The 2022 Subaru WRX adds more power, more features and an all-new trim level

Colin
By Colin Wood
Sep 11, 2021 | Subaru, WRX

Photography Courtesy Subaru

The WRX already functions as a sports sedan that’s not afraid of the dirt, but now Subaru is apparently looking to make it a grand touring vehicle, too.

Before we get into that, though, here’s the info you really want: The 2022 Subaru WRX, now built on the Subaru Global Platform, is powered by a turbocharged, 2.4-liter flat-four good for 271 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. That engine can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or what Subaru calls its new Subaru Performance Transmission.

Subaru hasn't shared many specifics about this “new” transmission, but reading between the lines makes us think that it’s a rebranded, potentially reprogrammed version of the outgoing model’s CVT:

Every WRX is equipped with legendary Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring. Coupled with the Subaru BOXER engine is either the 6-speed manual transmission, which has been fitted with optimized gear ratios and refined for improved shift quality, or the new Subaru Performance Transmission (automatic) which offers up to 30 percent faster upshifts (2nd to 3rd) and 50 percent faster downshifts (3rd to 2nd). The automatic transmission incorporates adaptive shift control that can quickly respond to perform rev-matching downshifts under braking, maintain the ideal ratio through corners, and respond faster on corner exit. Total ratio coverage range has been enlarged, and lower ‘fixed’ gear ratios have been revised to improve acceleration and response.

That automatic transmission brings us back to the first thing we noted: the addition of a new grand touring trim, the GT, to the WRX lineup.

Besides the new automatic transmission, the GT adds a drive mode selector (comfort, normal and sport), electronically controlled dampers, and an exclusive interior with Recaro seats.

For the safety-conscious, Subaru’s Eyesight Driver Assist Technology is now standard across all trims, though only with the automatic transmission.

So, are you excited to get behind the wheel of the new fifth-gen WRX, or are you still hoping for that next-gen Evo from Mitsubishi?

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Comments
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captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 11:32 a.m.

A WRX GT automatic, I guess the Avalon TRD finally has some competition within the market segment. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/10/21 11:38 a.m.

A few initial impressions and thoughts:

  • I'm not a fan of the new styling, but I think it's going to grow on me as the previous gen's did.
  • I think we are in a period in which we are building cars that look better in person than in photographs.
  • I'm excited to see the performance of the "new" auto. Sure, it might not be a ZF unit or even a DCT, but if it's an improvement on the previous CVT, I'm sure it'll perform well (and maybe I might consider buying one).

Also, I have a theory that the automatic WRX was introduced to fill the void that was left by the Evo X MR–but again, just a theory.

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 11:46 a.m.

So the WRX looks like an Aztec Sedan now and Subaru's big new version is an automatic? Well that's disappointing.

rallyxPOS13
rallyxPOS13 New Reader
9/10/21 11:50 a.m.

Pontiac?  Is that you?

Plastic cladding, non-round wheel wells, orange paint, GT trims, automatic...  I think I've seen this before.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/10/21 11:55 a.m.

And here's some more pictures for funsies:

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 12:25 p.m.

My issue is that Subaru has gotten incredibly lazy and forgotten what it is to make an exciting vehicle.

When the WRX first came stateside, It was the first of the Gran Turismo hero cars to do so. Paving the way for the STI, EVO and GTR to follow it. It was the canary in the coal mine to see if the market would purchase an all-wheel drive turbo manual Japanese performance focused vehicle. Sorry Mazda, the 323 GTX wasn't marketed well enough and Mitsubishi marketed the Galant VR4 as being more grown up and adult. 

It created a new segment, within North America, of hot compact sedan with all surface and weather capability that you could drive everyday. Mechanically it was nothing new to the rest of the world, but it had historical significance in North America. 

 

This does none of that. Not even remotely close. To call the effort lazy is an insult to lazy people. This is closer to the legacy GT of the vintage of the original WRX, only with a power bump that percentage-wise doesn't even match the percentage and power bump from competitors in the same time frame. 

 

We lament when manufacturers kill off our favorite models instead of making a new generation. We lament when our favorite bands break up instead of making a new album and continuing to tour. The Subaru WRX is the Rage Against the Machine album- Renegades, you wish that they had called it quits and hung it up instead of producing something that is insulting to their legacy. 

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/10/21 12:28 p.m.

Are those tail lights interchangeable with the new BRZ?

Also, can someone please direct Subaru to the "Box Flares make everything better" thread? 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/10/21 12:34 p.m.

Gees, In white it looks almost like my sister's legacy only with more body cladding. I mean it's not ugly but it's also snoozeville. 

aw614
aw614 Reader
9/10/21 12:35 p.m.

