Subaru’s high-performance STI arm is giving us another reason to be jealous of Japanese consumers because the division is launching the new WRX S4 tS there. The limited-edition model receives a bevy of improved parts, and customers who want even more style can order an optional NBR Challenge Package that recognizes the WRX’s class victory in the Nürburgring 24 Hours race.
The tS benefits from many of the suspension and chassis upgrades from last year’s S207 special edition but doesn’t receive the hotter model’s full range of engine improvements. The tS’ should at least sound better thanks to a modified air intake and new exhaust. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is good for 296 horsepower (221 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet of torque (400 Newton-meters). STI’s new limited vehicle only comes with Subaru’s CVT, and a transmission cooler improves its performance.
Most of STI’s work on the tS focuses on improving the WRX’s feel on the road. The upgrades include a flexible strut tower bar and improved front suspension with adjustable damping. The firm also adds new suspension links at the rear and a flexible subframe support. Brembo four-piston brakes are now on the front axle, too.
Customers likely want to show off that they have a limited edition WRX, so STI adds Cherry Red pinstripes around the mesh grille and rear bumper. It rides on a set of 19-inch wheels. There’s matching trim inside, and drivers sit in highly bolstered Recaro seats. Subaru’s EyeSight 2 driver safety suite is also standard.
Opting for the NBR Challenge Package adds a little more panache to the special edition model, but performance shouldn’t change much. The extra kit includes a set of black 19-inch wheels, rather than the silver ones on the standard tS. At the rear, there’s a carbon fiber spoiler and a special trunk emblem. Inside, the company wraps the steering wheel in Ultrasuede and adds a silver stripe at the top.
Japanese buyers looking for a sharper handling WRX with the CVT need to act fast because the tS is only available from October 4, 2016, through March 12, 2017. After taxes, prices start at 4.968 million yen ($48,500) for the standard model. The NBR Challenge Package pushes the cost to 5.292 million yen ($51,700).
Gallery: Subaru WRX S4 tS by STI
STI Releases Limited-Edition “WRX S4 tS” in Japan
October 4, 2016
Tokyo, October 4, 2016 – Subaru Tecnica International (STI),*1 the motorsports division of Fuji Heavy Industries, launches a limited-edition model based on the “WRX S4”. The model will be on sale for a limited period starting October 4, 2016 through March 12, 2017.
In pursuit of driving performance, the WRX S4 tS inherits some expertise of the S207 which stands at the pinnacle of the STI complete car lineup. The model also adopts advanced safety features such as the EyeSight*2 driver assist technology.
While engine torque during acceleration has been enhanced by 10% by employing modified air intake/exhaust parts, added oil cooler improves cooling performance of the Sport Lineartronic. Same as the S207, Handling is enhanced by the addition of original STI components including a flexible tower bar, DampMatic® II front suspension with adjustable damping, and front-rear Active Torque Vectoring, all of which combine to achieve a strong yet flexible ride and sharp cornering. Braking performance has also been enhanced with Brembo opposed-piston 4-pot brakes in front.
The new model comes with distinctive specifications: On the exterior these include STI-designed BBS 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, cherry red pinstripe on the mesh-type front grille and rear bumper, large front under-spoiler, black roof antenna (shark fin type), while the interior features STI-spec Recaro front bucket seats and an exclusively-made luminescent speedometer.
An “NBR Challenge Package” is also available, commemorating Subaru’s victory in the SP3T class*3 in the 2015 & 2016 Nürburgring 24-Hour Race.
*1. Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (President: Yoshio Hirakawa; Mitaka, Tokyo)
*2. EyeSight(ver.3) as it is known on the Japanese market.
*3. A class for turbocharged vehicles up to 2 liters.
WRX S4 tS
WRX S4 tS 「NBR CHALLENGE PACKAGE」
WRX S4 tS Main Features
■Suspension / Mechanism
・Exclusive performance muffler with lowered back pressure (featuring STI logo) teamed with exclusive rear exhaust pipe
・STI-designed low-pressure-drop air cleaner element
・CVT oil cooler and strengthened radiator fan
・Exclusive STI-tuned Bilstein front struts (DampMatic® II, inverted-type) and coil springs
・Exclusive STI-tuned Bilstein rear dampers and coil springs
・Exclusive 255/35R19 92Y tires (Dunlop Sport Maxx RT)
・STI-designed Brembo front 17-inch opposed-piston 4-pot ventilated brake calipers (with STI logo)
・STI-designed flexible tower bar, front
・STI-designed flexible draw stiffener, front
・STI-designed pillow ball bush rear suspension link (front and rear lateral links inside)
・STI-designed flexible support subframe, rear
・STI-designed BBS 19-inch x 8 1/2J forged aluminum wheels (silver)
・Exclusive mesh-type front grille (cherry-red stripe with STI ornament)
・Exclusive large front under-spoiler
・Black roof antenna (shark fin type)
・Black side garnish with STI emblem
・Exclusive rear bumper (cherry-red stripe)
・Exclusive luminescent instruments (with multi-information display and STI logo)
・Exclusive leather-wrapped steering wheel (highly tactile leather, chrome bezel, metallic finisher, silver stitching)
・STI-designed leather-wrapped shift knob (with STI logo)
・STI-designed push-type engine switch (red with STI logo)
・Exclusive STI-spec Recaro front bucket seats (leather [black semi-aniline finish on inside of main and side panels, silver stitching and accents] embossed with STI logo and equipped with seat heating and supplemental restraint system side airbags)
・Rear seats: black leather with silver stitching and accents
・Exclusive instrument panel (red with tS LIMITED EDITION logo)
・Exclusive side sill plates (with STI logo)
■ NBR Challenge Package: Exclusive Equipment
・STI-designed BBS 19-inch × 8 1/2J forged aluminum wheels (black)
・Exclusive dry carbon rear spoiler (with STI logo)
・Exclusive emblem (rear)
・Exclusive Ultrasuede-wrapped steering wheel (with silver center marking)
WRX S4 tS Major Specifications
WRX S4 tS / DBA-VAG
Overall length/width/height (mm)
4,635 × 1,795 × 1,475
Tire tread F/R (mm)
Min. ground clearance (mm)
Dry weight (kg) [reference figure]
Gross weight (kg) [reference figure]
FA20 horizontally-opposed 4-cylinder (Boxer)
2.0-liter DOHC 16-valve dual AVCS
direct injection turbo “DIT” engine
Max. output (net) [kW (PS) / rpm]
221 (300) / 5,600
Max. torque (net) [Nm (kgm) / rpm]
400 (40.8) / 2,000–4,800
Fuel tank capacity (liter)
Unleaded premium gasoline
Recommended Retail Prices
Including consumption tax
Excluding consumption tax
WRX S4 tS
Direct injection turtbo
NBR Challenge Package
Since these vehicles have been customized, they must be presented at a Transport Bureau Branch for registration.
*: Lineartronic: Continuously variable transmission (CVT) with fully automatic electronic control
WR Blue Pearl, Crystal White Pearl*, Ice Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Silica
* Available at additional cost of 32,400 yen (including consumption tax).