Subaru WRX STI Blog

There were 6 noted versions of the STi. The different versions were marketed with consecutive numbers. Another way to tell the version of a WRX STi was to look at the chassis code. All WRX STis have the beginning chassis code of GC8 then followed by a letter from A to G.

The WRX Type RA Record Attempt) STi produced 275 PS (202 kW) and 32.5 kg/m (319 N/m) of torque. This version of the WRX STi was a stripped out car that had no sound-deadening, radio or air-conditioning. It came sparsely equipped as it was to be sold to racing teams that would throw out the cheap parts for racing parts. This version of the WRX came with a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD). This device was an electromechanical differential that could lock the differential. This allows the amount of torque sent to the front and rear wheels vary from a split of 35/65 to 50/50. The DCCD would be beneficial to people who used it in various rally conditions.

Version II (1995) – GC8C: The regular STi’s engine output stood at 275 PS (202 kW) and 32.5 kg/m (319 N/m) of torque. This was the year that STi started painting the intake manifold red. The car weighed 1240 kg and had gold wheels like the one on the World Rally Championship Impreza.

The V-limited STi edition was produced. It was a limited edition was often used to celebrate a Manufacturer or Driver title award to Subaru’s World Rally Team. The interior is colored blue on the seat inserts and carpeting. The WRX Type RA STi received a radio and air-conditioning in the V-limited form. 1000 WRX STi Version 2 V-limited were produced. 555 (the cigarette brand that was the premier sponsor of the Subaru World Rally Team) WRX Type RA STi Version 2 V-limited were produced.

Version III (1996) – GC8D: The engine was vastly updated and was given the name Boxer Master 4. It developed the then-established gentlemen’s agreement power limit of 280 PS (206 kW). Torque peaked at 4000 rpm with a value of 35.0 kg/m (343 N/m). The car gained 10 more kilograms and weighed at 1250 kg. The STi shared the same face lift that the rest of the Impreza line received.

With Version III came the start of the coupe version of the WRX STi. This car was to be the new basis for rally races. It is called the WRX Type R STi. The coupe was chosen by Prodrive because it was smaller, lighter and stiffer than the 4 door version. It was essentially a 2 door version of the WRX Type RA STi meaning it had DCCD, little sound-insulating material, close-gear ratios and the gearbox was hardened. This car also had an intercooler spray to cooler the intake charge for the turbocharger. This car was produced on an order-only basis.

The WRX Type RA was not produced and there were only 500 of the WRX STi Version 3 V-limited produced.

Version IV (1997) – GC8E: The power was again increased. This time 280 PS (206 kW) was produced, but the torque was increased to 36.0 kg/m (353 N/m).

Again, like the Version II, there were 555 WRX Type RA STi Version 4 V-limited cars produced. The WRX Type R STi Version 4 V-limited was produced on an orders-only basis with a 3 month waiting period.

Version V (1998) – GC8F: The power stayed the same as the previous version. The engine layout and design was made cleaner. This engine was dubbed as the Boxer Phase2 engine. The facelift the rest of the Impreza line also applied to here. The WRX STi weighed 1270 kg.

The V in “V-Limited” was dropped. There were 1000 WRX Type RA STi Version 5 Limited cars and the WRX Type R STi Version 5 Limited cars had a 4 month waiting period for each order.

Version VI (1999) – GC8G: Again the power stayed the same. Most the changes were cosmetic. The wing was sculpted to be more aggressive.

There were 2000 WRX STi Version 6 Limited and 1000 WRX Type R Version 6 Limited cars produced.

Japanese-spec Special Variants

22B STi (1998): In 1998, Subaru of Japan produced a widebody, 2-door, Impreza called the 22B STi. The 22B had the EJ22 engine as opposed to the regular EJ20 engine. This means the displacement was increased from 1994 cc to 2212cc. The block was a closed-deck borrowed from the Legacy’s EJ22. The heads (valves, valvetrain and such) were lifted from the STi Version 4 engine. It produce 280 PS (206 kW) and 363 N/m (37.0 kg/m) of torque at a lower engine speed of 3200 rpm. The redline was lowered from 8000 rpm to 7000 rpm.

The 22B was used to commemorate both Subaru’s 40th anniversary as well as the 3rd consecutive manufacturer’s title for Subaru in the FIA World Rally Championship. This car was given a unique color of blue and had fender flared widebody taken from the Peter Stevens designed WRC car. It sported a Bilstein suspension, a triple-plate clutch, cryo-treated gears, a unique spoiler, a unique bumper and custom BBS gold wheels.

The origin of the name 22B has often been debated. Many assume 22 referred to the 2.2 liter displacement and the B was for the Bilstein suspension. This would correlate with the idea that Subaru sells a Legacy Spec B, where the B represents the Bilstein suspension. Others believe that 22B was meant to represent the much recognized 555 decal on the WRC car as 22B is a hexadecimal representation of the decimal number, 555.

It is interesting to note that the 22B STi that is suppose to be #13 was never given the plaque. Subaru of America imported #13 to be used as a press car.

S201 STi (2000): Subaru Tecnica International started the S-series of special Imprezas. This series is a limited production series that sports an engine output of greater than 280 PS (206 kW) (special variant cars were excluded from the gentlemen’s agreement). The car was decked with nearly every single part from the STi catalogue.

