Subaru s sportiest offering stays old school, with just enough refinement to make it worthwhile.

When Subaru debuted the all-new WRX STI back in early 2014, there was a lot to be excited about – a significantly stiffer structure, a new, more aggressively tuned suspension system, and a revamped interior to go along with the thoroughly rethought exterior.

With the imminent demise of the STI s biggest rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, the future looked especially bright for Subaru s top-spec performance sedan.

But in just a few short years, the automotive landscape has changed rather dramatically, and the STI now finds worthy competition in the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS, the latter of which is just starting to make its way into U.S. showrooms this summer.

The blind-spot warning system and a backup camera from the STI Limited are also included as standard here in the Series.HyperBlue model.

Smurf jokes aside, the hue suits the STI s silhouette quite well, finding the sought-after line between striking and gaudy and holding fast to the preferable side of the equation.

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