Subaru is bringing STI back to the Impreza – but with a catch

The all-new Subaru Impreza will finally be getting an STI badge – but it’s not what you’d expect. While previous WRX STIs have always been balls-to-the-wall extreme performance models, the one that Subaru will be unveiling at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon 2023 (TAS 2023) will seemingly just be an aesthetic makeover. Boo.

The Impreza ‘STI’ will be the headlining car at the stand, and will remain covered until the event begins.

According to the press release announcing their TAS 2023 line-up, Subaru said that the Japanese-market “standard model” Impreza will be unveiled at the show, “with STI parts equipped” – which suggests that it will only be a regular ol’ non-turbocharged Impreza, with STI-styled parts for some go-fast looks.

This is in line with what the company said earlier this year, that there will not be a WRX STI based on the latest-generation model, due to the tightening and constantly-evolving emissions regulations around the world.

RELATED: New Subaru WRX gets launched in Japan, STI Sport R has new chassis tech

All hope is not lost, however, because it does seem like there’s at least a semi-hot STI Sport # (hashtag?) version of the Levorg that will be making its debut at TAS 2023. And if we’re being honest, the Levorg is the better-looking car, anyway.

Information on the new model is scarce right now, as the only thing revealed by Subaru – aside from its looks – is that the new Levorg STI Sport # prototype will be a “STI complete car” based on the sporty Levorg STI R EX trim, with “enhanced stable handling and premium drive feel”.

The model will also be sold in “limited amounts”, presumably only in Japan.

Other cars slated to be shown off at Subaru’s TAS 2023 booth include the Rex Boost Gear Concept, a pretty sweet off-road-ready cousin to the Perodua Ativa, as well as the Crosstrek (previously known as the XV) Boost Gear Concept, and three race cars.

The Tokyo Auto Salon will be the first major international motor show for 2023. Aside from Subaru who has already confirmed its line-up for the show, Nissan has also announced that it will be unveiling the Fairlady X – a mash-up between the Nissan Murano SUV and the Nissan Z.

It will be an interesting week for automotive news starting 12 January 2023, so keep your eyes peeled!

ALSO READ: Subaru unveils all-new 2023 Crosstrek – drops ‘XV’ name globally


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