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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #141: Killing (the STi) in the name of

In the pilot episode of David Simon's cruelly underrated Treme, a trombone player who has been hired for a funeral "second line" parade inquires as to the identity of the deceased. Upon being given the name, the musician replies, "I thought he been dead."
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-141-killing-the-sti-in-the...
59 REPLIES 59
SJM1
Intermediate Driver

Really? Who cares? You are upset about Subaru deleting a car that really hasn't improved for the last 8 years?
Maybe you should rejoice over the vastly improved BRZ and the Toyota 86. Clearly, with the WRX still in production, with its 6 speed, the world is not coming to an end, nor has Subaru abandoned its market for these cars. At least, we have something to purchase other than a GTI or a Honda, or one of the Koreans. As for choosing a Scat Pack Charger, well, that's another $20K more. I know, because I have been shopping the entire range the last couple of months in anticipation of a new ar purchase.
As for the STi in hatchback body that "nobody wanted", well (remember the CTS-V wagon that nobody wanted)... Have you ever tried to buy one? Very scarce, and they cost as much as they did when new. I wanted one... I like hot wagons. Very useful. Fun to drive. NOT an SUV or Outback. And what does an Outback have to do with anything, anyway?
Being over 70, I remember when, in 1968, along with erecting else that was going on, performance cars were declared "dead". Never to be had again. Then fuel economy standards went into effect, and the performance car was called "dead", again. So where are we today? We have cars that can hit 60 in the 2 second range, and cars that hit 60 in the 4s are now quaint. Heck, even a new minivan or small SUV is faster than most everything built in the late 60s. My Mazda 3 will blow the doors off a 60s GTO, and gets 3X the fuel mileage.
Subaru still makes a really great sport car. A couple that we have not seen since the Alfa GTV. It's affordable, and sustainable for an owner in the current atmosphere of $6/gallon fuel.
Please, nobody is going to buy a Mercedes and put an LS3 into it and drive off into the sunset. They will buy an electric car with a 350 mile range, and 30 minute recharging, on a decentralized electrical grid, that is being built as I type this. Look out your window and see those homes with solar panels on the roof, and a battery in the wall.
It's a changing world, get with the program. The technology is moving really quickly, and Tesla won't be leading it. Just watch what comes on the market, both from the startups and the Majors. Nobody is going to go back to ICE as a primary power source. Tesla is worth more than the entire auto industry in the US Combined, plus a few of the largest Japanese, Korean and European manufacturers. For ICE, it is nearly over. I am just wondering if I should go out with the pinnacle of ICE engineering, or go electric.
My brother in law already has, with a Tesla. Asked about range and charging..."I have 36 solar panels on my roof at home, and after a 220 mile drive, I recharged in less than 20 minutes at the supercharger station, so???
Yes, the world is changing, and if you want to get to 60 in 3 seconds, electric will be the affordable solution, in more ways than one. Besides, electrics will cost far less to build as they have only a fraction of the parts of an ICE car. So... You will likely have no choice anyway. It's gonna be fun!
Jack_Hagerty
Moderator

The hatchback STi was a showroom paperweight. Most of them went out the door for $25-27k. As you've pointed out, they're popular NOW. Just like the RS America, another dealership nightmare that now fetches Turbo money.

I have solar panels on my roof as well, and could charge a Tesla in reasonable time. A lot of people with money and property can do that. The same money would buy you a C8 Z06 and enough fuel to run the engine until it throws a rod at 300k. And you wouldn't need the permission of a Supercharger station to go more than 100 miles from your house.

I don't know what this means, but the majority of people who tell me to "get used to it" with regards to EVs have the following in common:

* They're old, at least older than I am;
* They're rich, so they set the conditions of their own lives;
* They expect to be able to drive gas cars until they die, at which point they don't really care what happens.

I'm fifty years old. I won't live to see the EV future. I'm worried about my son, his friends, and the younger generation who love cars. I have zero interest in pulling the ladder up behind me and telling the kids to "get used to it". I want their lives to be better than mine, not constricted by Orwellian tech.

I can get to 60 in under three seconds now, affordably, on two of my liter-plus bikes.

Anyway, thank you for your comment and I appreciate your taking the time to chime in. God willing we will both live to see who was right!
HELIDR
Intermediate Driver

As always a great piece Jack and some great comments on your part! I'm 73 now...not sure how that happened 'cept one day at a time. Anyway...I still have my bought new '67 Triumph Bonneville, an '83 512 BBi purchased back in '87, a bought new '06 TrailBlazer SS and a used '08 TrailBlazer as my winter beater...need that last one here in Vermont! Love 'em all and not a fan of EVs. I surely won't be around long enuf for the EV future, but I've thoroughly enjoyed going FAST and making lots of noise! Best wishes to all who enter that "Brave New World"! John
Jnick
Detailer

I saw the Subaru exhibit at the Portland auto show just pre pandemic. In order to attract the women and kids they brought a bunch of Golden Retriever puppies.
So while the poor next door Mini Cooper people were busy discussing intricate engineering features in a logical and believable fashion, the Subaru people had all the viewers and had to answer NONE of the unpleasant machine related questions! I must admit it was brilliant marketing but rotten to the core!
physiojoe
New Driver

Holy sh!T you can write, Jack! This reminded me why I should visit the Hagerty site more often. More importantly than the fact that I agree with most of the article, twas highly entertaining.
951_Owner
New Driver

"To our modern Eloi, who primarily display wealth through an increasingly insane and ersatz affectation of woodsy skinny-fat cosplay that makes Justin Timberlake’s Man Of The Woods look as sincere and authentic as A Love Supreme"

Comparing Timberlake to John Coltrane knocked me right out!

