Oh how we love uniquely South African performance cars! As South Africans, we were blessed with many incredibly special cars towards the latter part of the previous century, and with a rather big smile, we bring you news that one automaker is about to unleash a truly exclusive model.
This is the Subaru WRX STI Diamond Edition 30, and whilst its name might be a mouthful, this special edition model is not only the most potent WRX STI ever sold on our shores, but it also commemorates 30 years of Subaru Technica International. As a result, only 30 will be produced.
This isn’t the first time Subaru Southern Africa has released a uniquely South African model. In 2004 they created the WRX STI ‘STImulating Edition’. Only 15 were ever made, and they boasted a modified 225kw (up from 195kw) 2.0-litre turbocharged BOXER motor under the hood. The car went on to become something of an urban legend, despite its giant-killing abilities well chronicled.
With the WRX STI Diamond Edition 30, Subaru Southern Africa, is not exactly trying to emulate what they did with the STImulating, but instead aim to forge a new history. The project, which entailed 18 months of development, was spearheaded by the Subaru Southern Africa Team and led by Technical Manager of Subaru SA, Deon Van Heerden and the objectives were clear. "We needed to get STI reborn and create a vehicle that was more powerful and something that would become a talking point for STi fans."
Like the standard WRX STI, it uses a turbocharged 2.5-litre BOXER motor. However, thanks to an ECU remap and a performance exhaust system, power leaps to 260kw and 464nm. In typical STI fashion, the motor will be paired exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission and Subaru’s iconic Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system coupled with an electronic multi-mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD). In other words, it’s a real drivers car.
With the majority of cars sold to South Africans on the Reef, it was only logical to test it in the most difficult of circumstances. At over 1400 metres above sea level, the Diamond Edition 30 achieved a 0-100kph sprint time of 5.03 seconds – 0.7 quicker than the regular WRX STI. This suggests that it will easily dip into the 4s at sea level. The power bump also sees it shed over a second off the standard WRX STI’s 0-160kph time, managing a 13.7 second pass. Top speed though remains at a positively illegal 255kph.
Apart from the power increase, it has also been fitted with a new STi engine brace for increased stabilization and balance. Braking is handled once again by a high-performance Brembo braking system that features 6-pot calipers at the front and 2-pot calipers at the rear. This system also features 4-sensor / 4-channel ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution.
Other standard safety tech includes Active Torque Vectoring, Subaru Vehicle Dynamics Control and seven airbags including a driver's knee air bag. The sports sedan also features a number of driver assistance systems such as Front and Rear Cameras for safe and optimal positioning; Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic alert.
Don’t let the High Viz yellow accented bodykit distract you from the fact that this WRX STI strikes a more aggressive stance than the stock car. This is in part thanks to spacers all-round that allows the Diamond Edition 30 to sit 20mm wider. It also sits 10mm lower, giving it a more menacing look. The bright bodykit might not be to everyone’s’ tastes, but it suits the loud nature of this machine. And just the the STImulating Edition, it sports its exclusivity with a high gloss black 30 Diamond Edition badge on either sides of the rear wing.
On the inside, there is an exclusive numbered panel on the dashboard, complimented by a banging 7-speaker, 440W Harmon Kardon power speaker system. The 7.0-inch Touch Screen Infotainment System with 6-speaker CD and Bluetooth hands-free functionality now incorporates updated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications too.
Pre-orders of this halo model started in November 2018 through selected Subaru dealerships with deliveries of the car programmed for January 2019. Pricing is set at R799 000 inclusive of a 3yr/75 000km Full Maintenance Plan and a 5yr/150 000km Warranty.