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Isn’t that how it should be? The S209 is suppose to be and hopefully will be the final iteration of the current platform, with that being said, there is a huge part of me pray that the next gen will retain and stay true to being a driver’s car. Generations of Porsche had already surpassed the air-cooled 911 in term of performance long ago, but that doesn’t mean people stopped appreciate them. I still get giddy seeing a 308 GTS or an Espirit Turbo on the road today even know that the engines in today’s compact SUV can out power them with ease. I don’t know what the S209 will become, that’s for history to decide. I do think that a little restrain and respect can be shown toward the S209 owners. My purpose of posting the videos is because I think as car enthusiasts, we can all benefit from learning more about the car from a different POV that most people never thought about. Then again, I could be wrong.
There's nothing wrong with the car. It's a great car. But if you ask me, after all these years of stagnant performance, or even worse performance than the early STI's, this S209 should be the normal version. For $37-42k. Not $60-65k. All the crap they did to it, should be standard already. In 20 years the Mustang has doubled in performance. The STI.... added a bunch of weight and 14 horsepower.
The S209 is an awesome car. For the price of a normal STI.

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Long ago the STI engineers were asked why not introduced S line to the US market. The replied not that they don’t want to but it will be very expensive and they can’t see it selling.

There is business aspect that made the S209 expensive. We may not know exactly what it is - but you know these cars are hand built. And labor is expensive.

If power alone is the benchmark of which the car is to be judged; truth is no S line is ever worth its asking price - even in Japan. But you know sometimes there are intangible quality and value that makes certain product appealing - for certain individual.
 

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Any chance of 2021 STI getting s209 engine? Just seems like a subaru move after what they did with the RA.
I don’t think so.

we know it uses production model cast piston, but it may still be treated like all the S line engine; blueprinted and balanced by STi.
 

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Long ago the STI engineers were asked why not introduced S line to the US market. The replied not that they don’t want to but it will be very expensive and they can’t see it selling.

There is business aspect that made the S209 expensive. We may not know exactly what it is - but you know these cars are hand built. And labor is expensive.

If power alone is the benchmark of which the car is to be judged; truth is no S line is ever worth its asking price - even in Japan. But you know sometimes there are intangible quality and value that makes certain product appealing - for certain individual.
I agree on the intangibles. My 2020 has so many little improvements over my 2017 STi that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
 

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There's nothing wrong with the car. It's a great car. But if you ask me, after all these years of stagnant performance, or even worse performance than the early STI's, this S209 should be the normal version. For $37-42k. Not $60-65k. All the crap they did to it, should be standard already. In 20 years the Mustang has doubled in performance. The STI.... added a bunch of weight and 14 horsepower.
The S209 is an awesome car. For the price of a normal STI.

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You just had to go and bring up the Mustang, that’s a raw nerve for me. I don’t want to go off topic with this thread, but I can spend days talking about that and the C8. In short, and this is only my opinion, until the 6th generation, the lack of development of that car is a joke. I am a huge fan of the GT-350 and am so glad that Ford finally decided to go to the global market with the car.
 

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You just had to go and bring up the Mustang, that’s a raw nerve for me. I don’t want to go off topic with this thread, but I can spend days talking about that and the C8. In short, and this is only my opinion, until the 6th generation, the lack of development of that car is a joke. I am a huge fan of the GT-350 and am so glad that Ford finally decided to go to the global market with the car.
I used the Mustang as an example, but it's virtually everyone. Look at a Civic from 1999 vs a Civic now. Point is that back then when you bought an STI, (or Evo) you had a car that while cheap(er) on the inside, could destroy just about anything it came across. I've said this before, but as a young man I got more excited seeing a 555 edition STI or a Tommi Makkinen Evo on the road than the supercars of the day. I really hope Subaru uses the Civic Type R as inspiration and releases something wild for the next gen. I'm over the Camry with a wing look. The S209 is a good start, but it needs to be like that as a base. Not as a premium.

