Why Did Subaru Stop Making The STi? Let’s Find Out

Why Did Subaru Stop Making The STI – Subaru’s decision to halt production of the iconic WRX STI has left a profound void in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts worldwide. This powerhouse of performance, synonymous with rally heritage and thrilling speed, bid its farewell, leaving many to ponder the reasons behind Subaru’s departure from the STI legacy.

In the realm of high-performance vehicles, few names resonate as deeply as the Subaru WRX STI. This rally-bred icon, celebrated for its speed, agility, and adrenaline-inducing power, captivated enthusiasts and car aficionados worldwide for decades.

However, the automotive landscape is ever-evolving, and as the wheels of progress turn, even the most revered legends face their sunset. This brings us to the poignant question: Why did Subaru stop making the STI?

The Reason Why Did Subaru Stop Making The STi

subaru wrx discontinued

1. Emissions Regulation & Fuel Economy

Emissions standards have become increasingly stringent, and at the heart of Subaru’s shift away from the STI lies the stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements.

The STI’s voracious appetite for fuel, especially under rigorous driving conditions, would have significantly impaired Subaru’s overall fuel efficiency scores, potentially resulting in substantial penalties.

2. Sales Downturn

While fans hoped for the continuation of the WRX STI, the sales figures narrated a different tale. Subaru’s evaluation of the sales charts over recent years highlighted a declining trend for the STI, making its retention economically challenging.

It was a costly endeavor to maintain a niche, performance-focused vehicle that was experiencing diminishing demand.

3. Evolution of the WRX

Subaru’s decision to bid adieu to the STI doesn’t mark the end of performance in their lineup. The WRX, now in its second generation, persists as a capable alternative. With a still-respectable 270 horsepower, the WRX retains its four-wheel-drive functionality and a six-speed manual transmission, offering enthusiasts a sporty option.

4. Embracing Electrification

The looming age of electrification seems to have influenced Subaru’s strategy. With a shift towards electric platforms in the automotive landscape, even slower electric vehicles pose a challenge to the gas-powered STI in terms of performance.

Pausing the STI until an electric platform that can match its prowess materializes appears to be Subaru’s strategic move for the future.

5. STI Nameplate Evolution

Although the WRX STI bids farewell, the coveted STI nameplate endures. The Levorg STI Sport in Japan and Australasia carries the legacy forward.

Additionally, Subaru has teased the potential resurgence of the STI as an electric vehicle. The STI E-RA concept hints at a dedicated range of electric sports cars carrying the STI badge.

6. Pandemic-Induced Challenges

The chip shortage caused by the pandemic has plagued the automotive industry. Introducing a new model amidst existing production woes and extensive delays would have further complicated matters for Subaru. This situation might have played a minor role in their decision-making process.

7. Toyota Partnership Dynamics

Subaru’s partnership with Toyota could have influenced the discontinuation. Toyota’s GR Yaris launch might have clashed with the introduction of a new STI, potentially cannibalizing sales. Unlike the 86 and BRZ joint venture, the Yaris and WRX represent distinct models, posing a sales conflict.

8. Transition to Cleaner Technologies

Subaru’s proactive stance toward sustainability and cleaner technologies implies that the current WRX range might not have an extended lifespan.

The brand’s commitment to hybrid options and an eventual shift to electric vehicles hints at a recalibration of its lineup, potentially impacting the WRX range.

9. Shifting Consumer Demands

The waning demand for small-performance cars has been evident for years, with a prevailing preference for practicality seen in crossovers and pickups. Subaru’s struggle to match competitors’ performance and build quality, notably against models like the GR Yaris, added to the dwindling demand for the STI.

Is the Subaru STI coming back?

Subaru aficionados and speed enthusiasts, rejoice! The famed Subaru WRX STI is poised to make a grand return, albeit in a groundbreaking avatar.

Say hello to the STe – an all-new, all-electric performance model heralding the resurgence of the legendary STI lineage.

Subaru Corporation, in collaboration with Subaru Tecnica International (STI), has set its sights on the future by embracing the electric revolution.

Why doesn’t Subaru make STI?

The demise of the STI wasn’t a mere whim; it was a strategic response to the ever-tightening grip of regulations. The culprits? Emissions and electrification regulations that have been rapidly evolving.

Subaru, recognizing the swiftly shifting landscape, foresaw a short-lived existence for the STI that wouldn’t align with their long-term vision.

How rare is the Subaru STI?

The Subaru Impreza WRX STI 22B stands as a testament to rarity within the company’s portfolio. Crafted during Subaru’s triumphant stint in the World Rally Championship during the mid-1990s, the 22B remains an exceptionally rare creation.

With only 425 units produced globally, the scarcity of this special two-door version is palpable.

In Australia, a mere five examples were ever made available, adding to its allure.

Why is a Subaru STI so fast?

The incredible swiftness of the Subaru WRX STI finds its roots in the turbocharged flat-four engine that powers it. This distinctive engine setup enables the WRX STI to harness remarkable speed and performance.

Delving deeper, the turbocharged engine’s mechanism involves driving exhaust gases back into the cylinders, a process that propels the WRX STI’s impressive acceleration and power.


The discontinuation of the WRX STI encapsulates a multitude of factors—ranging from regulatory pressures and market dynamics to technological transitions and shifting consumer preferences.

The STI bids adieu, Subaru’s commitment to innovation and the endurance of the STI nameplate in new avatars hint at a potential renaissance in the future, albeit in an electrified form.

As Subaru navigates the ever-evolving automotive landscape, the legacy of the WRX STI remains etched in the hearts of enthusiasts, awaiting a new chapter in its iconic lineage.

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