STI-tuned 2025 Subaru WRX tS packs more GT goodies

The tS badge, which has adorned both generations of Subaru's BRZ 2+2, is coming to the WRX next year. It stands for "Tuned by STI," and like the 2024 WRX TR, it borrows some of the automatic-only WRX GT's goodies and combines them with something you can't get on the touring-oriented model: an old-fashioned manual transmission. But if you're hoping for STI power (or fancy differential upgrades, for that matter), sadly, there's no news on that front.

The formula's pretty simple: Take a standard WRX and add some more go-fast goodies. The biggie here is the new adaptive suspension, which was plucked from the automatic-only GT and upgraded with STI-tuned dampers. And with that new suspension system comes Subaru's enhanced drive modes — something lacking from the basic stick-shift WRX. The rest of the upgrades read similarly to the WRX TR's: steering tweaks, larger Brembo brakes (six-piston front; two-piston rear) with an upgraded master cylinder, and new 19-inch wheels and Bridgestone Potenza S007 summer performance tires. The tS also gets the fancy Recaro seats available in the TR and GT. Like the TR, the tS is offered only without a moonroof. Hooray for helmet room!

Aesthetically, the tS makes a greater effort to differentiate itself. You'll find STI and tS badging on this one (the TR offers no indication of its place within the hierarchy), what appears to be a cherry-blossom tinged "WRX" badge up front and, of course, prominent "Recaro" embroidery on the front bucket seats, which feature blue accents that are repeated on the door panels, steering wheel and shifter trim.

If this all sounds like Subaru turned the wick up on the TR and just changed the second letter, you're not all that far from the truth. A Subaru spokesperson told Autoblog that the tS "will essentially replace the TR" when it arrives in 2025. The same spokesperson did not rule out the possibility of the TR's fixed suspension making its way under other WRX models, but noted that it would require a package that included the TR's tire and wheel package, as they were engineered holistically.

The tS will slot in between the existing WRX Limited and GT. That's a gap of about $5,000, so there's a decent amount of runway on which Subaru can conceivably land it. We can't completely rule out the possibility that it ends up sharing a spotlight — and price tag — with the range-topping GT. At this rate, Subaru's on pace to give us a new STI one piece at a time. Stay tuned for the latest.

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