First things first: They did NOT unveil the STi. I wasn't at the HQ the whole time, but I find it highly unlikely that they announced it with no fanfare whatsoever while all their fans were elsewhere watching the forest stages. I did see what I think were a couple of very good cosmetic reproductions, with the badging in all the right places, the door decals, and even the bigger hood scoop. They still had the big bug-eyed halogens. These weren't at any of the booths, they were just parked on the fire road along with all the other spectators in the Angeles National Forest.
But the day was not without merit! I can say that my first rally event was definitely worth the short drive. I've never seen so many WRXs in one place. Someone remarked that Subaru missed a great marketing opportunity; they should have driven up & down the fire roads with a video camera.
There were 2 LHD Evo VIIs in street trim: one (yellow) at the Mitsu booth & one (black) parked at the forest stage with MICHIGAN MANUFACTURER'S PLATES. The black one had the front licence plate frame offset to the side so the plate wouldn't obstruct airflow to the FMIC. I'll have to scan my pics as soon as I get 'em developed.
Two things about the Evo that might be of interest: First, there's a rumor going around that the US version might drop the electronic goodies. At least half of this rumor is false. I sat in the yellow one at the booth. There is a small button on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel marked "ACD"; and there are indicators in the gauge cluster for Tarmac, Gravel, or Snow. The center diff. appears to have crossed the ocean intact. The AYC might be a different story, but it seems to me that it would cost them more to separate it from an integrated system than to just send the whole package.
Second, I am 5'6" with a 32" waist. Not what you would call a "big guy" by American standards. The Recaros in the Evo were what I would definitely call "butt-huggers". I've never been so snug in a car. The bolsters were right up against my legs with zero space to spare. The shoulders were OK. So, it's as simple as this: if you're bigger than me, you won't fit, or you'll be really uncomfortable. I don't know how big the "average American" is, but I'm pretty sure I'm not it when it comes to stature.
Let's see, what else... Some chick paid $1200 in the auction to win a ride with Petter Sohlberg. Petter's run was pretty sweet. I guess he wasn't too worried about getting a good time, because before he finished he started doing donuts for the crowd, spraying vast quantities of dirt all over everyone. That happened quite alot if you stationed yourself near the apex of a turn. The air was crunchy today for sure...