In my opinion, Subaru would be making a huge mistake by pricing the STi as high as $32,000, let alone any higher than that. I don't say this because I feel like the car isn't worth that much. Personally, I'd probably be willing to go as high as $32,000 for the STi given the specifications we've seen. The reason I say this, is that by pricing the STi starting at $32K or more, they are basically conceding the $28K to $30K price point to mitsubishi. I can't see anyone who is in the market for an EVO at $29,000 going up by 10% or more to get into an STi, or going down that much or more to a WRX. Also, at $32,000 they are are already at the same price as an Infiniti G35C 6MT, and over the price point of a G35. However, despite the better power numbers for the STi, I can't see many people who are shopping the G35C or similarly priced car switching to a Subaru. The STi simply isn't going to come with the type of service, luxury, or snob appeal that the Infiniti/Lexus/BMW's have.
At $29,995 (with no options) they put themselves back into the same range with the EVO. At that price, mitsubishi and EVO fans will still take the Lancer, but the STi would have a huge advantage amongst those who are on the fence or considering both cars. At this price point subaru would also not be up against the entry level infinity or lexus. That price is also high enough that it probably won't pull many sales away from the WRX, and low enough that it leaves room for future models to come in higher. Think about this, if they price the Impreza STi at $32,000, where does that put the price of an STi Legacy, or a high end outback? $36K? 37? 40? Is anyone really going to pay the price of a BMW330 for a turbocharged Legacy? I realize many of the people in this forum would, but would the average person shopping for a BMW consider that a viable option?
I agree with what many people have said, that subaru could easily sell the expceted alotment for this year at just about any price up to $35,000. However, this might not be the wisest move Subaru could make for the long term.
Personally, I expect that the price w/o any options will be $31,995, and with a stereo, floormats, destination, and other costs, you won't get off the lot with one for less than $34K. I am HOPEFUL however, that subaru surprizes us all (as they did with the specs) and sets the base price at 29,500, or 29,995, which should allow us to get off the lot with one for around 32K. While that would certainly be good news for those of us looking to buy one, I think it would be in Subaru's best interests as well.
Bottom line, at <$30,000 the car is mine. End of story. From 30-32K, I'll probably still get one, but I will also be going out to test the EVO, 350z, and g35c just to compare. At over 32K, I'll be in one of those other cars.