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2019 Subaru WRX STI S209 commands $20K-plus premium over standard car

This is not a cheap sports car, but you get what you pay for.

2019 Subaru WRX STI S209
This thing costs more than a base 2020 Corvette Stingray.

Subaru's racy "S" line editions have existed globally for years, but here in the US, we've never been so lucky to experience one. That is, until the S209 showed up. It's just for Americans to indulge in, but it will not come on the cheap side.

Subaru revealed on Monday the 2019 WRX STI S209 will cost $64,880 after a destination charge. To put the figure into perspective, that's $22,285 more than a WRX STI Limited commonly found at Subaru dealerships. Granted, the S209 is absolutely a "you get what you pay for" kind of affair.

For the hefty cost, buyers are treated to an extra-wide body that takes inspiration from the Nurburgring Challenge race car. It also allows for a slightly wider front and rear track, and summer-only Dunlop SP  Sport Maxx GT tires are the only option. The 19-inch wheels are also standard. Additional vents boost aero and funnel more air to cool the engine, while heavy-duty six-piston front and two-piston rear Brembo brakes bring the car to a halt when needed.

Although this is a WRX that starts in the mid-$20,000 range, Subaru and the STI division spent plenty of time making changes under the surface. Bilstein dampers, stiffer springs and a new rear stabilizer bar are part of the goodies. Meanwhile, engineers applied reinforcements to the front crossmember and rear subframes to keep the WRX STI S209 as close as can be to riding on rails.

Plopped under the hood is a familiar boxer engine with more power to boot. Thanks to a new turbocharger, there's 341 horsepower and more midrange torque. At the driver's command is 330 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,600 rpm, which is plenty of oomph for exiting a corner. Any sort of automatic transmission is absent in favor of a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. This isn't a WRX meant for docile roads; the S209 wants to be on the track at all times. Remember, this special-edition sports car boasts an intercooler water spray system to, through the magic of engineering, help make more power.

Subaru will offer just two color combinations for the 209 cars going to production: a blue pearl with matte-gray wheels and a white pearl with gold wheels. It's probably best to move quickly on this car, and likely even better to prepare yourself for any inevitable dealer markups associated with this very special Subaru sedan.

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