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Subaru Impreza WRX STI A-Line released in Japan

Thu, 05 Mar 2009

To bring its flagship performance sedan to the masses, Subaru has released the Impreza WRX STI A-Line in Japan.

The A-Line swaps-in a traditional five-speed automatic transmission with Sportshift in place of the six-speed manual. Paddle shifters and a blipping control system that automatically raise engine revs during downshifts are standard. This follows in the footsteps of Mitsubishi, which began offering its Evolution sans a third pedal last year with a dual-clutch gearbox.

Almost everything from the normal manual version makes the jump to the A-Line, with the exception of the Brembo brake system. In place of those, Subaru uses a set of 17-inch, dual-piston discs in the front and 16-inch discs out back. The rest of the chassis, exterior aero items and SI-Drive are carried over.

The A-Line's turbocharged 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder is rated at 296 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

Subaru says there are no plans to bring the A-Line to the States at this time. Currently, the fastest automatic-equipped Impreza in the U.S. lineup is the 2.5GT with 224 hp, which leaves plenty of room at the top of the range for the STI A-Line--in our opinion.

By Jonathan Wong