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2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition Review

This vehicle reminds me of a young stockbroker I once knew in London, England: a street-smart kid who worked his way up from quite humble beginnings to eventually become a Savile Row suited & booted executive. Quite an achievement, yet underneath the smart exterior he was still a young tearaway at heart, and could be a right little hooligan on a Friday night!

What is a Subaru WRX STI
To many, Subaru is a trusted purveyor of fine/reliable AWD automobiles. While this is unquestionably true, there are perhaps just as many who view the company solely as the maker of one of the greatest rally products the world has ever known: the exceptional Subaru WRX STI.

Designed with one purpose in mind, to excite, the WRX STI has long been the halo car of the rally video-playing younger generation. Its rallying heritage speaks for itself, and as a road car, its rivals are rather few and far between.

Yes, the WRX STI is the wild child of the Subaru brand, powered by the now-famous turbocharged 2.5L Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC), 16-valve BOXER engine (305 hp), and designed with the single purpose of bringing full-blown automotive entertainment to its driver. Whether you choose the sedan or the equally sporty hatchback version (the Tsurugi Edition is only available in the 4-door sedan), both come with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission, performance suspension and a Multi-Mode Driver-controlled Center Differential version of Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.

2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition Price & Specs
Exclusive to Canada, the Tsurugi Edition is a bit special, even in the world of the STI. With its luxurious leather-embroidered sports seats, distinct 18” Enkei Wheels and its trunk-mounted 10” Kicker® subwoofer, it brings a new level of sophistication to the range.

Perhaps the best way to describe the Tsurugi Edition is this: It sits there all sweet and innocent while the standard WRX STI shouts loudly at passersby (including local law enforcement officers), “Check out that monster rear spoiler of mine!” The Tsurugi, on the other hand, is perhaps the slightly wiser brother of the line-up, confident in its appearance, and yet just as sure of its capabilities. It’s a sleeper, no question about it!

The 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition is available now and priced at $41,495, but be quick as there are only limited numbers coming to Canada.

Driving the 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition
Power up the Tsurugi Edition and you instantly realize you’re in something special. A WRX STI doesn’t beg respect, it grabs you by the scruff of your neck and positively demands it. One tap of the happy pedal proves this, as the rev counter zings faster than anyone’s eyes can focus.

With three setup levels available (Sport/Auto/Sport-Sharp) together with adjustment for front/rear bias, there’s a suitable setting for any given driving situation. However, be warned, as the Sport-Sharp mode is more addictive than nicotine. Simply put, grab a hefty foot of throttle and the 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition takes off like a deranged panther (0-100km/hr in 5.4 seconds).

However, fortunately the steering and handling characteristics are such as to maintain control of the wild beast on any surface, and those Brembo brakes (standard fitment) work like a ship’s anchor. Yes, this is one of those cars you don’t want to tease at the traffic lights, as it will chew most vehicles up and spit them out!

Inside and Out of the 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition
The luxurious leather interior and its slightly subdued exterior rather dramatically alter the Tsurugi. Yes, it’s still a highly potent WRX STI underneath, but it now feels slightly more mature. Its lack of tail spoiler is not only noticed in the rearview mirror, but also in the absence of young hopeful (and somewhat foolish) challengers on the road. It is perhaps the automotive connoisseur’s version of the WRX STI, and viewed as such. I very much like the 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition.

Comparing the 2014 Subaru WRX STI Tsurugi Edition
In truth, the WRX STI has very little in the way of competition (its main rival being the Mitsubishi Evolution). However, the Tsurugi Limited Edition could alter things slightly in the sense that one or two (possibly higher-priced) German car buyers may now be tempted to check out their local Subaru dealer.

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