Track Tested: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Sedan


2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Sedan

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test-drivers. Enjoy.

There's a gulf between the concept of pride and that of hubris. We take pride in our numbers, but there's no hubris. When something seems off, we're the first to put a freeze on things and get to the root of the problem.

This was the scenario the first time we track tested a 2011 Subaru WRX STI Sedan. The numbers on the heads-up display confirmed what our butts sensed, that this all-wheel-drive, 305-horsepower rally-bred Subaru just wasn't very fast. Not just slower than a 2009 WRX STI, but slower than the 2011 Subaru WRX.

The conditions were ideal for the test and the driver was convinced that he couldn't give it any more. Despite the disappointing numbers, that's what it did. But could the 2011 STI really be slower than the 2009? Sure, the 2011 sedan weighs 36 pounds more than the old hatch, but something had to give, right? Right.

So we tested it again anyway just to be sure. The numbers you see here are from that test. Then we called Subaru and asked if there was another STI available. The model we were testing was a pre-production unit, and a full production car would bring more confidence to our test. The new STI arrived the following week and we sent our team back to the track.

The follow-up car, despite its different color and production status was no quicker. Three tests, two cars, one unexplained disappointment.
 

Vehicle: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Sedan
Odometer: 3,731
Date: 10/05/10
Driver: Josh Jacquot / Chris Walton
Price: $39,870


Specifications:
Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Turbocharged, port-injected flat-4 with variable exhaust-valve timing
Displacement (cc/cu-in):  2,457/150
Redline (rpm): 6,700
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 305 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 290 @ 4,000
Brake Type (front): 13.0-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 12.6-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with two-piston fixed calipers
Steering System: Hydraulic-assist speed-proportional rack-and-pinion power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent double-wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Hydraulic-assist speed-proportional rack-and-pinion power steering
Tire Size (front): P245/40R18 93W
Tire Size (rear): P245/40R18 93W
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: Sp Sport 600
Tire Type: Performance
Wheel size: 18-by-8.5 inches front and rear
Wheel material (front/rear): Painted alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,408 (57% front)


Test Results:

0-30 (sec): 1.7
0-45 (sec): 3.4
0-60 (sec): 5.5
0-75 (sec): 7.9
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.8 @ 97.4
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.3

30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 112

Slalom (mph): 70.3
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.89

Db @ Idle: 58.0
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.5
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: EV: 73.4


Acceleration Comments: This car doesn't leave the line with the violence of previous STIs and by 3rd gear it feels highly "managed," as if boost or timing or both are being heavily limited. It's almost as if Subaru has recalibrated this car too conservatively. Or as if it were running on low-octane fuel. Bizarre. And slow.

Braking Comments: Second stop was the shortest, then distance grew by 9 feet by the fifth stop. Pedal is reasonably firm, although not as solid as an Evo. Tracks straight and true under full-ABS stops. Still, this is a full 6 feet longer than we've measured on previous STIs.

Handling Comments: ESC on/off makes little difference on the skid pad. Car will still easily push wide. Nice to know it's not too overbearing, but is it actually doing anything? Again, we've achieved better slalom numbers on older STIs, which is counter to what Subaru claims should be happening with this car. Perhaps the 2011 suspension changes aren't being realized here.

 

2011 STI sedan (3,408 pounds)
2008 long-term STI (3,372 pounds)
2008 STI Full Test (3,351 pounds)
2011 WRX sedan (3,185 pounds)
0-60
5.5
5.2
N/A
5.3
0-60 with rollout
5.3
5.0
4.8
5.1
Quarter-mile time @ speed
13.8 @ 97.4
13.5 @ 101.8
13.3 @ 102.4
13.8 @ 98.2
60-0 mph (ft)
112
109
106
114
Slalom 6 x 100 ft (mph)
70.3
69.7
72.0
68.8
Skid pad, 200-ft diameter (lateral g)
0.89
0.90
0.90
0.90

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