You know what I’m talking about, the new MY08 Impreza WRX STI. It started with mysterious photographs, the car shrouded in darkness… never a particularly good sign. Then in the middle of the night I got a phone call from a colleague. He was beside himself but wouldn’t say why, I simply had to get up and look at Subaru’s Japanese website.
I stumbled out of bed and with bleary eyes loaded the page. Wait… is that The Alan Parsons Project gently crooning through my speakers? Aww, how nice, a picture of a summers day with “Fantastic moments” written on it. People laughing and smiling as they drive past fields of grass and admire the sky through their sunroof. How… nice…
Well, time’s a wasting, where is that STI section? Ah it’d have to be that picture of a car lurking in the shadowy corner, ready to pounce. Hmm, let me see. Discrete badging… Refined styling… That can’t be right… I must be in the Liberty’s section… ARGHH WHAT IN GODS NAME IS THAT?!?!
Oh no… wait a minute, thats my little sisters Daewoo Lanos. Opened the wrong page.
Dangit, that’s the Lanos agai….. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
What the hell happened? Subaru WRX STI. Thudding boxer engine. Anti-Lag Exhaust belching flame. A world rally championship car unleashed on the road.
The STI was always the wild one. While the Mitsubishi Evo unleashed wave after wave of computer trickery to keep the driver in line, the STI felt more and more mechanical. It was engineered, not programmed, and when you pulled levers things went clunk. There was no pirouetting around on tippy toes like the Evo, the STI would stomp up to a corner, grab you by the scruff of your neck and hurl you screaming out the other side. The only thing keeping it out of the hedges was testosterone and the massive pair of balls weighing the drivers side down.
Subaru’s cars always looked the way they drove. Like they were built by a team of dwarven engineers, deep underground somewhere amongst huge tankards of beer and assembled with sledgehammers and blowtorches. Lately however, they seem to have been hiring *shudder* designers.
Subaru Tribeca, I heard at midnight they turn into goldfish!
The Tribeca was bad, and I mean really bad. But it was a big stupid looking four wheel drive, and they didn’t get rid of any of the cars we liked in order to release it. Obviously the Tribeca didn’t sell, no-one in their right mind would buy a car that reminds them of being kissed by an Auntie. It just sat around, lowering the tone of Subaru dealerships a bit but not really causing any harm. Not anymore. Have a close look at the shape of the windows, the flared arches and distinct crease running along the side of the body. For reasons only know to themselves, someone decided to carry the hugely unpopular styling cues from the Tribeca over to the STI.
It’s just wrong. The STI already had a meaning, it didn’t need a new one. Its styling used to talk of manliness, of standing around scratching yourself and spitting. It was the kind of car that would have people trudging through the rain to stand by the side of a road grinning when a STI roared past lighting its farts and throwing mud in their face. Now it looks like the kind of car that will only throw mud at your face if you’ve paid ridiculous amounts to have it flown over, fresh from a hole in New Zealand and renowned for its “rejuvenating powers”. I’m not sure if I can even work up the courage to test it… so many people laughing at me… I’m telling you straight up, it better be the best damn car I ever drive if it’s going to make up for the looks…
Subaru, why did you do it? Why did you turn the STI into a girls car?