Subaru reveals all-new WRX saloon in the US

Published: 10 September 2021

► New Subaru WRX makes its debut
► 271bhp turbo’d boxer, manual and auto
► Revealed for the US market, Euro launch unlikely

Subaru has lifted the lid on its all-new WRX performance car. All the bits of the familiar recipe we know and love from the brand’s legendary saloon are here, neatly wrapped up in a brand-new package.

The caveat is that it’s not coming to the UK or European. Makes sense, given Subaru’s decision to blockade the new BRZ model from arriving in this part of the world.

How familiar are we talking?

Well, the new WRX has a 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four ‘boxer’ engine, all-wheel drive and a six-speed manual gearbox. Subaru US says the new WRX makes 271bhp and 258lb ft, and that boxer engine has a turbo with electronically-controlled air bypass and wastegate valves. The all-wheel drive system also comes with torque vectoring.

subaru wrx front tracking

Underneath all of that is Subaru’s global platform, the same chassis that’s underpinned everything the brand has built since the 2016 Impreza. That’s a good thing – while we’ve thought that most modern Subaru’s are not built for performance, there’s a sweet chassis underneath just waiting to be exploited.

Elsewhere, ‘track-tuned’ suspension and dual-pinion electric power steering should make the new WRX feel direct and alive through the corners.

Any other clever tech?

What’s new, in engineering terms, is that the WRX GT has an automatic. Subaru calls it the ‘Performance Transmission’, which is a CVT that’s been tweaked to maximise the power available. It has a manual mode that allows for eight stepped ‘speeds’ to be swapped via the steering wheel-mounted paddles.

subaru wrx interior

Besides the new design inside and out, the infotainment is now a portrait-format version of the brand’s Starlink UI. Subaru’s EyeSight semi-autonomous safety tech is applied here, and occupants inside also benefit from Recaro seats in a fabric called Ultrasuede.

So, when can I buy one?

If you live in the US, Subaru says you can order one in early 2022. CAR reached out to Subaru in the UK and it confirmed that the new performance saloon would not enter the UK or European markets.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches