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2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI: The wing is back

Posted by Keith Griffin  April 2, 2010 11:00 AM

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(Clifford Atiyeh/Boston.com Staff)

NEW YORK—With apologies to Elton John, “The wing is back, the wing is back. Yeah, the wing is back.” That’s what Subaru proudly trumpeted with its introduction of the four-door 2011 Impreza WRX STI on Thursday during media days at the New York International Auto Show.

Clipped in the previous generation STI, the rear wing spoiler resumes its rightful place on this generation’s model.

It’s a wing that’s not necessarily cosmetic as it's paired with a 305 horsepower turbocharged/intercooled "Boxer" engine, six-speed manual transmission, and all-wheel-drive. It’s got the makings of a great rally car, but for everybody’s sake, keep this car out of the hands of new teenage drivers.

It has three drive modes — Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp — that are controlled by a rotary dial on the center console. The Intelligent mode would probably be called Comfort by most other manufacturers because it’s your basic everyday commuting setting. Sport provides quick throttle response and “powerful, linear acceleration,” as Subaru puts it. Sport Sharp just amps up all the performance a little bit more.

The WRX STI rides on standard 18-inch aluminum wheels that weigh 17.6 pounds less than the previous standard wheels (for performance, every pound counts). The rubber on the wheels are Dunlop SP600 245/40R18 summer performance tires.

Speaking of summer, all of this performance hits Subaru dealers later this summer. So, you’ll have at least a few good months before frost makes driving those summer tires a bit of a white knuckler, even with all-wheel-drive.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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