Subaru WRX S4 tS - limited edition WRX debuts in Japan
Styling and suspension tweaks for Japanese-market WRX models, plus a special Nürburgring package
Subaru Technica International has announced a new limited edition version of the WRX - but as is often the case, is reserving the special model for Japanese sale only.
Based on the Japanese-market WRX S4, the tS model features a series of STI modifications that lift the performance and improve the styling of the standard car.
The 2-litre turbocharged FA20 boxer motor gets a new low back-pressure exhaust system with four tailpipes, a high-flow air filter element, and an improved oil cooler for the transmission - in this case, a Lineartronic CVT rather than the manual of a WRX STi.
In this trim it develops a round 300PS - 296bhp in old money, a figure identical to the 2.5-litre WRX STi models sold in the UK - with 295lb ft of torque, only slightly less than UK cars' 300lb ft.
More is done to the suspension, with STI-tuned Bilstein front and rear springs and dampers, a front strut tower bar and front draw stiffeners - devices that link the suspension mounts with the chassis rails to improve chassis rigidity - pillow ball suspension bushes and a reinforced rear subframe.
The S4 tS also sits on 19-inch BBS alloy wheels wrapped in 255/35 R19 Dunlop Sport Maxx RT tyres. A styling pack adds an STi mesh grille, lower splitter and some other STi details, while the interior also features liberal application with the Subaru Technica International brush, and a set of Recaro bucket seats.
An additional NBR challenge package is also available, celebrating Subaru's class victories in the 2015 and 2016 Nürburgring 24-Hour events. The standard tS's wheels change from silver to black, the boot lid gains a dry carbonfibre rear spoiler, a new emblem joins the exterior badging and the steering wheel is wrapped in 'Ultrasuede' rather than leather.
Japanese pricing sits at 4.968m Yen for the regular model and 5.292m for the NBR - equivalent to £37,700 and £40,200 at current exchange rates. Makes the £28,995 WRX STi seem something of a bargain.