If you want one, you’ll have to relocate to South Africa

Subaru has launched the Impreza WRX STI Diamon Edition, the most powerful Impreza ever made. If you want one, you have to get to South Africa. Here’s why you should consider it: 349 horsepower and 342 pound-feet of torque are barely contained under the hood, and all that power is matched by an outrageous body kit.

Subaru has built numerous special edition Imprezas over the years. For instance, think about the 22B or the RB320, both dedicated to the late Richard Burns, or the Japan-only S208. Now, this latest super-Impreza is the work of Subaru South Africa who built it to mark the 30th anniversary of Subaru Technica International or STI.

This isn’t the first limited-edition model built by Subaru South Africa and, like the 15th-anniversary edition, it will most likely become extremely sought after as only 30 will be built. All of them are, probably, already booked and will be shipped to their very lucky owners in January of next year.

Here’s the gruntiest Impreza ever made, only it’s not here, it’s in South Africa

The Subaru WRX STI Diamond Edition Is The Most Powerful WRX Ever, But It's Not Coming to a Garage Near You
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The new fastest Subaru Impreza WRX STI packs a 349 horsepower punch and, surprisingly, doesn’t come from STI themselves, nor from longtime Subaru WRC partners Prodrive. Instead, the ’Diamond Edition,’ as it’s been christened, is a project signed by Subaru of South Africa and, as such, is only available there.

It's the result of over two years of research & development work that was carried out exclusively in South Africa.

It has, obviously, Subaru’s blessing but you’d be hardpressed to see any leave the country any time soon.

“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,” said Deon Van Heerden, Technical Manager of Subaru SA. That’s why the team of engineers also looked at ways of making this model stand out. You’ll see that its aggressive body kit is slightly inspired by the Prodrive-built Isle of Man TT record car.

The Subaru WRX STI Diamond Edition Is The Most Powerful WRX Ever, But It's Not Coming to a Garage Near You
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While the front fascia is largely unchanged, a bright yellow lip was added to the edge of the bumper. The lip extends around the side and raises into a pair of winglets just before the front wheel wells. The theme is continued around the lower edge of the side skirts which also feature a yellow extension. Similarly, The splitter at the back is also lowered by the appearance of the yellow lip which also covers the bottom edge of the rear overhangs. The 19-inch wheels, the massive wing attached to the trunk and just about anything else from an aesthetic point of view was left untouched.

However, Subaru South Africa took the time to personalize the cabin of the ’Diamond Edition’ Impreza.

It features unique elements on the dashboard as well as a numbered plaque on the driver's side.

The car also comes with a Harman Kardon 7-speaker audio system, a touchscreen infotainment system, and Android Auto and Apple Car Play functionalities.

The Subaru WRX STI Diamond Edition Is The Most Powerful WRX Ever, But It's Not Coming to a Garage Near You
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But this special model best sets itself apart through its performance characteristics. "We definitely wanted to achieve more power but not to a point where the vehicle became unpleasant to drive or too highly strung. I think we’ve achieved just that,” said Van Heerden.

What this means is that the car now produces 349 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 342 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm.

A standard WRX STI puts out 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque. The increase in output was achieved by remapping the ECU and by fitting a new exhaust system. This allows the 2.5-liter turbocharged four-pot to function more efficiently, but top speed still doesn’t exceed 160 mph. However, the sprint from 0 to 62 mph was shortened by 0.7 seconds and it now only takes 5.3 seconds while reaching 100 mph takes 13.7 seconds, over 1 second faster than a standard WRX STI.

The Subaru WRX STI Diamond Edition Is The Most Powerful WRX Ever, But It's Not Coming to a Garage Near You
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To keep everything nice and pleasant, as Van Heerden wanted, the ’Diamond Edition’ received a new engine brace and Brembro discs with 6-piston calipers at the front and 2-piston calipers at the back for improved braking power. The symmetrical AWD system is, as ever, present and works through the driver-controlled central differential. The steering is electrically-assisted and set up to feel sporty enough to be enjoyable, without being too rough. The power is delivered through a longer and lower torque curve, and it still reaches the wheels through a 6-speed manual transmission.

Everything seems to be right about the ’Diamond Edition,’

then. The only issue is that there will only be 30 units built and pre-orders already kicked off earlier this month, so all of them are presumably reserved.

In any case, it will only be available through a number of selected dealers in South Africa. If, by any chance, you’ll see one popping up for sale in a few years, remember that the original sticker price was $57,390.

Further reading

2018 Subaru WRX High Resolution Exterior
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Read our review on the awesomeness that is the 2018 Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven Exterior High Resolution
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Read up on what we thought after spending a week with the 2018 Subaru WRX STI

2017 Subaru Impreza High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru Impreza.

Mark Higgins Smashes Isle of Man Record
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Mark Higgins Smashes Isle of Man Record.

Source: The Drive

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