Well Played Jack!
951_Owner
miata93
Advanced Driver

It's about time that there be standardization in EV engineering the same way there is standardization in most consumer products. Electric lighting in a house is not a hard sell because anyone can go down to a store and buy a standard base light bulb and replace it themselves. EV battery technology should be the same way with easily accessible "plug and play" replaceable cells for batteries that are self diagnosing. The technology for this exists today but no manufacturer has the guts to give up their proprietary stance regarding repair and maintenance. Ironically, whoever would do so could probably corner the market in vehicles much like Ford did with the simplicity and high volume of the model T.

hyperv6
Racer

I am not an Asian car fan but I have always had a soft spot for this car as it was different than anything else out there. It was also good as most things.

I found Honda and Toyota as just boring but the engine and awd here always brought more to the table.

Lets put it this way I never saw a guy remove the STI interior just to go fast.

But like all thing every car has its era and time. Some go away and some sadly die before our eyes.

The harsh truth is sports cars and performance often are sacrifices for budgets at times of heavy spending or limited income. They are expected to make money and often the extra spent on them is never returned and that is what Subaru stated and it was an honest assessment.

Most sports cars live 10 years or less. They can come back and go at various times.

Even today the 911 is not the car it once was and it has led to higher and higher prices on the air cooled cars.

But we are facing the Frankenstein of all futures here with the ever rising costs and the ever rising regulations against ICE. The money that most companies need to spend is just no there. Many will find partners to share cost just as Honda is doing with GM.

With the future I know their will still be fast cars. But my worry is will their be interesting cars. Missing the sound and different engines. The feel and the smells are gone. It used to be if you smelled AV gas you knew something was special.

A Tesla 3 going 2 seconds to 60 is fast but lets face it the car has no personality.

My hope is this. There is nothing to prevent a manual tranny in a EV. No it is not needed and may slow it down a bit but if given the option it could make things interesting. Same with different body styles and types of cars that could be put on other platforms to make some fun cars.
My hope is companies after they get the range up and the charge and costs down will look to ways to make the cars fun and interesting again.

To be honest I think putting this car out there for a bit may be a good thing as it will not be remembered for that era where it was not what it was. Lets face it the Mustang II years were not a source of pride nor was it really a Mustang.
TB
Intermediate Driver

I am on my third Subi, two Legacy's and now a 2012 Outback 3.6R with a real five speed automatic. May be my last one as I am not a fan of CVTs or four banger turbos.
I find that it has plenty of power in the NV Sierras, perfect snow car - not particularly suited for serious off road. 100K miles with only normal maintenance.
A recent survey called the STI pilots the 'worst' drivers beating out Bimmer people for the honor.
I personally have witnessed speed lane cutting, diving and cutting off (me) by STI drivers so I can agree. After having @ eight BMW over the years including hot rod ones I am glad to get off the snide (3.0 CSL, 2002 Alpina Ti etc)
Power6
New Driver

It's love/hate with Subaru, always was for me. It seemed to be akin to your tales of Porsche and it's relationship with customers.

I'll never quite understand the trajectory of the WRX, by all accounts the new one is pretty decent. I replaced my SRT-4 in 2009, and I wanted that AWD living in the North East! That's the year Subaru realized they screwed up the '08 WRX and strapped the bigger turbo to the '09, making it *technically* faster than the STI (if you're in clutch dumps). They seemed to be moving things forward, 260hp!

Mostly it was like "boiling a frog" though... "where else can you get an AWD turbo sports sedan, reasonably priced?" "The WRX is on par with it's competitors" "The STI is worth it for people who want the diffs/trans/hardware" these things are all true. By all accounts the new WRX seems to be a good car if a bit strangely styled and packaged specifically to piss their majority manual buyers off. 271hp is disappointing but hey it's inline with the GTI or a Hyundai N thing so it's competitive. And it's STILL the only game in town for AWD.

But it's lost what it WAS, in 2003 the WRX was so impressive Car and Driver ran a "WRX vs Audi S4" comparison test. Dealers were taking in 911 trades for Evos and STIs. This is about the time I discovered captures of this "Top Gear" show in the USENET binaries! Clarkson drove the Evo-VIII and STI around Scotland proclaiming them the best b-road cars on the planet.

Now Subaru hints at "hybrid" STI to keep the hope alive while killing the current one, that was expected to right all the wrongs (the "new" STI is always going to do that until it debuts to disappointment). But lets be real...you're right it's dead. They'll never recreate that magic.