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Back in the mid-2000s when the Sony PlayStation 2 was around, a strangely fascinating and critically-acclaimed video game surfaced from the Land of the Rising Sun by the name of Katamari Damacy. In the third-person puzzle-action game, the god-like King of All Cosmos accidentally removes all the stars from the sky and tasks his diminutively-sized son, the Prince, to go to Earth and help rectify the situation. Equipped with a rolling katamari – a magical ball that causes anything smaller than it to stick to it – the Prince is charged with amassing sufficient material to recreate the stars and constellations.

Hailing from the same Pacific island nation, Subaru exudes a quirky character much like the colorful game and has likewise been embraced by the automotive industry―especially over the last several years. Similar to the Prince of All Cosmos, Subaru has used its katamari mojo to collect progressively more sales every year. Last year, it reached its seventh consecutive year of annual sales growth in the U.S. In fact, Subaru’s sales momentum was developing so quickly through an eight month period in  2014, the brand found itself bumping its annual sales target from 460,000 units to 500,000 units. The company managed to still beat its updated objective by 13,693 sales.

As a result of its success, the automaker is running at near-optimum levels with minimal incentive spending, industry-low days’ supply, and maximized production capacity. With many of its priorities being met along with rising profits, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries can now afford to turn its attention to raising the profile of its Subaru Tecnica International (STi) performance division. Earlier this month, it did just that: The company got the ball rolling at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, where it unveiled its BRZ-based Subaru STi Performance Concept to the delight of the show’s attendees. However, as could be expected from the small, conservative automaker, it was unwilling to make any promises the model would make it to production. Nearly three years after the BRZ finally made it to market, the wait would continue as enthusiasts were seemingly no closer to seeing an STi version.

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Fast forward less than a few weeks and it appears the wait is (sort of) over.

During a recent interview with Automotive News, STi President Yoshio Hirakawa affirmed, “The United States is the highest priority for STi.” For years, the only model to carry the STi badge has been the WRX, but it looks like that will change in, “A couple years,” according to Subaru’s spokesperson, Michael McHale. It appears the U.S. is slated to get the higher performance BRZ STi variant it’s been waiting for. Additionally, the company plans to grow its STi brand power by using it in place of the SPT brand name (Subaru Performance Tuning) as the company’s official performance parts and accessories division. With competitors such as Toyota and Nissan already in the process of establishing their own performance brands, it remains to be seen how serious Subaru is about its foray into the automotive performance arena. The move begs the question: To what extent is Subaru willing to raise the STi brand’s profile?

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Fortunately for Subaru, the opportunity looks ripe for the taking as data in recent years suggests there is significant potential to grow the STi business. Looking at the past five years, STi trimmed models have accounted for an impressive 25% to 30% of all WRX registrations annually, reaching nearly 6,500 registrations for STi trims alone last year. That equates to a tally of over 25,000 registrations for all version of Subaru’s WRX performance model in 2014, underscoring customers’ demand for more fast cars from the small Japanese automaker.

Performance doesn’t come cheap either, with the standard WRX and WRX STi starting at $27,090 and $35,290 (including shipping), respectively. Nevertheless, buyers have shown a willingness to pay for what they want. Average incentives on WRX models were a mere $381 per unit for the entirety of 2014. When you compute a limited incentives spend, a month-end days’ supply of only 17 days (last month), and a higher 2.9% finance rate, it’s easy to imagine all the dollar signs Subaru anticipates.

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Turning our attention to Subaru’s rear-wheel drive sports car, the BRZ averaged a little over 8,000 registrations in its first two full years in production, with a peak of just over 8,500 registrations in 2013. While the figures are not as eye-popping as the more practical and versatile all-wheel drive WRX model, the BRZ has performed well in its own right. Starting at $26,490, including destination, the BRZ is priced so it isn’t necessarily expensive. However, many wouldn’t call it cheap either considering its modest performance specifications. Still, demand is solid as the average incentive spending per unit last year was just $641, while days’ supply last month was equal to the WRX’s ultra-low 17 days.

So what does this mean for Subaru going forward? It means the automaker’s business―including its sports cars―is running on all cylinders. Also, it means where there is performance, there will be STi. With so much money to be made from STi-branded models, parts, and accessories―as well as increased street cred―it’s no wonder why the organization would be interested in exploring this area further. It may be a few years before we see the BRZ STi make it to market, but if Subaru’s past is any indicative of its future, we can rest assured the little automaker will roll its newest venture into a bright new star.