Subaru could make a U-turn on its decision to axe the WRX STI from the UK line-up, Auto Express has learned. Back in December 2012 we broke the story that the new WRX STI, shown here in our spy pictures, wouldn’t be sold in the UK due to insufficient demand, but changing market conditions means it’s back on the table.
An inside source explained that a recent improvement in the Japanese yen to British pound exchange rate means better margins for its 50-odd UK dealers and a renewed appetite for the latest version of Subaru’s most iconic performance model.
The new WRX STI is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in early 2014, so a discussion to evaluate feasibility for the UK market has been scheduled for this Autumn. A final decision is expected sometime in late October or early November.
Following the template laid out by its predecessors, the newcomer is expected to use a tweaked version of the 2.0-litre Boxer engine from the new Subaru Forester Turbo – itself a turbocharged version of the BRZ’s engine. In the Forester, it develops 237bhp – 40bhp and 145Nm more torque than the BRZ – but this would be upped to around 300bhp for the STI.
But while things are looking good for the WRX STI’s return, the future for a high-performance turbocharged BRZ STI seems less certain. There’s still no official confirmation that such a model will make production, although a range of Pro-R upgrades for the BRZ will be available soon through the Subaru dealer network.
These include uprated springs and dampers, styling add-ons and an ECU remap which should up power to around 225bhp, according to our source.