Subie, Scooby, or just plain Subaru — whatever you call it, the brand is one of the most iconic in the automobile industry (and, arguably, even outside the auto industry). Subaru has a cult-like following of loyal consumers, and Subaru has been awarded the Brand Image Award an impressive six times by Kelley Blue Book, specifically noting that “Subaru continues to build customer trust with its commitment to all-wheel drive and safety as brand cornerstones.”
Speaking of all-wheel drive and brand image, Subaru debuted two exciting — and extremely limited — models for 2020 at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, and some of the industry’s most respected reviewers have recently gotten behind their wheels for the first time. The Subaru WRX and WRX STI Series.White are ultra-high-performance vehicles that also happen to be so rare that Subaru refers to them as “unicorns” in one of its official Series.White promo videos.
The big question is, are the WRX and WRX STI Series.White cars just hype or the real deal?
Lots of horses but harsh and heavy
The standard Subaru WRX and STI models are already meticulously refined, high-performance vehicles, and Subaru preserved that in the special edition Series.White cars. Both retain their existing turbocharged flat-four engines with 268 hp in the WRX and 310 hp in the STI, but they do get several notable rally car enhancements. Naturally, Series.White Subarus are painted exclusive glossy Ceramic White.
MotorTrend had the opportunity to spend some time with both the Subaru WRX and STI Series.White cars, and after running them through rigorous tests, the company’s reviewer said, “Don’t let its appearances trick you. […] The STI continues to be harsh to drive. With its heavy clutch pedal, you’ll feel like you’re getting a workout every time you press the clutch.”
The STI does indeed have a stiff suspension, and it was also compared to a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, which is not exactly a compliment in Subie-speak.
The good news is, there’s a “but.” After calling the Subaru WRX STI harsh to drive, the MotorTrend reviewer added, “There’s also a lot of pros, though.”
Series.White performance dynamics
Among the WRX and STI’s pros is the authentic rally-car-like engine, which is one big reason people buy the Subaru WRX in general. The steering is responsive, and though the six-speed manual transmission is, as expected, not particularly smooth, it enables drivers to remain closely connected with the road. Keeping up with the steering, drivers will find that the LED headlights swivel in direct response to what the wheel is doing.
Subaru gave both Series.White models yellow Bilstein shock absorbers and rally-ready Brembo brakes with unique red monoblock brake calipers, a high-performance combination Car and Driver calls “the ol’ mustard and ketchup.”
Inside, both the Subaru WRX and WRX STI Series.White have supportive suede-trimmed Recaro racing seats, the same ones that come in standard STIs. To improve aerodynamics in the STI, Subaru dropped some weight by swapping its spare tire for a DIY tire-repair kit.
The interior is the same surprisingly spacious one found in non-Series.White cars, but there is no available moonroof as there is on regular WRX models. There is, however, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Subaru’s ultra-limited production
If you’re considering getting a Subaru WRX or STI Series.White, don’t wait to reserve yours. Only 500 of each are being made . . . ever. The WRX Series.White is priced at $34,895, while the WRX STI Series.White costs $43,595.
Not only can you have an ultra-special edition vehicle, but it’s rumored that this generation of the WRX and STI are on their way out to be replaced by a model that may have as much as 400 hp. For drivers who love the current-gen Subaru WRX or STI, the Series.White presents a unique opportunity. If you don’t purchase one of the 500 of either model for yourself, remember: you may never see it again.