I'm curious if they'll get more CVT sales by positioning the highest trim GT with only a CVT. Just seems odd unless the pricing is that close to a base STI. 

Was reading another article that mentioned 85% of the current WRXs are manuals...

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/10/21 12:38 p.m.
rallyxPOS13 said:

Pontiac?  Is that you?

Plastic cladding, non-round wheel wells, orange paint, GT trims, automatic...  I think I've seen this before.

This made me literally laugh out loud.

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/10/21 12:49 p.m.

Those wheel arches are gross

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 12:52 p.m.

I honestly thought this was a Crosstrek "SUS" or one of those bloated "active sedan" things that Mercedes and BMW build now. Woof. I mean, what crack were they smoking when they green-lighted those plastic wheel flares? Looks like the thing has the same ground clearance as most 4x4 pickups on the market right now.

I'm going to come off a bit snobby here: this as a Crosstrek with a wagon/hatch butt may work, but the WRX is not supposed to be that. And saddling their top tier car with all the goodies with a CVT? That's a big YIKES. And speaking of bad design elements, one of the things I hated about the old one was the enormous side sills. Every single time I got in and out, I'd nearly rip the side skirt off with my foot. This one looks even wider. Maybe that's why it's covered in textured plastic now?

Overall, this is a lazy, tone deaf update to what's supposed to be a fun enthusiast sports sedan. Do not want.

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/10/21 12:53 p.m.

For the all the haters it looks better than any current civic! 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 1:00 p.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

One of the biggest flaws that companies make with regards to product development is they look at what is popular and successful across their product line and within the market, as opposed to what made a product of theirs special. 

 

Subaru probably looked at the crosstrek and saw the sales figures and the accessory sales after purchase, and thought this is our most popular model people love this, potential WRX buyers would like the WRX to be more like this.

 

It's a fallacy. Potential WRX buyers would like it to be more like the original WRX with regards to being fun to drive engaging and a segment leader with regards to power output. 

 

This would be equivalent to a top rated microbrewery known for hazy IPAs and top-notch stouts eliminating production of those things to focus on hard seltzers. Maine beer company should not stop brewing Lunch or Dinner to make seltzers. If they want to scale back production slightly and release the seltzer separately that's fine It's smart business to follow the market to a degree but you don't forget the recipe that got you there. 

Potential WRX owners don't want a Crosstrek. They want something that is more engaging and dynamic than a Focus ST, GTI or Civic Si and Subaru has failed to deliver that in recent years. 

surfshibby07
surfshibby07 HalfDork
9/10/21 1:00 p.m.

I dont understand how this is the same company that gave us the GC8 and the Bugeye...

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/10/21 1:04 p.m.

I don't mind the direction with this and I actually think it gets back to the roots of the earlier cars in some ways with the changes. The first gen that we got in North America was always liked for its long travel suspension compared to other cars in the category. For actual real world driving that slightly higher sitting long travel works so well being able to gobble up all the crap along the way. It's way more fun when you can pound a car through the crap at speed rather than slowing down while the car beats you to death. The only thing I'm not a huge fan of is the size of the wheels, I don't what they are but less wheel and more tire makes for a better ride without sacrificing any handling on the road.

I guess I look at the plastic trim around the wheel wells as a good thing too, by the time I'd actually spend the money on one they will be old enough that a bit of rust bubbling is starting to form in those spots so this should hide that well lol.

Now what they do with the STi will be interesting, hopefully it is still more oriented towards the track, sits a bit lower and looses the plastic trim.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 1:04 p.m.

In reply to adam525i :

Honda "fixed" the Civic for 2022!




Saw one of these up close the other day. It's really nice, and the interior is awesome. It does have a slightly cro-magnon brow in the grille area, but I think they did a great job with the rest. And it doesn't have Pontiac Aztek wheel flares.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/10/21 1:04 p.m.
STM317 said:

Those wheel arches are gross

Chevy Colorado will fight you. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 1:26 p.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

Bring back the Baja! 

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
9/10/21 1:30 p.m.

I've been getting emails from Subaru for months touting the "ALL NEW" WRX.  And today I went, meh?  I don't hate it, but I'm underwhelmed for sure.  Would it look much different parked next to a 2021?  (I've been pretty blah on the latest body style for years.)

I don't think I need a giant LCD screen either.  I'm more interested in the new BRZ I think.  (And I didn't pay attention to the plastic wheel well trim till people mentioned it, now all I see is my Crosstrek.)

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/10/21 1:31 p.m.

I still think 6-speed manual transmissions are a marketing gimmick that are aggravating  in the real world.   Especially on a turbo car like this with some torque.  

