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Dynamic duo: Subaru's Liberty B4 (back) and WRX STi.

STi Australia plans enhancements for Impreza WRX STi and the Liberty B4

14 Aug 2001

SUBARU'S Impreza WRX STi and Liberty B4 will be on the power boost list for STi Australia when it is launched next year.

The STi - due here before Christmas - and the just launched B4 have had to drop their power from Japanese-spec 206kW to about 200kW and 190kW respectively to cope with Australia's poorer fuel standards.

Subaru Australia's in-house sports and tuning division will be based at the company's new Port Melbourne multi-million dollar "superstore", which is currently under construction.

Product development will be just one of STi's duties, as it will also house Subaru's highly successful rally team, service vehicles, sell merchandise and offer cosmetic upgrades.

Initially, it will offer performance parts from STi Japan, but Subaru Australia general manager Nick Senior confirmed local solutions for increasing performance of the two "kings" of the company's "driver's channel" would be investigated.

"Once it's all settled in and bedded down we will start having a look at what we can do in terms of our own modifications," Mr Senior said.

"First off the rally team will move in there and there will be STi sales and then parts, merchandise etcetera. Realistically, it will be another 12 months before we start talking about bringing STi Australia vehicles to the market." Mr Senior said the 160kW standard Impreza WRX would also be offered with STi Australia enhancements before the company moved on to other more mainstream models such as the naturally aspirated Impreza and Liberty models.

"Where I think there is an opportunity is we are selling around 200 Liberty RXs a month at the moment and it may be if we can get 15kW with a slightly different bodykit that may be something that can add value," he said.

"But what we have to be careful of is if it's not going to be value for money there's no point developing the kit, and then if it takes the RX into B4 territory you're not going to prove anything because you are not going to sell any of them."

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