There's a bit of a fuzzy line in the sand between Subaru's marquee product the 2011 Subaru WRX STI, and its baser brother the standard WRX, and the little brother the 2011 Subaru Impreza. That line is getting ready to move but does it get any clearer?
The 2011 Subaru WRX STI is performance, out of the box racing pedigree put to the streets. But when you walk the show room at your Subaru dealer San Antonio, Texas and stand the STI up next to the WRX many of the old visual cues that set them apart are gone. Both have wider stances, similar hood scoops, and body styling. They differ on the spoiler, brakes, and engine. And the price.
The WRX are cars under $30000. Good luck getting that for an STI. But when you're standing there between those two cars at the Subaru dealer in San Antonio, TX is the price worth the return? To many who are all about performance yes, to those who just want a bit more pep off the line downtown it's harder to say. The line has been blurred.
The differences between the performance WRX and WRX STI are cleaner between them and the 2011 Subaru Impreza. Standing next to them at a Subaru Greensboro NC car lot, the stock car lacks the hood scoops, performance engines, breaks, even the wide stance. And the price gap is big enough that you could buy a used Subaru with the difference.
And if you peak inside the two cars at the Subaru in Greensboro, you'll notice another difference that may not be so different much longer. Standard Impreza can be stick or automatic. The WRX have always been stick, but recently there was a limited release of a slush box model WRX STI in Australia. Sadly our Subaru dealer locator doesn't cover down under.
Will we see automatic performance WRX's in the States? It's likely, there is high demand and older used Subaru models have done it in the past, though you'll likely be hard pressed to find one of these old performance autos even at used Subaru Springfield MO dealers. There's a lot of demand for AWD performance in an easy to drive automatic.
The interesting thing will be if the Australian import automatic comes over as a WRX or an STI. If it's a WRX, it blurs the line between them and the base Impreza but the demand will be so hot we may break our Subaru dealer locator. If it's a STI, the profits for Subaru dealers Rhode Island will be greater, but the buyers will be smaller. And elitist STI owners may stroke out.
To keep adding to the spin, the 2012 Impreza isn't looking to bridge the gap automatic vs. manual power gaps, but instead is focusing on fuel economy. Adding more cars under $30,000 to the Subaru lineup while offering over 35 MPG HWY in an AWD sedan and should be offered by Subaru dealers Rhode Island this fall.
We'll have to keep watch to see when we will see the performance boxer engine paired with an automatic and at what price range. Till then, combing the used Subaru Springfield MO car lots are your only hopes for finding one stock. Let the waiting, and debating, continue.