The 2018 Subaru WRX STI has been previewed in Malaysia today, wearing a price tag of RM309,647 on-the-road without insurance. The high-performance sedan celebrated its global premiere at the start of the year, packing a host of styling, drive and equipment updates.

On the outside, there’s a more aggressive-looking bumper, which does away with the side-mounted fog lamps found on the previous car. This is accompanied by a new-design grille, with the Subaru logo positioned in the middle of the two-bar slat.

Those LED headlights are also of a new design and steering responsive, meaning they help to illuminate corners as you turn into them. The rear is slightly tweaked as well, featuring a more pronounced lower apron to go along with the quad tailpipes. As with tradition, a large rear spoiler marks the model out as an STI.

Meanwhile, the interior receives upgraded cabin materials, a rear seat armrest, redesigned interior door grips, thicker door glass, revised door sealing and a foam-filled windshield header beam. There’s also a large multi-function 7.0-inch display that is part of the double-DIN infotainment system.

A second display shows the status of the dual-zone climate control system as well as the boost pressure, among other things. Other bits of kit include keyless entry and start, reverse camera, cruise control and multi-info display for the instrument panel. To match its performance-oriented persona, the car comes with a D-shaped, leather steering wheel, leather/Alcantara sport seats, red stitching and aluminium pedals.

Motivation comes in the form of a 2.5 litre turbocharged boxer-four cylinder petrol engine, which outputs 300 PS at 6,000 rpm and 407 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. All that power is sent to all four wheels via Subaru’s Symmertrical All-Wheel Drive system and an enthusiast-pleasing six-speed manual transmission.

On the handling side, the car’s suspension tuning has been revised, along with its Driver’s Control Centre Differential (DCCD). Where the previous DCCD used a combination of mechanical and electronic centre LSD control, it now uses electronic control to deliver quicker and smoother response.

Drivers will still have access to the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) system and drive modes, while Active Torque Vectoring helps ensure things don’t get too lairy when navigating bends.

Unfortunately, we don’t get the larger 19-inch wheels as found in other markets. Instead, there are 18-inch units finished in dark gun metallic that house the Brembo brakes, which feature new six-pot calipers at the front and four-pot ones at the rear.

Safety items include seven airbags (dual front, side, curtain and driver’s knee) plus the usual host of systems like ESC, traction control and ABS. As mentioned at the start, the 2018 WRX STI is currently being previewed and is not officially launched. Also, the RM309,647 price tag includes a five-year warranty and free service package (labour only). Interested?