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STi S203 Breakdown
Written by Lawrence N.
If you find yourself not a huge fan of the looks of the S202 then perhaps maybe an S203 might be the right choice for you. The S203 has a host of new changes that makes it a completely different beast than the S202 it succeeded.
The S203 is born as an Version 8 STi Spec C that then gets a few very special modifications done to it. The engine is a hand balanced and blueprinted Version 8 EJ207 but with a slightly larger ball bearing twin scroll VF42 turbocharger and a an oem STi silicone inlet hose. This when combined with a more aggressive tune running almost 20psi of boost in the mid range gives the car 315hp / 311tq. The change to equal length headers on the Version 8 STi engine also makes the S203 feel exceptionally smooth at all rpm ranges. The engine just feels like it wants to rev out to its 8000rpm limit at all times. The S203 also comes with the standard STi titanium axleback exhaust which gives the car a very special sound when paired with the twin scroll equal length headers.
Much like the S202 the tuning didn’t stop at the engine. The car gets a special KYB shock and spring setup that is stiffer than your standard STi along with larger STi sway bars and pillow ball lateral links. The big change from the S202 comes in the form of 18x8.5 BBS wheels wrapped with a Pirelli 235/40/R18 tire. The other big change would be that the S203 weights in right under 3200 pounds at 3185 pounds which means it’s quite heavier than the S202. STi was aiming for both an enjoyable and a comfortable driving experience with the S203 which meant a compromise between a road car and a tuning car.
The interior and Exterior also saw some changes from the S202. The S203 got special carbon fiber recaro bucket seats that still even to this day will cost you $1000s on the second hand market. The entire interior was in a dark tone with lots of black and grey as to not distract the driver from focusing on driving. On the outside the S203 got a carbon fiber lip and aggressive rear wing to signify that it was not your ordinary STi.
All of this combined made for a pure driving experience that the Japanese automotive media really enjoyed and a car that looked as good as how it drove.