The S204: Subaru's Ultimate Drive?

Lionel Kong
4 Sep 2006

Just when you thought that you had seen the ultimate road going WRX with the STi Spec-C, the engineers at STi turn out an even more impressive model that tops any other version of the WRX that we have seen on the roads here. The Subaru S204 promises to eat all other road going versions of the WRX for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Originally designed strictly for the Japanese domestic market and limited to a production run of only 600 specially numbered cars, the S204 is what STi engineers call their ultimate, no holds barred road going machine.

Mr Takeshi Ito, General Manager of STi’s Product Planning Department, explains that the S204 is the fourth in the series of STi’s top end development of the WRX chassis. The previous three versions, the S201, S202 and S203 have never been offered for sale outside of Japan before. By a special arrangement with Motorimage Enterprises Singapore, the exactly 30 units of the S204 are now available for sale in the South-East Asian region.

Just what are you getting with the S204? The first stop is a look at the engine that powers the beast. The 2 litre turbocharged boxer engine is built with hand matched pistons and conrods for perfect balance. The crankshaft is also measured and machined by hand to a level of precision that is simply not possible with mechanical machining. The engine delivers 432 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm, and never falls below 350Nm between 2700rpm to 6000rpm, giving it the ability to deliver an incredible kick to your bottom at almost any rev. Power maxes out at 320PS at 6400rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox transmits power to all four wheels.

A new ‘performance damper’ system has been designed with Yamaha especially for the S204. Essentially a pair of long dampers that connect to the left and right sides of the car in the front and rear, they dampen any unruly chassis vibrations and keep all four wheels tracking true. Outer ventilated brake rotors all round, Brembo calipers and low expansion brake hoses ensure that the car will not experience brake fade, even with repeated applications during track use. The car’s suspension is tuned based on feedback from top WRC drivers like Tommi Makinen.

Internally, the drool factor continues with the front seats, designed by Recaro for the S204. The lightweight bucket seats feature complete carbon shells which are visible on the back, and the seat itself is covered with Alcantara and leather. The car has a mostly matte black interior that does a good job of keeping everything looking minimalist, yet feels purposeful and secure. Unlike the over the top styling of the WRX STi, the S204 has been designed to look more purposeful than showy, with the main visual identification being a totally new real spoiler and a full carbon fibre front lip. Be careful of where you park the car because damaging the expensive carbon front lip is a very real possibility on multi-story carpark ramps and speed bumps!

The 30 units of the S204 available through Motorimage are the only S204s available for official purchase outside of Japan and the orders are also being taken from places like Thailand and Macau. Due to its limited edition status, Motorimage Singapore tells us that the first car will be sold at a price of S$160,000 and every subsequent car sold will increase in price by S$1,000. This means that the 30th car will cost S$189,000. For the true Subaru fan, the S204 is the best way to own a true STi tuned machine that promises a sense of individuality.   

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