Change my mind...

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 1:36 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

The guys over on the NASIOC forums are less than enthused by this car, I can tell you that. A LOT of complaints about the styling. Some examples:

Comparing the huge rear bumper overhang to a swim platform on a boat/jetski

The absolutely hideous infotainment setup on the base model


This one is my favorite so far! They nailed it.

There are also many complaints about the 2.4L engine. This engine is already in other more pedestrian cars making similar power. People are saying that the WRX from 10 years ago made more power on a dyno, and they are likely right. Those old EJ25's in the 2009-14 cars made nearly the same power as the STI engines did. And there's a lot of confusion over the automatic trans. Some sources say it's a CVT, while others say it's a traditional automatic with gears. Either way, everyone agrees that having no manual option on the model with all the goodies is dumb.

There's usually backlash over a new WRX model and then everyone ends up buying one anyway, but I think this time Subaru might have finally alienated many of the faithful.

Driven5
Driven5 UltraDork
9/10/21 1:49 p.m.

Subaru is betting on the premise that the more enthusiasts hate it, the better it will sell to the general public.

thashane
thashane GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/10/21 2:06 p.m.

 I was really anticipating this launch. I'm excited to see how theyll perform. I was hoping for more HP, but guessing that'll come after the new STI, or never.

Will it be another production year before we get details on the new STI?

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 2:12 p.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

The materials and the amount of blank space on that infotainment system makes GM interiors look world-class. That is absolutely embarrassing and honestly inexcusable in 1997. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
9/10/21 2:12 p.m.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit...

Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/10/21 2:18 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit...

Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better. Please let the STI be better.

Also, please give the STi more than ~300hp for the love of god. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 2:41 p.m.

On the STI:

The NASIOC folks were hoping for a 400hp STI to match up to the new Z car, and there were rumors that this was a likely power figure. But with the new WRX making what it makes, expectations are dialed back quite a bit. They are now thinking around 350hp.

My guess: It makes right around 315hp and/or is a hybrid, gets saddled with a CVT just like the top model WRX, and costs north of $50k. That's a whole bunch of NOPE.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/10/21 2:47 p.m.

Mach V Motorsports just dropped this photo edit of what the WRX would look like if the cladding was body-colored. Thoughts?

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 2:47 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Tony Sestito :

The materials and the amount of blank space on that infotainment system makes GM interiors look world-class. That is absolutely embarrassing and honestly inexcusable in 1997.

It's currently offered in some of their other cars and is absolutely terrible both aesthetically and functionally. The last WRX I drove (a 2018 Premium) had a really bad infotainment system that sounded like muffled garbage and would randomly scroll through radio stations and cycle sources on its own at random, so I can only imagine what either one of these things would do. I can just see the HVAC controls going haywire and cycling through all the different climate settings at random! 

Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos)
Brett_Murphy (Agent of Chaos) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 2:47 p.m.

If the STi gets a CVT, it makes the decision between STi and Golf R for my next car way easier, that's for sure.

 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 2:49 p.m.

In reply to Tony Sestito :

At this point Subaru just needs to lean on their partnership with Toyota to make the new STI a rebadged Z4 in an effort to save face. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 2:50 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Looks like they tried smoothing and rounding out the wheel arches too. Colored or not, the body lines around those wheel arches make the 18" wheels look small.

Jerry
Jerry PowerDork
9/10/21 2:51 p.m.

Have aftermarket vendors started designing carbon fiber wheel well covers yet?

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 2:51 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

My thoughts on it are that I feel really terrible for small business owners that built their business and reputation on providing quality aftermarket options and service for Subarus. 

There are very few instances in business where your market share can get slashed significantly due to no fault of your own. Being a specialist, particularly one with an aftermarket focus, for specific brand is one of them as if that brand loses its following then your potential market share is affected. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 3:00 p.m.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/10/21 3:02 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

Mach V Motorsports just dropped this photo edit of what the WRX would look like if the cladding was body-colored. Thoughts?

It costs nothing to be kind. Instagram: @theother_woodbrother.

It certainly looks better without the lame body cladding. The taillights scream "CIVIC" to me, but whatevs, that's hardly the biggest issue with the styling. Why would Subaru put unpainted plastics on this car? That stuff belongs on the XTs or the other "overlandy" models, not the WRX.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
9/10/21 3:48 p.m.

I don't want a screen that big.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/10/21 3:49 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:
Colin Wood said:

Mach V Motorsports just dropped this photo edit of what the WRX would look like if the cladding was body-colored. Thoughts?

It costs nothing to be kind. Instagram: @theother_woodbrother.

