Subaru must have done a terrible job designing their rally car for the street, because it seems that every Impreza WRX STI offered for sale has a list of bolt-on aftermarket parts that reads like a SEMA phone directory. However, you probably don't want a highly monsterfied Subaru (for various reasons), and today we've got an all original, all stock, original owner STI for sale. Find this 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STI offered for $19,500 in Mountain View, CA via NASIOC forums.
I might be biased because I have a similar car in my driveway, but the 2004 (and 05) Subaru STI offers an excellent tradeoff between speed, utility, and future value. For whatever reason, the little sedans stopped depreciating a few years back and are holding steady in value -- my personal theory is that each week another STI gets modified into oblivion or slammed into a telephone pole. With only 7,210 examples leaving showrooms in 2004, it means that each time one gets a flat black paint job, the remaining stock ones get marginally more desirable.
Under the hood is a 2.5 liter boxer 4-cylinder all-alloy engine that is turbocharged and intercooled (yes, the rhino horn hood scoop is functional, it directs air into the top mount intercooler) to produce 300 horsepower and 300 ft-lbs of torque.
The 2004 STI is monstrously fast, and it goes like nuts without the aid of electronic doodads and gizmos. Power heads to a 6-speed manual gearbox that is connected to the front via a SureTrac limited slip, and the back wheels via a mechanical limited slip. There is no traction control, and the only electronic help you get is the DCCD (driver controlled center differential) that can be set to lock out the center diff (don't do this if you want to park the car, but it might be helpful in low grip situations) or open it for more sideways action. Personally, I have a hard enough time figuring out what gear I should be in, or which way to turn the steering wheel, so I generally leave the DCCD controller on auto and let the sensors figure it out.
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