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Subaru WRX STI Final Edition. Image by Subaru.

Subaru WRX STI Final Edition
Run-out model marks the end of a glittering era for turbocharged boxer-four rally rep.
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What's all this about?


Could you stop shouting, please?

Sorry. Anyway, what you're looking at here is possibly the last-ever WRX STI, the artist formerly known as the Impreza. That burbling boxer-four engine note, the colossal rear wing, the car's giant-killing antics both on road and rally stages since the 1990s... all of it could be coming to an end as we know it. And Subaru has rather poignantly called this full stop on a motoring era the WRX STI Final Edition. The Scooby's swansong. Wipe away those tears, petrolheads.

Really? Is Subaru truly going to kill off its most characterful car forever?

Almost certainly. The WRX STI has been outmanoeuvred in recent years by the likes of the Audi RS 3, Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, all of which do its sort of affordable four-wheel drive cross-country pace, well... better. As a bewinged anachronism soldiering on, Subaru was really only making the WRX STI to serve a few diehard fans. Time, then, has inevitably been called on the old warrior.

No more WRX STI?! So what does the Final Edition come with, in order to sign off on this legacy (forgive the Subaru-themed pun)?

Just 150 examples of the WRX STI Final Edition will be made, hence our hollering about investment potential at the top of the piece. It features modest upgrades such as the Multi-Mode Driver's Control Centre Differential (DCCD) switching from a mix of mechanical and electronic to pure electronic control, enhancing the car's agility. Larger 19-inch wheels are fitted, which improve mechanical grip but which are primarily incorporated to accommodate bigger Brembo brakes with yellow calipers. There's a blacked-out lower grille in the front bumper, a larger cooling duct in the bonnet and the hexagonal main radiator grille has been sharpened. You'll also spot a Final Edition badge on the Scooby's door.

I still can't believe I'm hearing this. Anyway, what about the interior?

High-gloss black inserts for the instrument panel, gearstick surround, door panels and steering wheel contrast with red stitching and red seatbelts, to make for a bicolour ambience. Both front seats are now heated, while a 5.9-inch multifunction display has been added to the top of the dash. The instrument panel has been updated, the infotainment now includes DAB radio and a reversing camera is chucked in, to let you see behind that gigantic boot spoiler, while 'Final Edition' graphics are added. The WRX STI Final Edition also has bi-functional projector LED headlights, which have High-Beam Assist and steering-responsive fields of illumination.

How much is the WRX STI Final Edition?

Available to order from November 1, the Subaru will cost you £33,995. Expect that price to go up considerably in future if no more hot Imprezas or WRX STIs are ever made.

But why is Subaru killing the STI off?

It says: "With the launches of new models, and investment in platform and powertrains going forward, the timing has felt right to open a new chapter for Subaru and allow WRX STI's heritage to inform future developments, rather than being continued." So there you are - the king is dead. Long live the, er... XV. Sigh...

Matt Robinson - 1 Nov 2017

2017 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition. Image by Subaru.2017 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition. Image by Subaru.2017 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition. Image by Subaru.2017 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition. Image by Subaru.2017 Subaru WRX STI Final Edition. Image by Subaru.

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