Meet the 2025 Subaru WRX tS, Likely the Closest We’ll Get to an STI


Yes, of course, we miss the Subaru WRX STI, even though it could be a bit, well, frantic. An acquired taste, and arguably a bit extreme as a daily driver, unless you live on a dirt road in the mountains of Colorado. But knowing it was out there was a comfortable confirmation that extreme performance vehicles were still available without a six-figure buy-in. Subaru dropped it from the U.S. lineup in 2021, and there are no immediate plans to bring it back.

As a consolation prize, though, meet the 2025 Subaru tS, which, we’re told, stands for “tuned by STI.” It will make its first appearance Sunday at Subaru’s Wicked Big Meet at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, a legendary half-mile oval owned by the Arute family, a name familiar to most racing fans in New England. The annual Wicked Big Meet is the world’s largest gathering of Subaru enthusiasts.

If you’re headed there, here’s a primer on the WRX tS so you can ask informed questions when you see it.

The Wicked Big News is that the tS features a new STI-tuned suspension with electronically-controlled dampers. It has Brembo brakes—six-pistons up front, two in the back—in the signature gold color, with larger pads and rotors. Rubber is the 245/35 R19 Bridgestone Potenza S007, chosen for their increased wet and dry grip and improved braking performance. Its wheels are finished in satin gray.

The outside mirrors, roof-mounted shark fin antenna and rear spoiler are painted Crystal Black Silica. There’s a tS badge on the rear deck, next to taillights that “glow with a look inspired by volcanic magma,” Subaru says.

Under the hood: The familiar 271-horsepower, 2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru boxer engine, connected to a six-speed manual transmission. Active Torque Vectoring is also standard as is, of course, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.

2025 Subaru WRX TS dash

Inside, there’s a new 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, which offers improved legibility and the capability to show additional information to the driver, including map display and route guidance. Gone is the power moonroof, deleted to save weight and provide some headroom for helmeted occupants. There’s also an 11.6-inch center information display and touchscreen for multimedia, climate control, and vehicle configuration settings. Drive Mode Select, which you could previously get only on the WRX GT, controls those dampers by offering Comfort, Normal and Sport settings.

WRX tS owners will be sitting on Recaros, which have a “Y-shaped design at the center of the seat backrest that embodies a design concept in which the sides and shoulder blades of the occupant are securely supported to maintain proper driving posture.” Upholstery is charcoal Ultrasuede with blue accents and a WRX tS logo embossed on the front headrests and carpeted floormats. The driver’s seat is eight-way power adjustable.

2025 Subaru WRX TS seats

Subaru says the WRX tS will be at dealers the first quarter of 2025. Price? Doesn’t say. The base WRX starts at $32,735, plus $1120 for shipping. Prices rise for the Premium, Limited, TR and GT models, with the GT topping out at $44,215, much of that going towards the automatic transmission that has an eight-speed manual mode.

The existing TR is closest in content to the tS, including the moonroof delete, Brembo brakes, 19-inch tires and wheels, the six-speed manual transmission and Recaro buckets, and it starts at $41,655, before shipping. So we’d guess the new tS might start at a price close to the GT, somewhere around $45,000.

It’s still not an STI, but it’s probably the closest we’ll get until the next-generation model shows up.


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    Why they could raise the boost a little or some other way to increase power a bit. I used to love the WRX but they don’t excite me any more. I miss the STi, especially the old hatch.

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