It certainly looks better without the lame body cladding. The taillights scream "CIVIC" to me, but whatevs, that's hardly the biggest issue with the styling. Why would Subaru put unpainted plastics on this car? That stuff belongs on the XTs or the other "overlandy" models, not the WRX.

Weird, I'm on the flip side and think it looks better with the black cladding. I hate the cladding, and I think its a crutch for a bad design, but the orange cladding makes the body look too tall and the wheels too small

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/10/21 4:40 p.m.

I don't have issue with black cladding on a WRX, on a rally car painted surfaces get pretty gnarly. The issue is that nothing else about this design screams rally car. 

I'll go back to the Gran Turismo reference of an earlier post I made. Back in the day when you're one certain races you would win a vehicle, and it would show four vehicles spinning around and it would stop on the one that you want but you didn't get to select it It was randomized. If you had this, an Elantra N, a Civic R and a GTI spinning around and it landed on this as your prize, you'd be disappointed. Subaru has made front wheel drive seem more fun exciting and engaging than all wheel drive. 

 

Their lack of return on investment with regards to R&D is also amazing. This is now the second engine in a WRX since the EJ25, And yet power output is remarkably similar, And let's not pretend that there's been an increase in reliability or efficiency with the "evolution" of their engines. 

And that's not even the real problem. 260 to 270 horsepower with all-wheel drive and a manual and torque vectoring can be very fun. But when the steering feel hasn't improved and the curb weight hasn't improved, then you have to question what does it actually do better? And if that answer is things that would appeal to mainstream car buyers and make the model appear to less of a niche market, then kill the model, because you already put the engine in a multitude of other vehicles. 

 

With regards to performance focused vehicles, Subaru has lost it's way and I don't see it coming back. At least Mitsubishi didn't call the new Eclipse an Evo...

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
9/10/21 5:16 p.m.
NickD said:
thatsnowinnebago said:
Colin Wood said:

Mach V Motorsports just dropped this photo edit of what the WRX would look like if the cladding was body-colored. Thoughts?

It costs nothing to be kind. Instagram: @theother_woodbrother.

It certainly looks better without the lame body cladding. The taillights scream "CIVIC" to me, but whatevs, that's hardly the biggest issue with the styling. Why would Subaru put unpainted plastics on this car? That stuff belongs on the XTs or the other "overlandy" models, not the WRX.

Weird, I'm on the flip side and think it looks better with the black cladding. I hate the cladding, and I think its a crutch for a bad design, but the orange cladding makes the body look too tall and the wheels too small

How dare you respectfully disagree with me?! This is the internet and I expect vitriol. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
9/10/21 5:36 p.m.

This looks like a Hyundai Kona Sedan to me. I've seen better and I've seen worse. Dear Subaru, please bring back the WRX Wagon. That is all. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/10/21 5:43 p.m.
GCrites80s said:

I don't want a screen that big.

I don't want a screen.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/10/21 5:56 p.m.

The photoshops are starting to get weird. 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/10/21 6:50 p.m.

poopshovel again
poopshovel again MegaDork
9/10/21 7:15 p.m.
Colin Wood said:

Mach V Motorsports just dropped this photo edit of what the WRX would look like if the cladding was body-colored. Thoughts?

Bitchin Dodge Dart with rubbermaid flares!

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/10/21 7:22 p.m.
Tony Sestito said: *snip*

 And there's a lot of confusion over the automatic trans. Some sources say it's a CVT, while others say it's a traditional automatic with gears. Either way, everyone agrees that having no manual option on the model with all the goodies is dumb.

 

No it isn't.  Now people that can't/won't drive a clutch can buy a model "with all the goodies".

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/10/21 8:00 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
GCrites80s said:

I don't want a screen that big.

I don't want a screen.

Legally required on vehicles now, so you're limiting options quite a bit

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/10/21 8:42 p.m.

Ok I am calling out you whining brats. 
 

Whahhh it's ugly. Every WRX has been ugly. Almost ever Subaru ever is ugly. 
 

Whahh it doesn't make enough power. Be happy it is not a hybrid. The aftermarket will have 350 plus hp in a tune. 
 

Whahh I don't like flares. Need I point you to the 60 pages of posts regarding box flares on this site. 
 

In two months the magazines will be allowed to drive it and they will all fawn over it. Go buy a nice used Prius already and be done with it and stop the bitching. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/10/21 9:28 p.m.
STM317 said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
GCrites80s said:

I don't want a screen that big.

I don't want a screen.

Legally required on vehicles now, so you're limiting options quite a bit

Cars are required to have the radio and climate controls and God knows what else on a touch screen with no feedback that is completely invisible during rush hour for half the year if you happen to be traveling against the sunrise/sunset?

