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Driving the 2011



The mission was clear – take out the 2011 WRX STI Sedan for two or three days and up to 500 miles to see what it's like. The downside was that I was to pick up the car in the Detroit area (no offense intended, butit's flat around Detroit and roads are laid out in a grid).


Finding Roads of Interest


With maps and address book in hand, I set about to find good roads to drive prior to picking up the WRX STI Sedan. Michigan's Upper Peninsula was out of the question, and even the area around Traverse City was too far to go and remain within a 500-mile window. I settled on an American Byway located near Oscoda, Michigan.Then a former colleague suggested the roads around the lake area near Hell, Michigan.


Carefully mapping my route, I determined that I could go to both –barely.


A Beauty in Troy


I picked up the WRX STI at Event Solutions International (ESI) in Troy, Michigan, where it is maintained. Being accustomed to silver Subaru vehicles (my own Impreza and the magazine's WRX project car), I found the WR Blue Mica-painted WRX STI immediately arresting. When ESI's Hans Baran drove it around the building to the parking lot, I knew it couldn't help but draw attention on the road.


Both the color – especially with the red STI badge on the grille – and the wide-body design tell you that this car is something different. And don't forget about the rear spoiler – the wing is back. It has morestyle than the one on the previous-generation WRX STI. Its angles on the sides and across the top plane follow the lines of the body sides and complement the roofline. My concern was that it would block too much of my rearward vision out the inside mirror. More about that later.


After signing the necessary paperwork, setting mirrors, and entering my destination in the navigation system, I drove off to Oscoda, Michigan. Oscoda lies along the coast of Lake Huron at the mouth of the Au Sable River and not far north of Saginaw Bay.


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