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Subaru releases WRX STI Spec C in Japan

Subaru announces a limited version of its quintessential rally car, the WRX STI Spec C.

Subaru WRX STI Spec C
The WRX STI Spec C is lighter and has more torque than the standard STI. Subaru

When we tested the 2008 Subaru WRX STI last year, it seemed as if Subaru poured everything it could into this halo car. The STI is Subaru's signature rally car, competing with the Mitsubishi Evo for the hearts of gearheads around the world. But apparently Subaru was holding back, as it just released a limited run of 900 of a Spec C version of the WRX STI, this new car featuring even better performance than the standard STI.

Subaru managed to reduce friction in the STI's turbocharger through the clever use of ball bearings, which in turn let the company reprogram the engine computer. Although horsepower remains the same, at 305, torque has been upped to 311 pound-feet, from 290 in the standard STI. According to Subaru, it has improved handling by replacing the rear Torsen limited slip differential with a mechanical one, and also tweaked suspension springs and shocks. Subaru even shaved off some weight by fitting the Spec C with an aluminum hood and smaller battery.

But, as usual, Japan gets the best toys. The Spec C hits dealers in Japan today, and won't be exported.