Tokyo Motor Show: The Subaru WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition will have a balanced boxer under the hood

We mentioned last week that Subaru would release an EJ20 Final Edition of its WRX STI sports sedan in order to properly send off its venerable engine. The 2.0-liter boxer motor has served the company for 30 years, helped it achieve motorsports notoriety, and transformed Subaru into a true performance brand. Now, details of the WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition have been revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Years before the WRX’s existence, the EJ20 passed its first significant performance milestone on January 2, 1989 at Subaru’s Arizona Testing Center. There, an EJ20-equipped Legacy broke an FIA World Land Endurance Record by running at an average speed of 223.345 kph (138.780 mph) for 100,000 km (62,137 miles). The car achieved speeds as high as 240 kph in temperatures that ranged from 23 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit, and ran for 447 hours, 44 minutes, and 9.887 seconds.

From there, the EJ20 was inseparable from the evolution of what we know as modern Subaru today. The marque achieved its first WRC win with Colin McRae and Derek Ringer driving a 555 blue-liveried Legacy at the 1993 Rally New Zealand. Later that same year, the Impreza WRX debuted at the 1,000 Lakes Rally and took second place.

From there, Subaru became forever associated with rally-bred AWD cars thanks to the EJ20. In 1994, it won three of the 10 WRC races that year. In 1995 it fared even better: five out of eight WRC races that year to cinch the long-cherished WRC Manufacturers Championship. Subaru repeated this feat in 1996 and 1997, taking the WRC Manufacturers Championship three years in a row.

Thirty years is a long lifespan for any motor. From its introduction in 1989, the EJ20 has grown from 220 horsepower to 329 and it never stopped evolving. Technology gleaned from WRC successes was funneled right back into its street cars: twin-scroll turbos, vertical vortexing of intake air, the introduction of an isometric exhaust system, optimization of combustion chamber shape, and engine management systems.

For the EJ20 Final Edition, Subaru is offering something very special — a balanced EJ20 motor. Pistons and connecting rods will have a 50 percent reduction in weight differences, crankshafts will have an 85 percent lower tolerance in rotational balance, flywheels and clutch covers will have a 50 percent reduction in rotational balance tolerances. Subaru says that the precision will be close to that of a racing engine.

In addition, EJ20 Final Editions will have the option of Recaro seats, as well as front, side, and rear under spoilers, gold lug nuts. It will be available in WR Blue Pearl, Crystal White Pearl, and Crystal Black Silica, but why would you get anything but the blue?

Only 555 WRX STI Final Editions will be offered. The only transmission option will be a 6MT, and rightly so. Prices start at ¥4.851 million ($44,662 USD). The 555 lucky owners will be chosen via lottery, and Subaru will be accepting entries in Japan only from October 24 to November 11.

 

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5 Responses to Tokyo Motor Show: The Subaru WRX STI EJ20 Final Edition will have a balanced boxer under the hood

  1. Lindsay Druett said:

    Imagine what they will be worth in 20 years time.

  2. Fred said:

    I would love to own one.

  3. Power Tryp said:

    What I would love to see is someone go full Ken Block on a GC8 Impreza. Ala the Cossie 2.0 built with modern suspension and since the engine is the same I would imagine that the performance wouldn’t be too far off from the current generation.

  4. OldMan12A said:

    I’d love to hear if anyone has more information on that 1989 endurance test for the EJ20. That has the makings of a good documentary, as it’s a serious undertaking from a human perspective. Imagine being on the team of drivers ripping that thing around the test track at high speeds from day into night, hot to cold, day after day. Nowadays, most manufacturers would just strap the engine to an automated dyno station and let it run to its death.

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