JOHANNESBURG - Only 30 of these hand-tinkered high-performance sedans will be sold in South Africa and each car will be delivered to customers with a special 'Owner's Certificate', certifying the limited-edition nature of the vehicle. WRX STi Diamond Edition pre-orders have opened through a handful of Subaru dealerships around the country, with deliveries of the first units scheduled for January 2019.
If you'd like to get your hands on one of these limited edition halo models, pricing is set at R799 000 inclusive of a three-year/75 000km Full Maintenance Plan and a five-year/150 000km OEM Warranty.
WHY DIAMOND EDITION?
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the STi moniker, Subaru Southern Africa wanted to do something special for local WRX fanatics by offering an ultra-exclusive model (with more grunt of course).
Other markets, Japan and the USA , are getting special edition models too, but guess what.SA-spec WRX STi Diamond Editions will be the most powerful of the lot anywhere in the world.
HOW THE SUBARU WRX STi DIAMOND EDITION CAME TOGETHER
How did the Diamond Edition come to life? Well, in anticipation of 2018 marking the 30th anniversary of STi, Subaru Southern Africa embarked on a development project to produce a more powerful version of the iconic performance sedan. It was a project that followed yet another undertaking of a similar nature just 14 years ago when the STImulating Edition STi was launched in South Africa only.
In 2004, Subaru SA delivered 15 special edition versions of the Impreza WRX STi. Based on the standard model, the limited-edition STimulating STi, developed 195 kW of power and 343 Nm of torque. These cars were a celebration of 15-years of STi and they have become sought-after machines.
The Diamond Edition follows the same tradition; a limited-run project of just 30 unique vehicles as an ode to 30 years of STi.
The project was spearheaded by the Subaru Southern Africa (SSA) Team and led by Technical Manager, Deon Van Heerden, and the objectives were clear: "We needed to get STI reborn and create a vehicle that was more powerful and something that would become a talking point for STi fans."
The first development mule arrived in December 2016 and official Diamond Edition performance development started in January 2017. It took 18-months to develop the car to a point where Subaru SA was happy with the results and the outcome.
EXTERIOR ENHANCEMENTS FOR THE WRX STi DIAMOND EDITION
Compared to the standard WRX STi, the Diamond Edition offers a more aggressive stance thanks to old-school spacers on all wheels. The car therefore stands 20mm wider than the standard model.
Another key identifier of the Diamond Edition is its body kit, finished in the same High Viz yellow hue that adorns the Brembo brakes.
A special suspension kit lowers the car by 10mm at the front adding to the sportier stance too, and gives the Diamond Edition a unique, stand-out presence.
At each corner, you'll find 19-inch 245/35 R19 rubber on darkened, lightweight, aluminium Y-design alloys.
On the inside, you'll get fresh dashboard inlays, unique to the Diamond Edition, with an exclusive numbered panel on the driver's side stating the number of your model.
Audiophiles will also appreciate the car's seven-speaker, 440W Harmon Kardon audio system with 17cm touch-screen infotainment system. Bluetooth, hands-free functionality now incorporates updated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications too.
POWER FOR THE HUNGRY
The WRX STI Diamond Edition's increase in power has been achieved through a re-mapping of the car's Electronic Control Unit and the fitment of a high-performance exhaust system. T he 2.5 litre flat-four engine's power is now a whopping 260kW at 4 500rpm, while torque peaks at 464Nm at 4 000rpm.
Top speed remains 255km/h, but the dash to 100km/h from a standstill has been significantly shortened. Tested in Gauteng at an altitude of 1410m above sea level, the Diamond Edition achieved a 5.03 second 0 - 100km/h time, 0.7 seconds quicker than its standard WRX STi. The 0 - 160km/h time has also been exceeded by more than 1-second with the Diamond Edition posting a 13.70 second time and the standard vehicle posting a 14.76 second time.
To cope with the extra performance, engineers fitted a new STi engine brace for increased stabilisation and balance.
Stopping power comes in the form of 6-pot anchors at the front and 2-pot units at the rear.
As always, drive in the WRX STi is courtesy of Subaru's famous Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system coupled with an electronic multi-mode Driver Controlled Centre Differential (DCCD).
HAPPY BIRTH-YEAR STi!