 

It's manufacturers being cheap, is all it is.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/11/21 12:38 a.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Backup cameras.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/11/21 4:56 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed :

They can  be inset in the rearview mirror, which is a much nicer way to go anyway because you're already looking at it when reversing.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/11/21 7:22 a.m.

In reply to GTwannaB :

You are spot on Sir. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
9/11/21 7:52 a.m.

If nothing else, at least Subaru is still making a model available with a manual transmission.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/11/21 10:29 a.m.

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
9/11/21 8:18 p.m.

Anyone know why so many new cars have such high rear belt lines? I hate the way it looks.

You CAN back over a bag of groceries or cooler though! There's that at least.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/11/21 8:40 p.m.
GTwannaB said:

Ok I am calling out you whining brats. 
 

Whahhh it's ugly. Every WRX has been ugly. Almost ever Subaru ever is ugly. 
 

Whahh it doesn't make enough power. Be happy it is not a hybrid. The aftermarket will have 350 plus hp in a tune. 
 

Whahh I don't like flares. Need I point you to the 60 pages of posts regarding box flares on this site. 
 

In two months the magazines will be allowed to drive it and they will all fawn over it. Go buy a nice used Prius already and be done with it and stop the bitching. 

Big talk for a halfDork! wink

The original bugeye was interesting looking. Not attractive, but distinctive. They've been snoozeville ever since. But IMO Japanese auto styling in general hits a percentage barely sufficient to make a major league baseball lineup, so it's their other virtues that sell the things.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/11/21 9:28 p.m.

In reply to GTwannaB :

A live look at the EPA waiting on Cobb to release an accessport for the new WRX...

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/11/21 9:31 p.m.
Tony Sestito said:

The photoshops are starting to get weird. 

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/11/21 10:16 p.m.

On the looks thing and Subarus being ugly:

When the Bugeyes came out, I immediately loved them, and I wasn't alone. Same with the Blobeye and the Hawkeye/pignose. When the 2008 came out, it was reviled nearly universally. They fixed that in 2009 by offering a new grille, rear spoiler, wheels, and aero kit (not to mention a sizeable power increase). There was also disappointment when the last gen came out; it looked like a half baked version of the concept car that everyone loved, but eventually it found its fans. 

This new WRX is a half-hearted attempt at best, just like the 2008 was. It's probably a much better car than that one. In the looks and power department, hopefully we'll see a drastic improvement in the next model year just like the 2009 cars, if Subaru still cares. I'm just afraid they don't anymore. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/11/21 10:33 p.m.

In reply to NickD :

I literally just popped back into post that, I'm glad that you've already taken care of it. It also gives me hope that the STI version will just be a rebadged M2 competition. 

Dootz
Dootz Reader
9/12/21 3:53 a.m.

In reply to GTwannaB :

Resident subie-shill? Be real dude, they have had 7 years and this is basically a complete joke of an update. Subaru's 2012 Civic moment

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
9/12/21 8:45 a.m.
GTwannaB said:

Ok I am calling out you whining brats. 
 

Whahhh it's ugly. Every WRX has been ugly. Almost ever Subaru ever is ugly. 

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
9/12/21 10:14 a.m.

I watched the unveiling hoping that they'd be announcing a new STI with close to 400 hp, in which case, depending on price, I'd very likely be buying one. Overall I don't hate it, but it does nothing to make me want to upgrade from my 2015 WRX. I don't mind that it's a bit bland and may blend in. As someone who wants to drive one, fun, manual, track capable car all year and has to deal with some significant snowfall for several months in the winter, there's really not much else to choose from. I used to do the 2 car thing, but it sucks to suffer depreciation on 2 cars at once and winter driving can be fun too. 

Snrub
Snrub Dork
9/12/21 10:31 a.m.

We have to be thankful it still exists. It is a bit of a puzzler. Perhaps they're trying to keep on trend since everything else is a crossover. Crossover buyers might think car styling queues are passe? Grasping here.

Based on the response here I have to wonder about the feedback from the focus groups.

The GR Yaris makes 268hp from its 1.6l. I struggle to think why this wouldn't be better than a Subaru engine...

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/12/21 10:50 a.m.

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/c_fit,f_auto,g_center,pg_1,q_60,w_1315/4259218c55c616abd3bb8fd15cdd433e.png

GTwannaB
GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/12/21 9:33 p.m.

BTW any reference to all Subarus being ugly was not entirely my point. It was more that so many folks complain about the looks and still buy them and still love them. Even the stranger design choices appeal to me. Especially with fat stanced wheels. 
 

and I still think my 2005 Legacy looks good after 15yrs of ownership. 

