2013 Subaru WRX and WRX STI Orange and Black Special Editions: Smashing Pumpkins [2012 SEMA Show]
If there is a car that calls for modification, it is the Subaru WRX. With their flat-four turbo and a glorious—if currently interrupted—rally history, the Impreza-based WRX and WRX STI have inspired enthusiasts for 20 years now. It is fitting, therefore, that the Japanese automaker would choose the SEMA show to unveil two derivatives that are sure to please brand loyalists as the current-gen WRX and STI are approaching the end of their life cycles. Meet the Orange and Black special editions, of which Subaru will build a mere 300.Two hundred of the special editions will be WRX sedans, and there will be an additional 100 STI sedans for the ultimate in rally-inspired motoring. The changes for this special edition, however, are merely cosmetic. Black wheels, black fender badges, black mirror caps, and black stripes reading “WRX” or “STI” serve as a contrast to the Tangerine Orange paint. That’s not your typical bright orange, but a pumpkin-like color that underscores the dirty look of these Japanese attack devices. It’s tough to distinguish the WRX and the STI from afar. Look for the badging, and, of course, the STI’s massive rear spoiler.
Inside, the two models are similarly alike, as Subaru equipped this special-edition WRX with the STI’s unique interior. Both models are set apart from the standard STI by their orange stitching on the seats, the doors, the shift boot, and on the floor mats. It’s a unique look that will undoubtedly relieve owners from the need to further customize the interior of their vehicles.
The effort should be spared for the powertrain, as neither of these special editions are fitted with any kind of performance upgrade. The WRX keeps its turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four—which produces 265 hp and 244 lb-ft of torque—channeled to all four wheels through the standard five-speed manual gearbox. Under the hood of the STI remains the same engine tuned to produce 305 hp and 290 lb-ft, connected to a six-speed manual and the uplevel version of Subaru’s all-wheel-drive system, complete with a driver-controlled center differential and an adjustable vehicle-dynamics system. Both cars are wonderfully engaging to drive, and the WRX in particular represents an excellent value for the money.
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No word yet on pricing; a stripped WRX goes for $25,565, while the STI will set you back at least $35,065. The special editions come only as four-door sedans; the unloved five-door hatchback won’t get the treatment. Both the Orange and Black WRX and the Orange and Black STI will hit showroom floors next spring.
By Jens Meiners