, and ac convenience," that sounds like a deal to me. Just my opinion though...
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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Trade the little bells and whistles for suspension prowess.... I'm game!

Nah really. Wheres the total list of downgrades?

Either way I'm glad they're finally bringing a bit of the Spec C to USDM market.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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From the official Subaru web site:

Quote:
We stripped out the unnecessary and replaced it with the need for speed. Automatic climate control and 6-disc CD changers don’t improve lap times, so equipment that doesn’t aid in clipping an apex or finding the perfect braking point we’ve left at the starting line. Track-focused adjustments give you everything you need to win without the excess bogging you down, like exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels that reduce unsprung weight for improved response.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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Sounds like a sweet deal to get a better handling STI out of the box! Thats the one i'd pick if I were going to get a new STI
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:06 PM   #9
MRF582
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Jesus, you guys are so dry, uninspiring, unfunny, and boring.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:28 PM   #10
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i LOVE that subaru is ditching some of the unnecessary tech in favor of lightness and cheapness. that's the thing that endeared them to me in the first place.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:46 PM   #11
amalgrover
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the fact that they are actually reducing the cost of a vehicle that they know is going to be demanded by their fans is pretty cool. It shows that they actually listen to their followers. Obviously, they are a business, and profit is pretty much the sole goal; however, Subaru has shown that they can put that extra profit aside even though they know that most everyone would pay the extra money if they decided to make it more expensive.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:51 PM   #12
B03scooby
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I want one! All the things they took out I can do without except the HIDS
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:53 AM   #13
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I would LOVE to have one! Only problem is that the wife would shoot me between the eyes with a BB gun if I did! Oh well, I'll just have to dream and continue to enjoy my 2.0L of 2002 turbocharged AWD goodness!
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:09 AM   #14
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Straight from Cars 101 (http://www.cars101.com/subaru/impreza/wrxsti2010.html):

Special Edition (SE) model ADDS to STI
1mm thicker rear stabilizer bar
Stiffer rear sub-frame bushings
Front springs- upgraded, retuned front springs- 16% stiffer
Rear springs- upgraded, retuned front shocks- 29% stiffer
Charcoal 18 x 8.5" 14spoke alloys (JDM WRX STI spec C) replaces 5 spoke
Headlights- Halogen replaces HID
CD single disc player withg 4 speakers replaces CD changer with 10 speakers
Manual AC controls replaces Climate Control
Painted outside mirros replaces painted outisde mirrors with built-in turn signals


Special Edition (SE) model DELETES from STI
Power adjustable headlight aiming
HID headlights (replaces with halogen)
CD changer (replaces with single disc CD player)
10 speakers (replaces with 4 speakers)
Climate control (replaces with manual controls)
Turn signals in the body colored mirrors (replaces mirrors with turn signals)


Hope that helps! Pretty awesome upgrades vs. downgrades if you ask me.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:27 AM   #15
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The 2004 STi is more Spec C than this. I'm still rocking my stock 223,000 Watt sound system.
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Old 03-21-2010, 11:25 AM   #16
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I love mine!

Nice to see some exposure on the car but I want to see a true comparison of a STI and a STI SE...as well as a WRX I am so tired of reading these magazines questioning why by an STI so they can find out.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:35 PM   #17
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so..all I have to do is deal with is adjusting the AC myself? I think I can live with that :P lol
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:52 PM   #18
heleos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XIEmperoriX View Post
so..all I have to do is deal with is adjusting the AC myself? I think I can live with that :P lol
^^ My thoughts exactly :P I never used the auto climate controls anyway
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:55 PM   #19
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i'm a fan. its about time subaru is offering the US market jdm goodies. they said it in the press realease, 125 in aspen white and then they will keep making them in all colors as long as people buy it. its a test from SOA, whether its worth it to offer cars like this.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:42 PM   #20
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it would have been sweet if they offered 125 in AW and 125 in JBP. mmm

Last edited by imprezaL2345; 03-21-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:08 PM   #21
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Wow this looks great! Not a big deal loosing some of the standered amenities, i would totally buy one of these!
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:11 PM   #22
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I am also a fan of mechanical controls over electronic any day. I wonder if I can "downgrade" to a cable-operated throttle too??
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #23
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I like it - and that's the first time I've been able to say that about a Subaru in a good while.

Although I don't think it's the quantum leap in performance that SOA seems to be trying to portray it as, but regardless, I'm all for stripped content/cheaper models. Take the stereo out completely, give me manual windows and door locks, etc. I'm all for it.

As Subaru has done in the past - this is probably a soft release of sorts for cars that could be yet to come depending on the success of this model. (Cough) (Cough) Spec C.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:16 AM   #24
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ive got a deposit on one of last 2 aspen white SE's in jersey
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:17 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imprezaL2345 View Post
it would have been sweet if they offered 125 in AW and 125 in JBP. mmm
yeah man im going from a JBP 04 sti to a AW SE haha
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