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I used the Mustang as an example, but it's virtually everyone. Look at a Civic from 1999 vs a Civic now. Point is that back then when you bought an STI, (or Evo) you had a car that while cheap(er) on the inside, could destroy just about anything it came across. I've said this before, but as a young man I got more excited seeing a 555 edition STI or a Tommi Makkinen Evo on the road than the supercars of the day. I really hope Subaru uses the Civic Type R as inspiration and releases something wild for the next gen. I'm over the Camry with a wing look. The S209 is a good start, but it needs to be like that as a base. Not as a premium.

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I will like to revert back to the two STI videos, if you have not watched it, then I suggest that you watch them just for informational purpose. BTW, what is your opinion on the older Japan only S-Editions or the South Africa only Diamond Edition STI?
 

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I will like to revert back to the two STI videos, if you have not watched it, then I suggest that you watch them just for informational purpose. BTW, what is your opinion on the older Japan only S-Editions or the South Africa only Diamond Edition STI?
Well, the S208 cost $51k , the Type RA-R was about $48k, and the Diamond Edition is about $56k. The latter being very rare at a run of 30, and more powerful. So $9k less for a more powerful, and more rare STI. Think that proves the fact that Subaru is raping it's U.S. customers.

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we know it uses production model cast piston, but it may still be treated like all the S line engine; blueprinted and balanced by STi.
I don't think so. Last I checked, the short block has the same part # as the standard STI.

Any chance of 2021 STI getting s209 engine? Just seems like a subaru move after what they did with the RA.
I don't think we'll see the HKS turbo on a mass production vehicle.
 

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Well, the S208 cost $51k , the Type RA-R was about $48k, and the Diamond Edition is about $56k. The latter being very rare at a run of 30, and more powerful. So $9k less for a more powerful, and more rare STI. Think that proves the fact that Subaru is raping it's U.S. customers.

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I think as a fellow car enthusiasts, you will probably agree that when it comes to car comparison, you have the statistic evaluation and then there is the emotional evaluation. And since I have not driven any one of them, I will stick to what's on paper at this time. My numbers on these cars are a bit off compare to yours and I tried to base my research to one publication for consistency but ran into difficulty with the Diamond Edition.

S208 from Road & Track in 2017 (You Need to Win a Lottery to Be Able to Buy Subaru's Newest WRX STi)
Base S208 (100 build) priced at $50,831 and the NBR Challenge Edition (350 build) is listed at $57,776. In this case, I think we can ignore the power output comparison and just focus on body and chassis upgrades for obvious reasons. But I will list it just for academic purpose, the output is rated at 324bhp/319ft-lb. In this case, the NBR Edition is closer to the S209 in upgrades, mainly because of the CF roof and rear spoiler in addition to the base S208 chassis upgrades.

Diamond Edition from Motor1.com in 2018 (Subaru Builds Most Powerful WRX STI Ever, But There's A Catch), a total of only 30 build. List price at $56,000. The powerplant is closer to the S209's as both are EJ257, slightly more power than S209's (348bhp vs 341bhp and 342ft-lb vs 330ft-lb). However, there are no other chassis upgrades other than a wider track by using 20mm spacers and STI front strut tower bar (See video below). Not to take credit away from the car but it is not really a car by STI but by Subaru of South Africa.


Now the S209, listed at $64,000. With an engine upgrade close to the Diamond Edition, chassis upgrade from the S208 NBR Edition, a wide body aero upgrade all packaged together, build by STI with all factory warranty etc. all for an additional $6,000. While I agree with you that the sticker price of $64,000 is hard to accept, but I think to say that Subaru is raping the US customers with the S209 is a bit harsh. And if you take into the challenges STI had to overcome as per the videos I posted earlier, I think it is not that unreasonable anymore.

Now, just like it was pointed out earlier, the philosophy of the S-cars at Subaru and STI has never been all about power, it has more to do with the driving experience and dynamics. It is closer to Chapman's philosophy than to Ferrari's, and unfortunately, I think most owners will not get to really enjoy the driving aspect of the car which I think is a huge mistake. Should one ended up in my garage, I fully intent to use it as a daily driver with no hesitation.

Anyway, I did ended up checking on cargurus.com and contacted about 20 dealerships. No one I contacted is selling them at MSRP, in fact, the mark up is between $35K to $7.5K.
 

