All I could think about when I got behind the wheel of my first Subaru was "I get to be a rally car driver now!" And while you would hardly think a base-model Impreza Hatchback with a CVT would be able to do that, or not be the best candidate to do so, the mere thought of it made me smile ear-to-ear. However, when I approached the first gravel road this then-new 2012 econbox had ever seen... I got cold feet. A brand new car getting dirty, dinged up, and driven to the limits didn't seem like a good idea.
From December 23rd to January 7th, it remained in the garage. Then I picked up some used BBS wheels, mounted all-season tires to 'em, fixed some urethane mudflaps, and rolled it out onto Nebraska's Winter Roads laden with ice, snow, and salt. I had a few people say "I thought it was supposed to be a garage queen". I can't do it. Not completely, at least! I'll still wash it and take care of it and worry about parking locations and freak out if there's hail in the forecast... but Subaru Tecnica International didn't go through the trouble of tuning this WRX for it to be a museum piece. I've never been able to even purchase a Hot Wheels toy car without being driven to madness by trying to keep it "Mint in Box". It has to be taken out and played with, even if just for a moment. This one, this WRX STI, needs to be driven and enjoyed.