With reviews abounding on the web touting or outright protesting the new 2008 Subaru WRX STI, is the world ready to jump ship? Everyone has an opinion (including us here at Motorpinion) about the move toward the hatchback in place of the iconic sedan that has graced our hearts and America’s back roads since 2003. The decision to move to the new platform for the 2008 WRX STI was not made lightly by our Japanese friends. On the contrary, they decided that the slide to the hatchback, although not popular with many Americans at first glance, was in the best interest of the STI nameplate.
Follow me here…in the recent past, more and more rally teams have been opting for hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus hatch and Suzuki SX4. The most significant reason for this gradual change is aerodynamics. Lets face it, the original boy racer “wing” on the original WRX STI was a love it or hate it wager by Subaru. Truth is that it was necessary for it to be so tall for the best performance due to the innate architecture of sedans. Now with the move to the hatchback STI, no more boy racer wing but better aerodynamics overall.
The longer roof line of the hatch and the addition of frames around the windows has also increased rigidity of the new model. Window frames may seem like common sense to many people who are not Subaru fanboys (or fanpeople… since we are obviously so obsessed with political correctness at Motorpinion) but the frameless windows have been part of the experience for years now. Good news is that I think that we can accept this change if it increases the car’s performance.
Bottom line is that the hatch STI is growing on most of us despite our initial stampede to Google to see if what we heard on the street was true. Check out the STI video below. Yes, I know it’s a Subaru ad but it gives a true rally feel to those uninitiated few.
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