Subaru is known for having an entire lineup of vehicles that come standard with all-wheel-drive. The only model with two-wheel-drive is the BRZ. But now consumers can buy a 2021 Subaru Impreza STI Sport in the two-wheel-drive configuration in Japan. The new STI Sport is also offered with four-wheel-drive, but neither variant are available in North America.
It's a surprise Subaru would offer a two-wheel-drive 2021 Subaru Impreza when it's the Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system that sets the brand apart from all other automakers. The 2021 Subaru Impreza STI Sport rides on the Subaru Global Platform, and the Japan-spec trim is a Subaru Tecnica International enhanced model.
Subaru says the STI Sport trim gets improved driving dynamics through the new front and rear dampers on the suspension. It enhances stability in the corners and offers a quicker steering response. Subaru Tecnica International did not change the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine's horsepower.
It's not the first time Subaru has offered a Japan-spec Impreza Sport trim with two-wheel-drive. Subaru had a 2018 Impreza Sport G4 in either 2WD (front-wheel-drive) or AWD for Japanese consumers. It's surprising, but the Japanese automaker offers all Impreza trims with 2WD.
Subaru could offer another new model with 2WD in the future. Automotive News talked with Kazuhiro Abe, Subaru's vice president for product planning at the Tokyo Motor Show. He told them in the Subaru and Toyota collaboration of its new all-electric model; the platform will support both configurations.
Abe says the new all-electric model will be about the same size as a 2021 Subaru Forester, and it will launch in the U.S. and be developed as a global vehicle. He also revealed it could offer a front-wheel-drive model with one motor and an all-wheel-drive variant with two electric motors.
In the U.S., the 2021 Subaru Impreza, Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, WRX/STI, and Legacy only come with all-wheel-drive. But Japan customers get the new 2021 Impreza STI Sport in both all-wheel-drive and two-wheel-drive models. Both sedan and hatchback models cost less than the AWD version, so we assume it's a good seller. You won't see the 2021 Subaru Impreza STI Sport in all-wheel or two-wheel-drive make it to U.S. shores.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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