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Driving Impressions: Mid-2010 WRX STI Special Edition and WRX Limited – Exploring the Extremes

Subaru Impreza WRX Limited


The 2010 Impreza WRX Limited adds popular features to the WRX Premium model. These include a leather interior, standard moonroof, and SIRIUS™ satellite radio.1


Of course, the WRX Limited retains the 265-horsepower intercooled, turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and 5-speed manual transmission.


Find more information about these cars here. Plus, see the Subaru press release from the Los Angeles Auto show in the Online Exclusives for the Winter 2010 Drive magazine news section.


1 Sirius is a trademark of Sirius Satellite Radio, Inc.




Turn 1 – fast and blind: Braking and entry is all uphill. The apex is not blind, but the exit is. So commitment is everything to getting Turn 1 correct. I get back to full power at the apex and carry the car over the crest to the track-out point.


Turns 2 and 3 – two more fast right-hand corners where the line and carrying speed are everything: The key is to not over-slow and upset the car into the first right and roll the speed around to the second right.


Turn 4 – the first left and the second-slowest corner on track. With an apex speed of 65 mph, Turn 4 is not a “slow” corner: You are rolling speed through the previous right-hand corners, and you need to keep that speed going through this left. It is important not only to carry the speed out of Turn 3, but to track right for the entrance of this left, and then use all the exit road.


Turn 5 – blind and dangerous: This turn is very tricky, and the line is debatable. There is a slight arc in the short straight leading up to Turn 5. I like to cut the distance by driving straight toward the turn-in point and make the braking zone as straight as possible. Some will say to arc out wide into the corner, but that doesn’t give an optimal braking line. The apex is at the crest of the hill, which makes an inside line work well by using the elevation. The exit is on the down slope of the hill, which makes it dangerous. So don’t pinch the car too much at apex.


Turn 6 – the slowest corner on the track, and the only place the track really “stops”: But that slow point is still 60 mph. The straight again is not straight, so taking a line to get the car straight going under the bridge for the brake zone is important. The apex is a little earlier than normal because there is a little camber to help with an early turn-in.


Turn 7 – the Lightbulb Corner – very long, very fast. I take off about 20 mph going into this corner. Another arc to the corner entry, which again makes the line up for debate. Again, I like to charge right at it and brake as straight as possible. With such brake application, it is very important to not upset the car. I like to enter the corner about mid-track, then about halfway around the corner come down to the apex, and about two-thirds of the way around get back to power as soon as possible. The corner is also heavily banked, which allows you to carry more speed.


This track rewards a smooth driver in turning, braking, and accelerating. Subaru AWD helps significantly over the crests at Turns 1 and 5. 

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