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Just an FYI thing. Almost 40,000 2 liter WRXs have been sold in the US to date. The 2 liter WRX will continue to be sold in 2003. This should give a nice "reserve" of inexpensive AWD rally car possibilities as the years pass. As the WRX is attractivly priced at about $24,000 new, the higher mileage ones in a few years should be quite reasonable. I might add there is a ton of available modification parts available from many sources. Engines are available from Japan used at very good prices, ditto many other NOS and performance components. There has sprung up a lot of tuning and modification specialists of all sorts with lots of experience and tricks. The WRX is available in a sedan and wagon body with switching possibilities with the earlier coupe version. Two early transmission options, a 5 speed and a 4 speed auto. The newer 6 speed will also enterchange. Knight Racing has used the modified auto in rally and a number of 500++ HP drag race Subys are doing the same.

The 2.5 liter STI version will be sold in ADDITION to the 2.5 liter NA Impreza and 2 liter turbo WRX models. The abbreviated specs (again) on the STI are below. You may note that there are a LOT of new to the US performance components to the STI package that makes it an outstanding performance sports sedan for many purposes.

300 HP @6,000 rpm, 300 ft-lb of torque @ 4,000 rpm (out of the box)
2.5 liter top mount intercooler, with AVCS (variable cam timing)
6 speed manual
AWD with DCCD driver controlled center diff.
Viscous front limited slip diff
Mechanical rear limited slip
Sport tuned suspension with inverted struts
side air bags
Brembo brakes
ABS with EBD electronic brake force distribution
There is a lot more in the package if your curious.

I would guess the new semi closed deck 2.5 liter turbo block will be the genisis of other US turbo offerings coming up down the road.

So in way too many words you have a lot of choices. If you want cheap we will be there. If you want 1.8, 2.0, 2.2, 2.5 NA or turbo or bi turbo we will be there. If you like restrictors you can do that too. If you like to highway drive in a spirited fashion we will be there with choices. If granma needs a great safe fuel efficient car to get around in the snow or slippery Beverly Hills we will be there as well.

Enjoy!
 

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Greg, the Impreza body type has been rallied for years worldwide obviously. That does not mean Grama's older grocery getter 1.8 or 2.0 Impreza automatic is nessarily a rally car, the same with the STI in the same body type/series. The STI marketing is towards the street performance car buyer and quite obviously not toward the rally user though as you pointed out it may well be there. It's basic, the numbers are hardly in rally car purchases. It will also be true that ANY new vehicle will be more costly to prep and rally than an older vehicle, that's a given.
 
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