Subaru reveals new WRX
The covers have been whipped off the latest generation of Subaru’s rally-bred, turbocharged all-wheel-drive WRX sedan.
Subaru has unveiled the latest iteration of its barnstorming turbocharged and all-wheel-drive performance car, the all-new 2022 WRX, which is expected in Australia in the second quarter of 2022.
In addition to bold and aggressive exterior looks, fresh interior design and upgraded equipment levels, the new model boasts a larger capacity turbocharged 2.4-litre direct injection flat-four-cylinder engine, which in US spec pumps out 200kW and 350Nm.
While those figures are merely in line with the outputs of the current Australian-spec WRX’s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, the larger capacity should ensure the engine is less stressed with Subaru claiming the engine delivers “powerful, quick and responsive acceleration”.
Those attributes, along with the WRX’s relative affordability, its practical four-door body style and exclusive use of all-wheel drive, have contributed to the Subaru halo model developing a giant-killing reputation since the first model went on sale here in 1994.
Details of the new sixth-generation WRX were released including specifics for the US market, so there may be differences in specification when the new model arrives here, but broadly speaking our model is likely to closely emulate that vehicle.
A statement from Subaru said the powerful acceleration of the turbo engine and the controllability of its AWD system have been further enhanced with this upgrade.
The engine is said to provide superior throttle responsiveness with strong torque from low revs, plus improvements in both its low speed and sports driving abilities.
In addition to a six-speed manual transmission, a new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) dubbed Subaru Performance Transmission has also been adopted, featuring sports shift control to improve response during sport driving, along with quicker and more responsive shifts in the normal D range, the company said.
Vehicles with the CVT also feature a variable Torque Distribution AWD system, which Subaru says delivers both vehicle stability and sporty turning performance.
Certain trim levels will also get an AWD sport mode in the Drive Mode Select system, which further enhances turning performance by controlling torque delivery through the limited slip differential.
The Drive Mode Select system also offers additional options to configure steering feel, damper settings and more at the push of a button.
Subaru says the WRX’s electronically controlled dampers, like those used on other high-performance models from the likes of BMW and Porsche, can vary damping force in response to the input from road surface and driving style.
The new WRX is built for the first time on the Subaru Global Platform.
In combination with full inner frame construction and structural adhesive application, the rigidity of the body and chassis is said to have been further enhanced.
This enables sharper handling and reduction of unpleasant vibrations and shaking, according to Subaru.
Other changes include optimised chassis geometry with longer stroke compared with the previous model, improving ground contact and stability, while also contributing to ride comfort.
There’s also a new dual-pinion electric power steering system, which the company says delivers superior steering responsive and feel.
Stylistically, Subaru says the new model’s “bold and aggressive styling expresses the enjoyment of driving that the performance car offers”.
Black trim pieces including the sport side garnishes on the front and rear fenders and the side sill spoilers feature hexagon patterned aerodynamic texture that reduce air resistance.
Air outlets at the front and each side of the rear bumper enhance driving stability, as well as exterior appeal, says Subaru.
Inside, a sporty black interior with red stitching emphasises the WRX’s performance credentials.
A large, high-definition centre information display integrates various functions, while newly designed Recaro front seats with extra bolstering for sports driving are available on select trims.
Shoulder room has been expanded, both front and rear, for more passenger comfort, while a longer wheelbase compared to the previous WRX is said to bring expanded legroom for rear-seat passengers.
Safety equipment includes a new generation EyeSight system with wider viewing angle, available Stateside as standard on all trims equipped with the Subaru Performance Transmission (CVT).
In combination with a new electric brake booster, the operational coverage of the WRX’s pre-collision braking has now been expanded to support collision avoidance at intersections.
A stereo camera with wider viewing angle has also been added, offering an expanded area of recognition.
When on cruise control the WRX can follow the preceding vehicle on even sharper curves and can now recognise a preceding vehicle coming into its lane more quickly.
Subaru Australia General Manager Blair Read said: "To say we're incredibly excited about the all-new Subaru WRX global reveal is an understatement.
“We look forward to sharing more information about this highly anticipated model with Subaru enthusiasts and Australian consumers in the coming months."
As at the end of August, Subaru had sold 999 of its WRX and more high-performance WRX STi models, representing a healthy 37% lift on its 2020 sales figures.