For 2005, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi receives some performance improvements via a new Driver Controlled Centre Differential with revised yaw rate sensor, a new helical-type front limited slip differential and new, wider 17×8 lightweight alloy wheels with ultra-high-performance tires. Other new features include an upgraded stereo, anti-theft immobilizer, heated seats, rear cupholders, new automatic climate control system, and restyled interior trim with new centre console.

Based on Subaru’s WRX World Rally Championship car, the WRX STi uses a turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-litre boxer engine that’s mated exclusively to a six-speed short-throw manual transmission. Naturally, since this is a Subaru, power goes to all four wheels; using a control wheel on the console, the driver can vary the front/rear torque split, transferring as much as 65 per cent to the rear wheels.

Available in a single trim line, the WRX STi includes leather interior, Brembo brakes with four-piston front callipers, heated sport seats with six-way driver adjustment, six-CD stereo, leather-wrapped MOMO steering wheel, aluminum alloy sport pedals, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, automatic climate control, cruise control and floor mats.

Using the same basic package as the Impreza WRX, the STi ups that engine’s displacement from 2.0 to 2.5 litres, with a jump in horsepower from 227 to 300. With its driver-controlled torque distribution system, the STi can get those horses to the pavement, too, with a top of speed of around 250 km/h. The homely wing really does serve a purpose, reducing lift at high speeds. A starting price of $47,995 makes it one of the more accessible high-performance sedans out there; although the supercharged Chevrolet Cobalt SS and the Dodge SRT-4 pump out their own better-than-average ratings for much less money, they’re not really in the same league.

The WRX STi is built in Yajima, Japan.

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