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While we’re thrilled to have the new 2011 WRX STI on sale here, as usual, Subaru Japan has one-upped the U.S. offering with the new 2011 WRX STI Spec C. The Spec C packs 304-hp and 317 lb-ft of torque from its 2.0L powerplant thanks to a revamped ECU and ball-bearing twin-scroll turbocharger.
In addition to the revised turbocharger and ECU, Subaru equips the Spec C with a mechanical rear limited-slip differential and the front chassis has been reinforced with a new cross member. To lighten up the load on the WRX, the hood has been swapped out for an aluminum version, there is a smaller battery and lightweight 18-inch wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires. Optional equipment includes the ever-popular Recaro seats.
GALLERY: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C
Several months ago Subaru announced a more hard-core WRX STI Spec C model exclusively for Japan and now the reason for that car has become clear. With just 900 units being offered, that is just enough to qualify for Group N (production car) homologation set by the FIA for such series as the World Rally Challenge.
Subaru dropped out of WRC back in 2008 but now it has announced its return with Toshihiro Arai taking the wheel of the STI Spec C model for the Rallye Deutschland of Production World Rally Championship, taking place this August in Germany.
Some mild changes are sure to be made to the car for racing, not to mention the usual safety equipment additions. In stock form, engine output is 304-hp and 311 ft-lbs of torque, up from the standard 295-hp and 299 ft-lbs. Weight has also been cut through the use of an aluminum hood and a smaller battery. A plexiglass windshield and side windows also drop several pounds, as do new lightweight 18-inch wheels. For improved handling the Spec C gets stiffer springs, a larger rear stabilizer bar, stiffer sub-frame bushings and new shocks. A new mechanical limited slip differential (SD) out back also improves the car’s ability to get all that turbocharged power to the ground. Reinforcements to the front cross member, new Bridgestone Potenza RE070 tires and increased power steering pressure result in better handling and driving feel.
GALLERY: Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C
Official release after the jump: