Over in Japan where Subaru is headquartered, the Levorg is a station wagon of the Impreza that slots just under the Outback in terms of length. Only available with a continuously variable transmission and a 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder boxer, the family-oriented model now offers WRX goodies.
Instead of adopting the World Rally eXperimental designation of the sedan, the Japanese longroof is dubbed STI Sport R. It’s a little curious who decided that four letters and a word are better than three letters, but on the other hand, Japanese carmakers are utterly mad for mystifying nameplates.
The Mitsubishi Lettuce comes to mind, along with the Mitsubishi Active Urban Sandal. If Harry Potter were to be in the market for an SUV, then he’d probably search the classifieds for an Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard.
Jokes aside, the Levorg STI Sport R is a WRX at heart because of the 2.4-liter turbo boxer hiding under the hood. In this application, Subaru is much obliged to present customers with 275 ps (271 horsepower) and 375 Nm (277 pound-feet). Slightly torquier than the U.S.-spec WRX, the four-cylinder plant is complemented by a sporty CVT with eight-speed manual shifting mode, electronic dampers, and the Symmetrical AWD system.
Curiously enough, the STI Sport without the R suffix gets the 1.8-liter engine mentioned earlier. Codenamed CB18, this lump is a brand-new design that’s currently reserved for Japan-spec models. CB stands for compact boxer, and in this application, the direct-injected mill develops 177 ps (174 horsepower) and 300 Nm (221 pound-feet) of torque. Due to less than 100 horsepower per liter, we can all agree that Subaru can do better.
As you would expect from an STI-branded sports wagon, there’s a lot of sporty-yet-unnecessary exterior and interior garnish that helps the Levorg STI Sport R stand out in the crowd. As for pricing, this fellow is listed at 4,389,000 yen, which is equivalent to $38,060 at current exchange rates.