Mega Gallery: Celebrating 30 Years of Subaru STI

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

It was 30 years ago this week that the Subaru Tecnica International sub-brand was launched – known to many enthusiasts as STI.

STI was conceived on April 2nd, 1988 by Ryuichiro Kuze, who remains the motorsport and performance division’s president to this day. Its first-ever car was the Subaru Legacy RS RA, which made 220 hp from a turbocharged boxer engine and also featured upgraded suspension and brakes. In 1989, an STI-prepared Legacy broke the FIA World Speed Endurance Record, covering 62,000 miles over the course of 20 days at a test track in Arizona and traveling at an average speed of 138 mph.

STI’s first true motorsports competition, however, came a year after the endurance record at the 1990 Safari Rally. The team entered the FIA World Rally Championship a year later with legendary driver Colin McCrae, who eventually recorded the company’s first-ever win at the 1993 New Zealand Rally in a Legacy. The company made the switch the Impreza in 1994 and never looked back – taking second that year before winning the championship in 1995 1996 and 1997. Today STI boasts more than 47 WRC wins, and is easily one of the most recognized and celebrated manufacturers in the world of rallying.

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STI isn’t in the top-tier WRC anymore, but it still races – fielding cars in Rally America and the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship. Subaru is also focusing intently on tarmac racing, with plans to field at WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge car in the 2018 24 Hours of Nurburgring in May. It built a time attack prepped WRX STI Type RA NBR last year as well, which lapped the Nurburgring in a blistering 6:57.5s.

The performance brand’s focus may be racing, but it’s widely known for its road cars. The STI nameplate, which first appeared on a road car in 1994, is adored among enthusiasts and recently expanded beyond the WRX, appearing on the BRZ STI Sport model for 2018.

Enjoy our STI-themed mega gallery embedded above as we celebrate 30 years of STI and wish them another 30 years of success both on and off the racetrack.

Discuss this story on our Subaru WRX Forum.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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