「Tarzan Yamada Drives a Coveted VAB!」The S209 is the Strongest Spec STi in History

Published : 2020/10/24 22:00 Modified : 2020/10/24 22:00

Overwhelming rigidity helps realize unprecendented handling ability!


Tarzan Yamada gives us his impression on the strongest model in the WRX series


The “Works Tuning Group Test Drive” event was held at Twin Ring Motegi on October 19th, 2020. STi brought out their “S209” which is the strongest spec complete car in the “S-series” lineup and is a model exclusively for the North American market.



Originally release of this model for the Japanese market was also on the table, but it took a long time to release it locally. During that time, production of the base model was decided and it was not to be.


However, the techology that came through when developing this model will be incorporated back into the Japanese domestic market VAB. At the event, Tarzan Yamada had the rare chance to drive this S209 and check its capabilites.



Because it is a North American spec model, the engine is an EJ25 with displacement of 2.5L. Through research and design of the intake and exhaust systems and combining it with a specially developed turbo, it produces 341hp at 45.6kgm.



Though it will be a commercially available vehicle, it has serious reinforcement by way of a stiffening bar installed at the rear. This part has been developed and commercialized by STi for the Japanese market and compatible with the VAB.



The widebody kit is also exclusive to the S209. The wide fenders seen here were developed by Kiryu Industrial and unfortunately a special item not planned to be marketed.



The tire size is 265/35R19 which are the thickest among all STi models. Without the wide fenders this would not be possible. Bilstein dampers are also exclusive to the S209 model.



The roof is full carbon. This has been adopted from its predecessor, the S208. It is a method that reduces weight yet optimizes body rigidity.



The steering is of course on the left because it is a North American domestic vehicle.



Tarzan, who took it for a quick test drive at the event told us, “I have driven the domestic model VAB as well as the North American version of it in the US. This car feels totally different. The added stiffening bar in the rear really does its job. Front and rear rigidity balance is great. The sharpness when turning the wheel on the circuit S-curves is incredible.”


He continued, “Because the car is 4WD and quite heavy, there is a strong tendency to understeer, so the kind of tuning work here definitely balances that out. Its very forgiving and fun. I’d recommend this car to drivers of beginner to intermediate level.”



The stiffening bar for the rear that Tarzan praised is available in Japan now for 35,000yen from STi. They plan to release a kit that upgrades the suspension for the S209 for the domestic market in the future so all VAB owners should keep their eyes peeled!


PHOTO:Shinmin Kaneko

●Special Thanks:Subaru Technica International TEL:0422-33-7848


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