It looks like Subaru is going to go that extra step to set the factory tuned STI apart from more mundane WRXs. The obvious reasoning for the new STIs name is the oversized sheet of lightweight carbon fiber that replaces the factory sheet metal and adds a bit of tuner bling to the turbocharged hot hatchback. This trick is currently being carried out by BMW with their two door M3, a design cue that makes it almost unthinkable to buy a four door version of the V8 powered Bavarian boy racer. The lightweight roof trick was first incorporated into the Subaru’s then WRC rivals at Mitsubishi with their Lancer Evolution IX MR. The MR used a aluminum roof skin that Mitsubishi’s engineers said had the same effect as lowering the car up to two inches. Taking the extra weight off the top not only lowers the car’s center of gravity, but it also makes the sport compact less top heavy which means that it will be less inclined to roll when tracking deep into the corners.
Subaru already has the razor sharp Spec C, but when they debut the special edition Impreza WRX STI Carbon at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show the Japanese automaker is hoping to attract a new kind of buyer to the Impreza STI family. Aside from the trick carbon fiber roof, which should come at a bit of a premium, STI Carbon’s interior is upgraded with some very exotic suede material. Not only is the upper half of the dash wrapped in the fuzzy fabric to eliminate glare in the windscreen. The Recaro sourced black leather STI bucket seats also get some grippy suede inserts to keep the driver in place when they push the Subaru’s symmetrical all wheel drive system to the limit. Almost every interior surface benefits from red accent stitching that matches the red STI logos embroidered into the car’s seat backs.
Another touch that goes along with the upscale theme is the STI Carbon’s exclusive 5 speed automatic transmission that was sourced from the larger Legacy sedan. Perhaps Subaru’s product planing team feel that those new car customers who would be able to afford the Carbon don’t want to be bothered with a clutch pedal. However being a turbocharged vehicle, the automatic will allow the engine to keep running at maximum RPMs during shifts and eliminate the lag inducing loss of boost that could actually give the STI Carbon an edge over the standard model.