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Earlier this year I found myself looking seriously at a B6 Audi S4 Avant.

Browsing used cars is one of my favorite weekend rituals and in this case the car in question was one my father spotted and sent to me. For a little while, I contemplated checking a six-speed V8-powerd German uber wagon off my bucket list.

Having practicality and performance in one package is part of the draw, but the scarcity is what’s really exciting to me. Few people buy performance wagons and fewer still take theirs with a stick.

A Beautiful Outlier

At least that’s usually the case, but it wasn’t with the previous generation WRX STI. Through its life cycle, hatchbacks accounted for roughly 33 percent of U.S. sales until the end when Subaru pumped up production on the five door and the take rate shifted to roughly half.

Admittedly, it takes a special sort of person to buy Subaru’s halo car. The STI rides on a suspension that most people would probably agree is painfully stiff. The 2.5-liter boosted boxer four pot makes 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque and that might not sound particularly impressive by today’s standards, but it really is once you start driving.

Get Used to It


The acclimation period associated with driving a WRX STI is longer than most other vehicles because the gas pedal is touchy enough to make Dennis Rodman’s North Korea rant seem docile. There is three drive modes: Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp. The car grows progressively more aggressive through each to the point where smooth starts are almost impossible with “Sport Sharp” mode activated.

As you might already know, one of the primary differences between the WRX and STI is that the latter comes with a center differential that can adjust front-rear power distribution with the provision for a locked 50:50 ratio. This in combination with a newly revised chassis, especially quick steering and an impeccable driving position make the STI a non-stop thrill ride.

Driving the WRX STI is nothing short of addictive. Most of the time, cars with its level of performance come with setbacks like a heavily-raked roof that make them difficult to see out of. That isn’t the case here because this car is a cousin to the work-a-day Impreza that is designed at its core to be practical.

Two and a half turns is all it takes to go lock-to-lock with the steering wheel, which is particularly small in hand and particularly entertaining to spin.

I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to buy one if my income justified it save for one complaint: I want the hatch back.

Introducing Buddy the Dog

Buddy is a golden retriever that sheds perpetually and doesn’t like being in cars. Months before I booked a week with the STI, I agreed to chauffeur his owner to an annual family gathering and that meant bringing the pooch.

In preparation we spread plastic over the rear bench seat before wrapping it with old bed sheets in an effort to simplify cleanup and avoid damaging the car. It’s a good thing we did that because Buddy barfed… Repeatedly.

Obviously that would have been simpler with the more generous space that a fifth door brings.

Considering how popular the hatchback was through the 2014 model year, it’s hard not to wonder why Subaru chose to axe the five-door model. After all, they sell more cars in the U.S. than any other market. Why deny people something they seem to want?
To read more of this story, Dear Subaru: Please Bring the Hatch Back head on over to AutoGuide.com.
 

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Alway loved watching that big jump the Scooby made in this video.


Scooby WRX a car outclassed by Citroen & Sebastien Loeb over a decade ago, AWD VW Polo is the new must have WRC, and the VW Polo sitting pretty at the top of on EU sales charts just below the Golf, winning sales trading off the back of its WRC success.



Maybe GM should go rallying with a AWD Opel Corsa or AWD Opel Astra it might help shed the dowdy persona.
 

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Nah, too downmarket since Hyundai decided to enter WRC.
Long gone are the 1970 16,000 mile London to Mexico when every manufacturer had a rally car in world rallying the humble little duarable RWD Escort Mk1 with a trusty reliable x-flow beat them all BMW, Mercedes Benz, Stang, Porsche 911 & Jeep and most of the quality brands and was even more reliable durable than the 2 Rolls Royces that entered.


It's been just a Loeb AWD Citroen v AWD Focus two car competition for the last decade that dull Ford came 2nd out of 2, don't knock it Rupert the more the merrier.

VW Polo car sales are surging at the moment in the EU on the back of it, it would help rid Opel of there rather dull persona.
 

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WRC lost is way in '97 when the cars lost any direct relationship to showroom models and became look-alikes with quite different mechanicals.
Thats right even NASCAR is the same today, when was the last AWD Ford Focus RS highly powered from the rear ever sold in your UK showrooms the answer is never Rupert, but it helps sell cars.

l kinda wish Opel would do WRC with a AWD Corsa or Astra Rupert rather than waste $558 million on sponsoring Chevy UK sponsorship of Manchester United, what return did Chevy UK get on that 3 sales in the last 3 months since the English soccer season started. Just thing of the Daily Mail advert Vauxhall Astra WRC champion 2016, that would really boost Opel sales.

I bet you would be on here rubbing it in - with a bit of banter with me as Astra sales jumped up another 10,000 off the back of a win, every time a WRC Astra finished in first place Rupert.

Long gone are days when Ford's near bog standard humble classic little RWD Escorts slaughtered Porsche 911 and the worlds finest like Rolls Royce with a humble little X-Flow in world rallying.


20 million Escort sales followed off the back of this mighty little rally car.
 

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Well hatchbacks are more rigid...seems weird that they canned it
 

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