Before the 2019 WRX STI models arrived this summer, sales of the performance-tuned STI had dropped throughout most of the year. Performance fans were waiting for the 2019 models to arrive. Now that the newly-upgraded 2019 Subaru WRX STI has begun to arrive at Subaru dealers around the U.S., sales have rebounded.
Subaru of America reported 2,523 units sold last month compared with 2528 for August 2017, a drop of just 5 performance models. Last month, the STI saw a big drop in sales (31%) as Subaru Corp made the switch to the newly-upgrade 2019 models. The larger Subaru dealers have been receiving new Standard and Limited STI models in August and it showed up in sales. Subaru doesn’t split out the WRX from the WRX STI, but much of the increase is likely due to the 2019 STI arriving in showrooms last month.
Subaru Corp made upgrades to the 2019MY STI
Subaru Corp upgraded the 2019 STI’s 2.5-liter boxer engine with more horsepower, from 305 to 310hp by adding a new air intake, high-flow exhaust system and higher turbo boost (now 16.2 PSI, up from 14.7 PSI). Subaru Tecnica International also retuned the ECU and gave the turbo EJ25 stronger pistons to increase engine performance. The 6-speed manual gearbox features a revised 3rd gear ratio which helps contribute to faster acceleration times.
Also new for 2019, is a limited production (250 units) WRX STI Series.Gray model. WRX STI Series.Gray ($39,695) comes in a Cool Gray Khaki exterior, features unique Crystal Black Silica badging and foldable exterior mirrors as well as 19-inch alloy wheels with a black finish. It also gets a silver finish with black STI logo on the Brembo brakes calipers. The WRX STI Series.Gray is upgraded with Bilstein STI sport-tuned suspension featuring Bilstein dampers for the inverted-strut front suspension and double wishbone rear suspension.
Performance fans were hoping for a larger power increase than just a 5hp bump, but at least it’s a start for the performance sedan. This was the first power increase since it was first introduced in 2004 in the U.S. market. More revisions are coming to the STI, but it’s still at least two years away.
The Japanese automaker is getting ready to give the WRX/STI a complete overhaul, but Subaru has not announced when we will we see the next-generation model, perhaps in 2020 or 2021. Many fans still want the return of the 5-Door hatch, but we don't know when or if it will return. If it does come back, we wouldn't expect to see it until the WRX/STI rides on the new Global Platform.
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Photo credit: Subaru AU