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There was also the TC 380 that shares the same HKS turbo as the S209.. 380 HP for ~$44k.

IMO, there are a lot of special bits missing to make this a true S car:
  • Hand built & balanced engine (yes, with forged pistons)
  • Modern turbo setup (EL TS ball bearing turbo)
  • Bilstein DampMatic II suspension
  • Real Recaro seats
  • Better torque curve & 8k rpm redline (resulting from a better turbo setup & head flow)
The lack of a hand-built engine and ELH paired with a modern turbo setup diminish the STI-ness and heritage of the S209. That's not to say that it's a bad car, but it's not an engineering advancement in the S model lineup. Yes, it makes more peak power and may have better track times as a result of the wider, stickier tires.

Is it an improvement over the USDM STI? Yes.
Is it what we all lusted for? Absolutely not.
Is it the best that STI had to offer? Nope.

It's clear from the videos that the car was rushed and a lot of compromises were made. Unfortunately, the price doesn't reflect this.. even more so when you factor in ADM.
 

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There was also the TC 380 that shares the same HKS turbo as the S209.. 380 HP for ~$44k.

IMO, there are a lot of special bits missing to make this a true S car:
  • Hand built & balanced engine (yes, with forged pistons)
  • Modern turbo setup (EL TS ball bearing turbo)
  • Bilstein DampMatic II suspension
  • Real Recaro seats
  • Better torque curve & 8k rpm redline (resulting from a better turbo setup & head flow)
The lack of a hand-built engine and ELH paired with a modern turbo setup diminish the STI-ness and heritage of the S209. That's not to say that it's a bad car, but it's not an engineering advancement in the S model lineup. Yes, it makes more peak power and may have better track times as a result of the wider, stickier tires.

Is it an improvement over the USDM STI? Yes.
Is it what we all lusted for? Absolutely not.
Is it the best that STI had to offer? Nope.

It's clear from the videos that the car was rushed and a lot of compromises were made. Unfortunately, the price doesn't reflect this.. even more so when you factor in ADM.
The TC380 is another interesting exercise. 50 made, with collaboration from Arai Motorsport and HKS. I think their relationship is similar to Saleen Automotive and Ford, MTM and Audi or AMG and Mercedes before Mercedes acquired AMG. I can’t say that I know a lot about the cars but I think the main upgrades revolves around power output as well.

As much fun as it is to compare all these variations of the STI, only the S209 had to go through and be federalized for sale in the US. So all the prices we are comparing the S209 to will be much higher.

However, I do agree with your comment. In the video, explaining the switch from forged pistons to mass production pistons, that was done against the clock as the car was certified as a 2019 model. Not sure exactly what the import law or NHTSA/EPA laws has on that. I do think the S209 upgrades does parallel the upgrades of the previous S-models. In terms of power, the S207 or S208 was not leaps and bounds beyond the standard JDM STI’s either.
 

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Meh . . . discussions over a few HP and significant surcharge. The car needs at least 100HP and many many of us are driving such cars. 400AWHP is common not infrequently on stock blocks these days!!!

I'm on record as claiming the STI is not a sports car, and thats the thing. It's a performance oriented grocery getter family car (yeah I'm aware that the US feels nothing smaller than an SUV is a family car) that could embarrass many higher priced cars, even performance oriented ones. This hasn't been the case for quote a while.These days it's a performance oriented family car. It is more modern and friendly. Um nice . . .


Invested some time explaining the/my situation, what I wanted for in my next car an how I would go about getting it. Her comment was, "your going to build it? You better start soon" . . . :)
 

