For a brand that once pinned much of its reputation on rally-bred fire-breathers like the Impreza WRX and STi, Subaru has gone a little soft of late. While the WRX and STi are still around, the Japanese brand has spent much of its time focusing on practical but not exactly fiery family SUVs like the XV, Forester and Outback. Now Subaru SA has unleashed a car that should put it back into the high-performance spotlight: the STi Diamond Edition. Built to commemorate 30 years of Subaru Tecnica International, this special car is beefed up with extra power and a lurid body kit. By means of a remapped ECU and a free-flow exhaust system, Subaru’s engineers have tweaked power in the boxer 2.5l turbo engine from 221kW and 407Nm to 260kW and 464Nm. The upgrade has slashed the car’s 0-100km/h time from 5.76 seconds to 5.03 seconds, and the 0-160km/h sprint from 14.76 to 13.70 seconds. Top speed remains at 255km/h.

This makes it the most potent production STi yet released in SA. It’s a pur...

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