Tag Archives: wrx

New WRX, Same as the Old WRX

Without warning, Subaru suddenly dropped the covers off the 2022 WRX this past Friday. (I was at IMS Outdoors so I’m only getting to this now.) The result is… underwhelming.

Appearance wise, it’s very similar to the current car. I had a 2015 WRX, so I’m quite familiar with it. The main difference is the addition of a lot of ugly unpainted plastic. It’s as though Subaru is trying to turn the WRX into a Crosstrek sedan. Unpainted plastic is supposed to look tough. I think it looks cheap instead. Immediately the internet began comparing pictures of this orange WRX to an orange Pontiac Aztek. The resemblance isn’t perfect, but there is some. Considering that the Aztek is often called the ugliest car ever made, that is not a compliment.

The other disappointment is a horsepower increase from 268 to 271. That’s basically nothing. We expected at least something over 300, particularly since the displacement has increased from 2.0 to 2.4 liters. What gives, Subaru?

The news isn’t all bad, however. The interior gets an update, though there’s a still a lot of “plastic fantastic” motif going on. Most striking is the 11.6-inch Starlink touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. It looks like this controls almost everything, with a very tablet-like display visible in the pictures, yet it’s good to see just a couple of knobs off to either side as well. Sometimes you just need to quickly turn the volume down, and a knob works much better than hunting through menus for it.

Another addition is the GT model, which will presumably be the new mid-grade of the range between the base WRX and the top-of-the-line STI. It has SI-Drive features, which sounds similar to the STI. The GT also gets electronically adjustable shocks, similar to the Volkswagen GTI, as well as standard “Subaru Performance Transmission,” which is automatic. GT is traditionally an acronym for “Grand Touring,” so an automatic is not out of place with that purpose. The old Legacy GT used this designation as well, and was itself quite good.

Subaru makes all kinds of claims like a track-tuned suspension and improved NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) EyeSight is standard on all automatic models. That qualification is necessary because yes, the WRX is still available with a manual transmission, thank goodness. For all of its shortcomings, at least it has that.

To say the WRX enthusiast community is underwhelmed would be an understatement. Subaru’s had seven years to come up with a better WRX. Instead we get this. I’ll have to withhold judgement until I see one in person and can actually drive it, but first impressions count, and they’re not great. Still, it’s one of the few remaining true sport sedans out there, and there’s a lot to be said for that. Though honestly, I’d certainly consider a Crosstrek given the WRX treatment.

Subaru WRX Wagon May Return, But Only In Australia

WRX fans have been screaming for a hatchback or wagon version of the car ever since the current (and outgoing) generation car came out for 2015. It seems those screams have been answered — but only if you live in Australia.

CarExpert reports that the current Levorg wagon will complete its transformation into a long-roof version of the WRX starting next year. Unfortunately, Subaru will continue its financially sensible commitment to crossovers and SUVs in North America and not bring it here, much to the dismay of wagon fans like me. I bought my 2015 WRX in spite of it being a sedan and not a hatchback, not because of it.

So what will the next North American WRX look like? Subaru will show us on September 10.

Photo credit: Tokumeigakarinoaoshima via Wikimedia Commons

Octogenarian Loses License for Speeding in a WRX

It’s an all-too familiar story, some guy driving his Subaru WRX like he’s Colin Mcrae getting busted for going nearly twice the speed limit. The driver’s probably some kid wearing a flat-brimmed cap vaping more smoke than Cheech and Chong, right? Nope. This time it’s an 80-year-old driver from South Australia, caught doing 113 mph (182 km/h) in a 62 mph (100 km/h) zone, thus proving that stereotypes are not always accurate. Read all about it at Drive.

As New York Auto Show Reveals Go Online, Where’s the WRX?

After the last-minute cancellation of the New York International Auto Show, manufacturers who had planned to unveil new models there are starting to so it online instead. Lincoln has pulled the covers off the 2022 Navigator, Kia has shown us the 2022 Sorento plug-in hybrid, and Hyundai took the wrapper off the sporty 2022 Elantra N. All of these were supposed to be shown to the public for the first time at NYIAS.

Absent from these online reveals, at least so far, is the 2022 Subaru WRX. We were also supposed to see it in New York, but alas that is not to be.

It would’ve been a brilliant move to instead reveal it at last weekend’s Climb to the Clouds race up Mt. Washington, NH. Subaru is the title sponsor, and Travis Pastrana’s new record-breaking time already had all the media attention. It would’ve been the perfect setting, both logistically and philosophically, to see the new WRX for the first time. The Airslayer STI is arguably the ultimate evolution of the current car, probably the fastest one we’ll ever see. The next logical step is to begin with the next generation car, which could have appeared there as well.

I’m still looking forward to seeing it when it eventually does come out. As the past owner of a 2015 WRX, I want to see how they improved on what I had.