High-level trolling: Subaru is not above it. How else do you explain the all-wheel drive, turbocharged, rally bred sedan they've taken to calling the Subaru WRX S4? A month after its shadowy preview, the full car has debuted online, and I'm insanely curious what Audi has to say.

First of all, you're unlikely to ever drive a WRX S4, unless you live in Japan, in which case feel free to go out and drop all your cash on one. They aren't using that name outside of the home market and are unlikely to.


(At first I thought this decision was made because maybe Audi doesn't sell the S4 in Japan, but it turns out they do, and the S4 Avant, AND the RS4 Avant. Bastards.)

Anyway, Subaru says the S4 here stands for "sports performance", "safety performance", "smart driving" and "sophisticated feel", and that's good because WRX SPSPSDSF sounds silly even if it's a bit more lawsuit-friendly.


In this trim the car gets the same 2.0-liter direct injection turbo boxer four as our 2015 WRX, just bumped to 296 horsepower over our 268. Sadly the S4 comes equipped only with the the Sport Lineartronic CVT gearbox; no mention is made of a manual. The car also boasts the latest generation of the camera-based EyeSight safety system and other luxury touches.

Other WRX Japan-only models I'm looking forward to include the WRX Ford Mustang GT and the WRX Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.