I think what a lot of people were hoping for was for Subaru to follow through on the forged pistons and they didn't, at the very last minute.It's not about that. It's about the exclusivity, not "it's this much faster than a regular STi"
I think you are missing the point of this car, much like people don't see the point of a BRZ.
I can appreciate the exclusivity point of view, heck the Type RA has a good amount of that too, but I and others can't help feeling like Subaru gutted the heart of an S model for the sake of one step above an RA.
The S208 has much more of a bespoke interior than that of a Type RA and the first S209 has damn near the same interior of an RA - and I'm not trying to shine back on the RA, both of their interiors are way too similar to a regular STi.
Personally, I think STi could've done a little more than simply throwing the vast majority of their part's catalog, at what is effectively a Type RA at heart.