Hiroshi Mori of Subaru Tecnica International

4/7/2016

Version 13.1

Our Exclusive Interview with the Director of Product Planning and Development

Attendees at the 2015 Wicked Big Meet were treated to some very special Subaru models from Japan, including the drool-worthy S206. Also making the trip was Hiroshi Mori, Director of the Product Planning and Development Department for Subaru Tecnica International (STI). Drive Performance magazine was there, and we jumped at the rare opportunity to talk to Mori about the role of STI as the in-house performance division for Subaru.

Dedicated to Details 

According to Mori, STI focuses on creating a refined, balanced, high-performance driving experience that represents the ultimate in excitement, comfort, and fun for everyday drivers. It’s an endless quest. “We don’t just work on building fast vehicles for the road,” Mori emphasizes, “The models we create also feature a tough and supple drivability. That’s what makes us different.” The engineers at STI rigorously fine-tune countless details to achieve the highest quality performance standards for Subaru vehicles. Their tireless efforts have resulted in marked improvements in steering response, throttle response, brake feel, roll-center, exterior, interior, and the overall drivability of STI vehicles. “We especially tried reducing the delay after a driver gives any inputs for a sense of heightened agility,” Mori adds, “The result is a vehicle with an increased feeling of stability that responds quickly, so the driver can go faster with confidence.”

Better Vehicles = Better Drivers

“At STI, we build vehicles that make you a better driver. They listen to you and become an extension of your body. The result of that conviction is STI vehicles like the Subaru S206 we brought here today.” The “S” model designation is only given to those vehicles that represent the very pinnacle of STI performance. STI has been producing the “S” models on a built-to-order basis since 2000 starting with the S201. The S206 was released in 2012 as a limited run of only 300 vehicles, with an additional 100 editions featuring the NBR Challenge Package. Mori is the man who led the charge in the creation of these models. 

For years, all I have been thinking about is the WRX. I'm grateful that the U.S. Subaru fans agree with what we have been doing. 

Great Minds Think Alike 

As our interview comes to a close, I join Mori on a hill overlooking the parking lot filled with Subaru vehicles for Wicked Big Meet, the largest Subaru enthusiast festival in America. He seems touched and a bit surprised as he surveys the jubilant crowd. “This is my first time coming to the Subaru gathering in the U.S., and I’m shocked to see so many Subaru fans in one place,” he marvels. So, will we ever get to own one in the States? Mori smiles in response – it’s a question he’s heard before. “The future,” he assures me, “will be worth waiting for.”