When the current five-door Impreza WRX STI came out, many Subaru fans couldn’t accept their icon’s departure from the four-door sedan bodystyle. It didn’t help that the Impreza hatchback wasn’t particularly good looking as a five-door either. Well, Subaru seems to have heard the calls and has rolled out the sedan version of the WRX STI at the New York Auto Show. This will be the first time two bodystyles of the STI are available.

Both hatch and sedan feature sharpened bumper corners and wider, blacked-out fog lamp housings for a wider and lower look. There’s also a jutting lip spoiler and larger front grille/air intakes. The grille area is now outlined in black. For the sedan, you can see neatly integrated wide rear fenders that match the front’s. Of course, the STI’s trademark big boot spoiler is here, as is a chunky rear bumper featuring quad exhausts (two on each side).

Is it just me or does the rear end look like the previous generation Toyota Vios? Personally, although all the ingredients are there, it just doesn’t quite look right – old is gold when it comes to the WRX STI.

Styling aside, the 2011 WRX STI features improvements to the chassis, leading Subaru to call this “the best-handling Impreza WRX STI”. Aluminum front lower L-arms reduce unsprung vehicle weight, while new pillow-ball bushings in front and stiffer bushings for the rear subframe improve camber and toe stiffness.

Both the front and rear suspension systems employ higher-rate springs and thicker front and rear stabilizer bars than the 2010 model: 21 mm vs 20 mm in front and 19 mm vs 18 mm at the back. Spring rates are up by 15.6% up front and 53% behind. Ride height has been lowered too. The standard 18-inch aluminum wheels are lighter too, but many will take the optional BBS forged aluminum-alloy wheels. But why not in gold?

The US model is powered by a 305 bhp turbo boxer paired to a 6-speed manual. The STI comes with Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) with three Auto modes, as well as a manual mode with six driver-selectable differential locking settings. Also, SI-DRIVE allows the driver to tailor the car’s driving characteristics by choosing from three modes – Intelligent, Sport and Sport Sharp.

Gallery is after the jump.

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