The S201 was a 4-door STi that sported the only body-kitted S-series WRX STi. It had a tri-planar wing and a massive front airsplitter. The entire suspension was composed of STi parts. GD chassis (2001 – present)

In 2001, the Impreza line received a complete update. The chassis was stiffened so that it had 120% torsional stiffness increase. The WRX STi gained 17″ x 7.5″ alloy wheels over the previous 16″ x 7″ wheels. The 5 speed transmission (reputed to be one of the car’s weakpoints) was changed to an STi engineered 6 speed manual transmission. The engine was retained from the Version 6 STi and still retains the semi-closed deck block and is still labeled as the EJ207. However, the turbochargers are IHI models. The interior was updated with a STi logo on the gauge. The STi’s gauge also has a red shift light. The STi’s and optioned Type RA STi have received Brembo 4 pot front and 2 pot rear brakes while the bare-bones Type RA STi still carried the Subaru 4 pot front and 2 pot rear brakes. Externally, the STis had larger hoodscoops and had foglight covers with STi embossed on them. The DCCD was updated so it can work with anti-lock brakes. During braking, when the ABS is on, the DCCD will set itself to open-mode (no locking).

The version nomenclature was dropped from the name. To distinguish between the years, Japanese and other auto-enthusiasts often refer to the chassis as GDB (the STi had a ‘B’ where as the regular WRX had an ‘A’) revision A to F where F is the current (2006) version.


Rev. A (2001): In 2001, the WRX STi received the aforementioned updates. The WRX Type RA STi was produced. The STi wagon was still produced but it’s engine only produced 260 PS (191 kW). The STi foglight covers had white STi lettering on them.

The WRX Type RA STi was used for the Group N homologation.

Rev. B (2002): Along with the rest of the Impreza line, the grill and body of the WRX STi was minorly updated by Peter Stevens to give it a more angular look when seen from the side. The foglight covers had pink STi lettering. Not much else besides minor suspension improvements and a small increase in torque output was done.

The WRX Type RA STi was dropped for a new WRX STi Spec C. This model was much lighter than the WRX Type RA as it received lighter glass and body panels. The Spec C’s handing was much improved due to an increase in caster (from 3.5 degrees to 5 degrees). This was achieved not by changing the suspension mounting point, but by lenghtening the wheelbase (15 mm). This was done by including different control arms. This increased caster significantly helped the turn-in capabilities of the car. The Spec C also has a steering rack ratio of 13:1. The transmission is supplied with its own oil cooler.

The WRX STi was used for Group N homologation.

The WRX STi wagon had ceased to be produced.

Rev. C (2003): Not much was changed.

The WRX STi was used for Group N homologation.

Rev. D (2004): The WRX STi received the same Peter Stevens-designed facelift that rest of the Imprezas received. The WRX STi is now capable of being ordered with DCCD.

The WRX STi Spec C Type RA was released. It sported a carbon-fiber wing and a carbon fiber lip. It also had a new set of BBS wheels as well as a newly tuned engine.

The WRX STi V-limited was released. It sports 4-way dampers tuned by Subaru World Rally Team’s Group N driver Toshi Arai.

The WRX STi was used for Group N homologation.

Rev. E (2005): The WRX STi receives the same increase in wheelbase as the Spec C. All STis received additional rear fender flaring in order to allow an increase in wheel size. The wheel size went from 17″ x 7.5″ to 17″ x 8″. In accordance with the increased wheel width, steering lock-to-lock turns have been reduced. Wheel hub strength was improved. The P.C.D. was changed from 5 x 100 to 5 x 114.3.

The DCCD mechanism is improved with the addition of a yaw rate sensor that helps the AWD’s computer determine torque distribution to the wheels and reduce understeer or oversteer. Unlike the Lancer Evolution’s Active Yaw Control, the system still only varies the torque split of front to rear and not side-to-side.

The WRX STi Spec C WR-limited was used for Group N homologation.

Rev. F (2006): The WRX STi continues on relatively the same. The Impreza line’s looks have been changed by Andreas Zapatinas.

The WRX STi Spec C’s receives the Arai tuned dampers and a 21-mm swaybar. The rear suspension is changed from rubber bushings to pillowball bushings. The strut tower was further stiffened for improved handling and stability. The strut towers were reinforced for better handling and better ride characteristics. The engine mounts were changed from metal to liquid-filled plastic mounts to reduce vibrations into the car’s cabin.

The DCCD is updated with the use of a torque-sensing mechanism inside the DCCD. The torque split is changed to 41/59.

The WRX STi Spec C was used for Group N homologation.

Japanese-spec Special Variants

S202: This car was an S-series Impreza based on the Spec C. All of the suspension and powertrain parts included STi parts from the STi part catalogue. The interior included special edition black seats with red STi logo stitching. A smaller, lightweight AC compressor was fitted to save weight. The brake rotors were gas slotted. The rims were STi labeled Ray’s Volks rims.

S203: This limited edition Subaru was an S-series Impreza based on the WRX STi. Again it is basically a car with all the STi parts available. It was shod with custom made 18 inch BBS rims with Pirellis. The crankshaft is balanced by hand.

S204: The new S204 was released at the end of 2005. It is based on the WRX STi and similar to the S203. It does away with the roof spoiler and has a different grill from the rest of the Impreza line.

Asia, Oceania and European-spec

In 2001, most of Asia, Oceania and Europe received the new STi. The engine was detuned to meet emission standards. Instead of the stated 280ps, the engines produced 265 PS (195 kW).

In 2006, the engine was changed to the EJ25 and produces 280 PS (206 kW). The STis finally received the DCCD that US models had from the beginning and the extra wheelbase increase like the Japanese-spec WRX STi Spec C.

Scribbled on September 16th 2006 in Subaru, Subaru Impreza STI
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