With the current popularity of its XV and Forester SUVs, it’s easy to forget that Subaru once made its name through hardcore STI models like the sublime Impreza 22B STI. Now, however, the company is teasing the latest in a long line of obscene go-faster variants, set to debut at the Detroit Auto Show on January 14.

The bewinged WRX STI seen tearing up the Virginia International Raceway in the video above may still be covered in camouflage, but you’d be hard-pressed to miss the aggressive front canards, prominent fender flares and tall rear spoiler. In a small, subtle but telling hint, Subaru says that this new model is “from Japan with love” and is “coming to America for the first time ever.”

These all lend credence to rumours of the track-focused Japanese-market “S” series of vehicles finally making its way to the US, which first surfaced with the news of an S209 trademark being applied Stateside. These limited-run models have only ever been sold outside Japan in select market, so this could be the point in which the nameplate finally becomes international.

The previous “S” model, the Subaru WRX STI S208, was unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show

Last time around, the S208 packed a number of delectable goodies, including an uprated 329 PS 2.0 litre EJ turbocharged flat-four engine, Bilstein DampMatic II dampers, front and rear torque vectoring, a front strut tower brace and quicker steering. Visually, the car is set apart through a large front spoiler, a carbon fibre rear spoiler, 19-inch forged BBS alloy wheels and Recaro bucket seats.

Just 450 of those were made, with 350 of those wearing the NBR Challenge Package that commemorated Subaru’s class victory at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2016. This consisted of a dry carbon roof and rear wing like the one you see here. Expect the US-market S209 to be just as potent.

GALLERY: Subaru WRX STI S208 at Tokyo 2017

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