Not so long ago, the Subaru WRX was considered “exotic” here in America.
Originally introduced in Japan in 1992, the WRX was not initially offered on this continent. However, as the Subaru’s rep grew when it started winning rallies and appearing in video games, American enthusiasts clamored hungrily for the “unobtainable” WRX. So in 2001, Subaru finally offered the WRX here as a 2002 model.
Even before the development of the WRX however, back in the late 1980s, Subaru created Subaru Tecnica International (STI) to coordinate development for its motorsports activities. STI also created higher-performance street versions of the WRX, which led to the development of the Impreza WRX STi.
In 2004, a WRX STi was offered in America for the first time. However, that car was set up more like the rally cars on which it was based, than it was optimized for the street. Consequently, it suffered somewhat when asked to perform vigorously on pavement. Then, for the 2011 model year — when the current STi was introduced — Subaru finely calibrated more specifically for exceptional street performance.
And, they finally got it right.