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/13/21 9:37 a.m.
GTwannaB said:

Whahh I don't like flares. Need I point you to the 60 pages of posts regarding box flares on this site. 

But, but....those are not box flares.  

P.S.  Anyone else looking forward to the Subaru Share the Love Fall Sales Event?

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
9/13/21 4:20 p.m.

Previous generation WRX/STI variants were ugly because they were econobox Imprezas with a go-fast engine. This is god-awful because Subaru is a company that has lost their way, abandoned their lifelong diehard fans who made the brand uber popular, decided to play the partisan politic game, and then it looks like they actually tried too hard to make a car look....too look.....berkeley i don't even know what the hell they were going after. 

They would have been better off throwing these engines in a crosstrek and letting the aftermarket slam them for a normal looking WRX/STI hatch experience. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/13/21 7:08 p.m.

From a few specific angles it might look pretty cool...... But from MOST of the angles it looks terrible. IDK what the hell is going on with that rear bumper.....er "style." It is downright awful. Everything about this appears to be a downgrade from the meh current model. 

And I'm actually someone who buys new cars (and bought a WRX brand-new in 2009). I Certainly won't be looking at this thing when I get tired of the current GTI, that's for sure. 

hard pass. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/13/21 7:14 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:

decided to play the partisan politic game,

As a decade-long WRX owner and someone who is constantly around Subarus in the rally community (not to mention dozens of friends with them), I can't say I've ever heard anyone reference the "politics" of Subaru. Did I miss something?

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
9/13/21 9:48 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
DirtyBird222 said:

decided to play the partisan politic game,

As a decade-long WRX owner and someone who is constantly around Subarus in the rally community (not to mention dozens of friends with them), I can't say I've ever heard anyone reference the "politics" of Subaru. Did I miss something?

Their US CEO made some pretty polarizing statements siding with a political party on behalf of Subaru, specifically a career politician. To each their own but it just shows how hard this company is struggling to find an image and stay relevant because they know their products are "meh" at best. This coming from someone who had a long term love affair and has owned over 10 different Subie's. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/13/21 10:32 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:
GTwannaB said:

Ok I am calling out you whining brats. 
 

Whahhh it's ugly. Every WRX has been ugly. Almost ever Subaru ever is ugly. 

 

Simple and clean.

The RX Turbo which preceded it was fugly in that mid 80s Japanese "design with folds, not curves" way.

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/13/21 11:11 p.m.
dxman92 said:

Dear Subaru, please bring back the WRX Wagon. That is all. 

They already have it in other markets. It's called the Levorg, and it's exactly what I want in a WRX. I'd buy one tommorrow:  

JAdams
JAdams New Reader
9/14/21 8:27 a.m.

I'm not typically a person to grab my pitch fork on a new body release but holy cow this one is badddd.

Tyler H (Forum Supporter)
Tyler H (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/14/21 1:46 p.m.

Not to pile on, but aside from the obvious miss on the plastic cladding, take a look at the first track previews vs the new BRZ/GR86 on YouTube. 

BRZ/GR86 -- universal, unbridled joy from every reviewer.  WRX -- a lot of talk about how the don't-call-it-a-CVT is actually a good thing, and a whole lot of meh from everyone involved.

GR86 reveal -- put every automotive reviewer on track.  WRX reveal -- ride alongs only.  

I usually don't get excited about new car launches, but I'm looking forward to test driving a BRZ/GR86.  

It may be a concerted move to move the WRX into a GT segment, given that the new BRZ is so good at being an HPDE car?

AaronT
AaronT Reader
9/14/21 2:35 p.m.

My next car is probably going to be a BRZ/GR86. I will not be cross-shopping whatever *this* is.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/14/21 3:38 p.m.

The problem Subaru has is that nothing since the GC or bugeye GD will ever be as iconic.  
 

To me modern automotive styling makes the styling of pre 2k cars seem timeless.  
 

Want to appreciate a 3rd or 4th gen F car.  Park a nice clean one (no beaters) next to a new one.  Want to appreciate a C5 Corvette or even the C4.  Park it next to a new one.  Want to really get Subaru.  Put a GC or GD next to a new one.
 

Even a Fox body Cobra or a Fox4 SN95 looks pretty good next to a new Mustang, and the new Mustang is a nice looking car.  
 

Modern design ethic has to much complexity for often no real reason (like non round wheel arches).

 

eastpark
eastpark HalfDork
9/14/21 3:44 p.m.
NickD said:
Tony Sestito said:

The photoshops are starting to get weird. 

BMW styling team are now salivating...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/21 6:11 p.m.
DirtyBird222 said:
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
DirtyBird222 said:

decided to play the partisan politic game,

As a decade-long WRX owner and someone who is constantly around Subarus in the rally community (not to mention dozens of friends with them), I can't say I've ever heard anyone reference the "politics" of Subaru. Did I miss something?

