No mention is made of higher spring rates in the press material for the WRX STI. So you’ll have to take our word for it that this is a much more stiffly suspended machine than the last STI – and a much, much stiffer one than the slightly soft, roll-affected STI hatch that came before.
On the face of it, Subaru has over-compensated massively in response to criticisms of that car (and perhaps the STI saloon that followed it) by ramping up chassis rates to almost anti-social levels. It has introduced both grip and enhanced directional responses into the car’s handling, but at disproportionate expense.
The STI’s ride is very poor. In fact, it will be intolerable to all but the most committed. Mercifully, it isn’t too noisy or crashy as much as it is unnecessarily unyielding. It’s twice as firm as it needs to be at an estimate, and more so than a lot of 600bhp supercars we could mention.
Suspension travel feels uncharacteristically short for a fast 4x4, so the car’s dampers are rarely given the chance to soak up shocks in one cycle of movement. Every bump in the road seems to cause two or three more bodily disturbances than it should; every one is exacerbated by the chassis rather than absorbed.