Performance Cars

Subaru teases hotter STI for 2019 Detroit Auto Show

This is likely related to the S209 trademark Subaru filed in the US.

A hefty majority of Subaru WRX STI special editions never make it to the US, but a new teaser video sure does make it seem like that's about to change.

Subaru published a new YouTube video Thursday, and the description reads: "Something special from Subaru Tecnica International is coming to America for the first time ever," and it ends with the date of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The video itself features a Subaru STI -- specifically, one with modifications similar to the Type RA we drove earlier this year -- whipping around a track.

While that teaser would ordinarily have us crafting all sorts of wild theories, there's a good chance we kind of know what it is already. Reports circulated this week that Subaru recently applied to trademark "S209" in the US. Last year, Subaru debuted the STI S208, a hopped-up STI that was only available via lottery, itself a follow-up to 2015's STI S207. Thus, there's a good chance that the S208's successor will finally come to the US.

However, that leaves us with one big question -- choice of powertrain. The S208 uses a 2.0-liter H4 engine that puts out 329 horsepower and 319 pound-feet of torque. However, every STI variant in the US still uses Subaru's old-as-sin 2.5-liter H4, which is good for 310 hp and 290 lb-ft in the Type RA. Autoblog pointed out that a South Africa-exclusive STI variant has a 2.5-liter putting out 349 horsepower, so Subaru may not need to try and slap a whole 'nother engine in a limited-edition US-spec STI.

Other goodies on the S208 include a faster steering rack, a front strut tower brace, Bilstein dampers, a carbon fiber roof, a spoiler the size of a dining room table and 19-inch BBS wheels. Some of that kit is similar to the stuff we received on the Type RA, but my eye spotted a few extra bits in the teaser video, like a set of dive planes on the front bumper.