Their US CEO made some pretty polarizing statements siding with a political party on behalf of Subaru, specifically a career politician. To each their own but it just shows how hard this company is struggling to find an image and stay relevant because they know their products are "meh" at best. This coming from someone who had a long term love affair and has owned over 10 different Subie's. 

I will take your word for it. A quick Google search only comes up with something about Doll saying that Subaru doesn't want tariffs (which is not surprising seeing as they are foreign company). I mean the bulk of campaign money given to most politicians of both parties comes from CEOs and corporations. 

I'm certainly not defending Subaru since I don't even know what you're referencing, but if I bought my cars based on liking the company CEO, I'd still be driving a 1980s Chrysler product lol.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/14/21 6:16 p.m.

Do they no longer build cars in Indiana?

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/21 7:25 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Do they no longer build cars in Indiana?

Sure, but not all of them (IIRC at least the WRX has always been built in Japan, unless that's changed). So any of them imported from Japan would (presumably) be subject to tariffs, assuming the tariffs were targeting imported automobiles.  I can't say I know what the details were of the tariffs in question....could very well tariff profits going back to Japan, parts coming from Japan, or anything else. Also I assume FHI (or whatever it's called these days) imports other things that would be subject to various tariffs. 

I'm about 25 years rusty on my international economics classes, so can't say I remember how it all works lol. 

Also, no idea if that's even what Dirty is referring to. But, we can all only say "the new WRX is ugly" in so many ways....

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/14/21 7:33 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I recall in the 90s that the most American car was the Saturn, it was 95% made in US, with the 5% being something like the air conditioning compressor.  Nothing is fully made in the US, nothing is fully imported either.  (Honda may be more American than some "domestics")

I think the WRX is awful because it is pointless.  That is, it has no purpose.  The original WRX had a purpose: homologate the Impreza with a turbo 2 liter for Group N and Group A stage rally.  It lost its way over the years as that purpose slowly melted away with changing rules structures and, finally, the inability for Subaru to compete in the WRC due to the boxer engine.  Now, there is no purpose to define its basic dimensions, its basic structure.

Which is where a thought I had came in, and there is no way that it could ever come to pass:  Toyota is all about the badge engineering, how about a badge engineered Yaris GR?  Granted, the GR also has nothing to do with the rally cars, but it's still a cool car that We Don't Get Here, like the original WRX...

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/21 7:47 p.m.

Yeah, IDK. Building in-country is one way companies get around certain types of tariffs. But IIRC the "Chicken Tax" somehow managed to hit the Japanese pickups even if they're made in the US (I could be wrong, but thought I read that someplace). 

Disagree on "purpose." Literally 0.00000001% of car buyers could give a crap about stage rally when buying a car (I actually DO stage rally, but did not buy my WRX because of its association to rally). The WRX was (and still is, to some degree) one of the few mass-market US market cars where you could get a Turbo and AWD with back seats (along with the DSM/Galant/Evo). Sure, plenty of turbo AWD sedans these days, but most of them are big luxo-barges. The WRX is still one of the few you can get with three pedals that doesn't weigh 4000lbs. 

Also I'll be the one to say that my 2009 WRX was superior to a GD in pretty much every single (measurable) way. More power, bigger turbo, better suspension, more comfortable, and faster. I also appreciated the "stealth" appearance that managed to get me through 180,000 miles of fast driving without ever getting pulled over :)

Added opinion: The Yaris GR is even more hideous than the new WRX. Looks like an old Focus with cheesy APC rear fender flares IMO. Then again, it probably doen't blow head gaskets. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/14/21 8:51 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

My issue and concern is that it gets closer to that luxobarge with every generation. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/14/21 9:05 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

My issue and concern is that it gets closer to that luxobarge with every generation. 

I haven't been in any of the ones since my 09, but I know people complained about the GE/GH at the time. Mine had cloth manual seats, manual climate control, etc. It was literally no more luxurious than a bugeye, just better-built and somewhat more comfortable thanks to the improved rear suspension and a bit longer wheelbase. I thought the most recent one was actually a bit lighter than my 09, but could be wrong. 

After a quick check, a base model 2020 WRX only weighs 200lbs more than a 2004 WRX (fully optioned up is about 400lbs more), so it really hasn't gotten too fat considering additional safety requirements, beefier engine/suspension, etc. 

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
9/15/21 8:09 a.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

My issue and concern is that it gets closer to that luxobarge with every generation. 