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I own a white #129 S209. I love my car. It's an amazing piece of machinery. My daily driving experience is different than most of you. I live in the mountains of Nor Cal. Lots of sharp, wet, twisting roads. This car is built for me. I own 4 Subaru vehicles(and some others). they are a 2007 STI Limited, 2007 Legacy Spec B(highly modified), very early 2015 STI Limited, and the S209. I drive these cars extremely hard daily. I can say from experience that this car lives up to its hype. It makes my 2015 STI feel like a mini van. You can mod a car for a long time, and a lot of money, and still not get something as balanced as this. Now there are cars out there that are better than this car in one way or another. Subarus aren't the best at anything, but they are great at everything. And the S209 is the best of them in real world driving. I went back and forth between the GT500 and the S209. It was an extremely hard choice. After all, I already own a bunch of Subarus. It all came down to where I live and the way I drive. My daily drive is like Laguna Seca in my backyard. Needless to say I'm stoked I went with the S209. I wouldn't have been able to let the mustang do what it does best where I live. The S209 amazes me every time that I take it out. That being said, I'm still learning how to drive it. It's so different from my 2015, that it doesn't even feel like the same car. Just my 2 cents. Thanks everyone and have a great day.

Pit Boss
 

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I own a white #129 S209. I love my car. It's an amazing piece of machinery. My daily driving experience is different than most of you. I live in the mountains of Nor Cal. Lots of sharp, wet, twisting roads. This car is built for me. I own 4 Subaru vehicles(and some others). they are a 2007 STI Limited, 2007 Legacy Spec B(highly modified), very early 2015 STI Limited, and the S209. I drive these cars extremely hard daily. I can say from experience that this car lives up to its hype. It makes my 2015 STI feel like a mini van. You can mod a car for a long time, and a lot of money, and still not get something as balanced as this. Now there are cars out there that are better than this car in one way or another. Subarus aren't the best at anything, but they are great at everything. And the S209 is the best of them in real world driving. I went back and forth between the GT500 and the S209. It was an extremely hard choice. After all, I already own a bunch of Subarus. It all came down to where I live and the way I drive. My daily drive is like Laguna Seca in my backyard. Needless to say I'm stoked I went with the S209. I wouldn't have been able to let the mustang do what it does best where I live. The S209 amazes me every time that I take it out. That being said, I'm still learning how to drive it. It's so different from my 2015, that it doesn't even feel like the same car. Just my 2 cents. Thanks everyone and have a great day.

Pit Boss
Thank you for sharing, it is great to get an actual owner's POV on the car.
 

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This car is built for me. I own 4 Subaru vehicles(and some others). they are a 2007 STI Limited, 2007 Legacy Spec B(highly modified), very early 2015 STI Limited, and the S209. I drive these cars extremely hard daily.
. . .
I wouldn't have been able to let the mustang do what it does best where I live. The S209 amazes me every time that I take it out.
. . .
That being said, I'm still learning how to drive it. It's so different from my 2015, that it doesn't even feel like the same car. Just my 2 cents. Thanks everyone and have a great day.
How do you drive it differently than the other cars?

What does the mustang do best? that you couldn't take advantage of?
 

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Like I said, where I live, the roads have tight sweeping corners, long uphill and downhill sweeps. Roads are often wet and covered in redwood needles. Not the best circumstance for grip. That being said, the AWD of the STI inspires confidence. I can set myself up for a corner, then slam the gas out of an apex, and shoot out like a rubber band. I never drop the clutch from a dig, but I do push the engine to its fullest in the smoothest way possible. I am constantly timing my drives to the coast, trying to improve my skills with every drive. As far as how I drive other cars(my Ram 1 ton diesel, and I had a mini van when kids were growing up), I drive them within a comfortable limit. I still drive fast, but handling sucks, so I drive within there limit. My Subarus, I am always learning new ways to push that limit.

As for the GT500, almost pushing 800 hp, and being RWD. It would be dangerous on these roads. Yes they handle nice, but it will not hold the corners in the same way. It would not inspire the kind of confidence to constantly push limits. I had images in my mind of losing traction and flying 200 feet down a cliff and into a tree(this is a common situation where I live.) I have very few straight roads where I live. I wouldn't be able to use the power that car makes around here very often. 300 HP is plenty of power for these roads, and 341 is pretty nice too. My Legacy is pushing 400 to the wheels, and is more than I need. It all comes down to the AWD of the Subaru. It makes all of the difference in the world. Spinning ain't winning. If I lived closer to a track it would be a different story, or if I lived in a place with more wide open roads. I can honestly say that my STI cars have helped me to become a better driver. I Hope that I answered your questions. Thank you and have a great day.

Pit Boss
 
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