Wing Swap: JDM Subaru WRX STI S208 Special Edition Is 6000 Miles out of Reach

Subaru WRX S208 (JDM-spec)

The Subaru WRX STI has the most recognizable wing on the market. Along with its flat-four engine, permanent all-wheel drive, and gold wheels, it’s part of the car’s identity. So when Subaru releases an STI variant with an entirely different rear, it feels a bit like a disturbance in The Force. The new Japan-only S208 features a simple decklid lip, giving the S208 an aftermarket look.

This is not the first time we’ve seen this type of package. The S208 is a follow-up to the S207 we saw back in 2015, and it has undergone a similar group of changes. Developed with Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the S208 is the company’s performance flagship and features alterations to the engine, suspension, aerodynamics, steering, and weight of the vehicle.

Subaru WRX S208 (JDM-spec)

Unlike the U.S.-spec WRX STI, which uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer engine, the S208 has a tuned turbocharged 2.0-liter version. Thanks to a new ECU, it makes 324 horsepower and 319 lb-ft of torque compared to our STI’s 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. Additional upgrades include a performance muffler that decreases back pressure, a toggle switch that sprays water into the intercooler, and a low-pressure-drop air cleaner. In the name of weight savings and a lower center of gravity, the S208 features a carbon-fiber roof panel, an element that will be available in the United States on the upcoming WRX STI Type RA. The S208 also adds a mesh grille, a front underspoiler, a side bumper bezel, satin-finished door mirrors, and a rear bumper with air vents.

As with any STI, much of the focus is on keeping the car’s handling tight and planted. The steering-gear ratio was changed to a quicker 11:1, and 19-inch forged aluminum BBS wheels with 255/35R-19 tires increase grip. Many original STI parts on the S208 include a strut tower brace, a subframe, adaptive damping, torque vectoring, Bilstein front struts and coil springs, and Bilstein rear dampers and coil springs. Stopping power comes courtesy of Brembo 18-inch ventilated discs all around, with monoblock six-piston calipers up front and two-piston calipers at the back, painted silver and wearing STI logos. Inside, the S208 has black leather with silver contrast stitching, Recaro seats, and a steering wheel wrapped in faux suede, among other upgrades.

  • Japan-Only Subaru WRX STI S207 Is Your New Forbidden Fuji Apple
  • Behind the Wheel of Subaru’s WRX STI Global Rallycross Car
  • Subaru WRX STI: Full News, Reviews, Specs, Photos, and More

Subaru introduced a second offering as well, called the NBR Challenge package. A nod to the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and restricted to 350 units, the NBR pack is like an S208.2. It features the carbon-fiber roof, the carbon-fiber trunk lip, and a carbon-fiber wing of an entirely different design from the standard WRX STI’s, plus 19-inch BBS black aluminum wheels, black side mirrors, and black side sills.

The S208 can be had in WR Blue Pearl or Crystal White Pearl, and the NBR exclusively offers a third color choice, Cool Grey Khaki. Because the numbers are so limited—450 units of the S208, with up to 350 of those including the NBR trimmings—Subaru says it will turn to a lottery should demand exceed supply. Not that it matters in America.

Subaru-WRX-S208-JDM-spec-Reel

2017 Tokyo Auto Show Full Coverage

 


Car and Driver BlogCar and Driver Blog

Related posts: