Six months ago I got the pleasure of testing the new Subaru Impreza WRX STI, it didn’t disappoint, and in fact I’m a big enough man to admit that a fair bit of sulking happened when it had to go back. Fast forward to last month and I found myself grinning and clapping like a trained, slightly retarded, circus monkey. Soon my Subaru Impreza WRX STI 330S Special Edition press loan would be on the drive and I, being the excitable and clappy type I am, was a tad on the happy side.
There’s something about the super sport Impreza (whether it be 330S or not) that appeals to me on an absolutely base level. I don’t need a consultation with Freud to tell me what it is, its power. I’m not talking about I-work-in-the-city-and-wear-shiny-suits-with-pin-stripes-that-went-out-in-the-80’s-and-are-far-too-wide-to-be-taken-seriously power. I mean real man-on-the-street power, or as I have lovingly nicknamed it, TOSSER POWER. You know the power I mean, don’t you? No, ok let me explain and set the scene. Your walking down the street (I only recommend doing this if you cant park the car on the shop forecourt) and you cant help be notice super fit man / demigod (if you’re female and reading this, substitute super fit man for stunning woman / goddess), surrounded by a group of people all laughing and clearly having an amazing time with aforementioned ‘fittie’. They’ve got the tanned skin, white teeth, a personality that could stop an earthquake and can eat blocks of lard if they so wished without putting an ounce on. As you walk past they look over and notice you, they throw one of their award-winning smiles, puppies on the street start back-flipping in excitement. You smile back, (revealing that you’re the exact negative of them, tanned teeth and white skin). At that exact moment TOSSER POWER kicks in. As you smile (weakly) back, the only thought in your mind consists of one word – TOSSER. You want to scream the word out loud, but you simply smile and walk on, jealously consuming you from the inside out. The reason being: every single one of us has the desire to be better and want more, regardless of how wonderful we already are.
So with the delivery of my WRX STI 330S press car I can once again feel the rush of not just TOSSER POWER but ULTIMATE TOSSER POWER! Now don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying that the WRX 330S is a tosser’s car, nor am I saying that driving one makes you a tosser. Jealously is both a wonderful thing to evoke and a terrible thing to be on the receiving end of. The WRX STI 330S evokes jealously in just about everybody you sit next to at the lights. They may be smiling at you when you glance over, but you know their thinking ‘tosser’. Everything about the 330S is designed to evoke emotion both from the driver, passenger and those around. Car nuts will worship you; chav’s will pronounce you a king amongst men. As a gay man driving a 330S (or just the WRX STI) all men, gay, straight, chav or nobleman, will automatically assume that you are not only the straightest of men, the butchest of men but also that you actually know something about cars.
Choosing the WRX STI 330S as your mode of transport is in effect like wearing a giant disguise, all be it a very fast disguise with handling that makes drivers with supercars wish sharp bends didn’t exist. So why am I so besotted with the 330S? I love the fact that Subaru have changed the styling of the Impreza so radically that most of the insane idiots that brought them before and drove everywhere like they were competing in the Paris Dakar rally, now don’t, because they just look like a sporty hatchback.
The STI 330S has all the demonic power and phenomenal handling of the regular STI, and then some. That 30bhp extra makes a huge difference; 330bhp is enough horses to see off a Grand National winner never mind a few hot hatches and supped up saloons. The turbocharged 2.5L air-intercooled engine is nothing short of magically. I defy anybody to be disappointed with the performance in any gear, at any speed and wherever in almost any condition. Change down, plant your right foot to the floor and the Impreza will take off. To get the absolute maximum performance you need to invoke the demon within the WRX STI, this doesn’t require any form of virginal sacrifice, or any form of ceremony. Simply twist the Si –Drive switch to ‘super-sharp’ and be prepared for the 330S to take no prisoners. Flicking that switch tightens up the suspension and gives the super-hatch agility at speed like you’ve never seen before. Its both supreme and untouchable by any other hot hatch when it comes to cornering and handling, this motor is in a league of its own!
Then there’s just out and out speed, 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds (.4 of a second quicker than the standard STI) and all the way up to an electronically limited 155mph. Now to put that level of speed into context:
WRX STI 330S
Just under 330bhp
5dr family Hatchback
0-62mph – 4.8secs
Ferrari 430 Spider
2dr convertible ‘supercar’
Rear Wheel Drive
0-62mph – 4.1secs
So for £115,000 more you can buy a Ferrari 430 Spider and do 0-62mph point seventh of a second quicker!! The 330S isn’t just a 5dr family hatchback, it’s a supercar in a body of a curvy hatchback, it’s a bargain at 30k OTR. I cant do the technology under the bonnet justice, so I wont try, if you want to know the pages and pages of tech spec for the Impreza WRX STI 330S go to www.subaru.co.uk and check em out yourself.