This is the new Subaru WRX, albeit in US-market spec. Subaru hasn’t yet decided whether or not to offer the new-era ‘Impreza’ in the UK, though CAR understands the WRX would be pitched as a range flagship and priced above the £25k BRZ sports coupe. Read on to find out what the UK stands to miss out on…
What’s the new Subaru WRX’s powertrain spec?
In a surprise to precisely no-one, the new WRX uses a turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine, driving all four-wheels via a choice of six-speed manual or a CVT transmission. However, it’s not a rehash of old rally car spares: the WRX has an all-new engine.
Replacing the old 2.5-litre boxer is a downsized 2.0-litre unit, sporting direct-injection and superior claimed fuel economy. It’s also slightly more powerful: the 268bhp @ 5600rpm beats the old 2.5’s 265bhp @ 6000rpm.
On-demand torque is the real improvement here. The new 2.0-litre flat-four churns out a VW Golf GTI-matching 258lb ft, from 2000rpm right through to 5200rpm. The old 2.5 could only muster 244lb ft, and you had to spin it at 4400rpm to access it.
>> Click here to read CAR's review of the new Subaru Outback
Will the new WRX handle?
The spec looks promising – but the WRX needs to be one hell of a good drive if it’s to justify a BRZ-busting price tag. Subaru claims the new WRX’s steering feel is superior to the old car’s, thanks to reinforced mounts for the electric (yes, electric) steering rack’s gearbox.
The car’s bodyshell is also said to be lighter and stiffer than before, and suspension has been revamped to take advantage of the stronger foundations. US-spec models get a new design of 17in alloys, claimed to be lighter and more rigid than older versions. However, the car looks very under-wheeled to us – M Sport and S-line-obsessed UK buyers will surely crave meatier 19in rims to give the WRX a rally stage-refugee stance...
>> Click here to check out the new Subaru Legacy concept
Has Subaru upped its game inside the new WRX?
Big claims are being made about the quality of materials inside the new WRX by Subaru. From the pictures, it looks the be the usual Subaru fare of plenty of kit and some thoughtful sporty cues (flat-bottomed steering wheel, carbon trim, red stitching, and polished pedals), but still somewhat dated versus European and Korean opposition.
Then again, bulletproof, hard-wearing cabins have long been a Subaru staple – enthusiasts would cry heresy if money was diverted from all-wheel drive R&D to soft-touch plastics. Add your thoughts in the comments below.
It’ll be roomier inside than the old WRX at any rate. A 25mm wheelbase stretch improves the legroom, and moving the A-pillar forward by a huge 200mm offers better visibility and a touch more frontal cabin space. Door openings are wider too, says Subaru.
>> Should Subaru offer the WRX in the UK as a circa-£30k performance halo car? Add your thoughts in the comments below