I'd hardly call my 2015 base WRX a luxobarge. Sure it's got power windows, heated seats, AC, a backup camera and Bluetooth, but so does everything else. The seats are cloth and manual, there's no infotainment screen, single zone climate control, nothing really "luxury" at all. I like it because the extra money over and above the Impreza goes towards performance and not interior stuff and gadgets I don't care about. The only real alternatives right now are German and much more expensive. If the new STI comes out with more than 350hp and it doesn't cost much more than the current one, I'm probably going to buy one.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody UltimaDork
9/15/21 8:19 a.m.
GTwannaB said:

Ok I am calling out you whining brats. 
 

Whahhh it's ugly. Every WRX has been ugly. Almost ever Subaru ever is ugly. 
 

In two months the magazines will be allowed to drive it and they will all fawn over it. Go buy a nice used Prius already and be done with it and stop the bitching. 

I remember the discussion years ago with one of my buddies, we knew nothing about Subaru, but determined that a car that homely could only come from Eastern Europe. He later bought a 2.5RS, one of the first, and few good looking cars from Subaru. Yes, that thing is hideous, but probably what should be expected from Subaru.

The magazines will fawn over it because that's what keeps them in business.

 

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
9/15/21 9:10 a.m.

Wow... the negativity is radiating so strongly I worried if I should post at all...

 

I think the car looks good. IF and that is a qualified pending IF those box flares allow a fellow like me to do SCCA rallycross events without creating a million potential chips in the paint for rust to take hold. Then I give them great applause. On the other hand, if they are sticker applied trim that allows salt/sand/grit to get stuck between it and the sheet metal then a huge sigh of disappointment. 

I will currently lean to the hopeful side until I hear more about the feature.

The peak power numbers are just that. What I love about my Evo VIII RS isn't big power it is how I can blend into and out of the power to control my car on track or in competition. 

As Mitsubishi seems to be out the game forever, or only likely to come back only with a full electric Evo XI, I have to keep my eyes towards Subaru if I ever want something simlar. The Ford RS just seemed too EXTRA and too rare and too marked up for me to even look back over my shoulder at used one. Only a GRM forum thread keeps me interested in the Ford Focus RS. 

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/21 9:31 a.m.

Luxobarge isn't merely size or weight, it's also visceral engagement. The suspension geometry and power delivery on the new ones simply aren't as tossable and chuckable as previous generations. My commentary in the thread about the Golden age of vehicle performance rings true with regards to turbocharged imprezas. The stat sheets may be better but the driving experience is not more engaging or inviting. They may very well be a more enjoyable place to spend time as a passenger but they won't make you grin as much as a driver. 

 

I'm aware that in focusing on smiles per a gallon, that I'm in the minority. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/15/21 9:41 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

My issue and concern is that it gets closer to that luxobarge with every generation. 

I haven't been in any of the ones since my 09, but I know people complained about the GE/GH at the time. Mine had cloth manual seats, manual climate control, etc. It was literally no more luxurious than a bugeye, just better-built and somewhat more comfortable thanks to the improved rear suspension and a bit longer wheelbase. I thought the most recent one was actually a bit lighter than my 09, but could be wrong. 

After a quick check, a base model 2020 WRX only weighs 200lbs more than a 2004 WRX (fully optioned up is about 400lbs more), so it really hasn't gotten too fat considering additional safety requirements, beefier engine/suspension, etc. 

I complained about the GD when it was announced in 2001.  I think I made imprezawrx.com my home page as soon as it was launched.  I *wanted* one, the GC 2.5RS was just not enough... and then this bigger and fatter and slower and geared all wrong for a turbo 2 liter thing showed up.

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
9/15/21 9:42 a.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

I guess that is where I am looking for more information. I will be the first to say that my Evo VIII does not have super awesome styling. It looks beautiful to me BECAUSE of how it drives and makes me feel. I did a deep look at the last WRX as many articles said it moved a lot closer to how hardcore the Evo was. I am curious how this newest WRX NON-GT trims will perform. 

The Evo still rules many rallycross events so I hope Subaru brings something hard core even if limited edition.

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/21 10:06 a.m.

In reply to Advan046 :

It's interesting that you bring up the Evo as a comparison. Because in spite of having incredible mechanical grip the Evo is one of the most visceral driving experiences there is. Part of that magic is the steering feel and how quick the steering is. The steering is so direct that people actually complain about it because if you're not focused on driving you can go halfway into another lane reaching down for beverage or changing a radio station but that directness and quick responsiveness is what makes it a crisp drive that  communicates. The steering in the Evo is really only comparable to the Elise/exige twins. And it's what sets it apart from turbo Subarus

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/15/21 6:51 p.m.

I don't like it.

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
9/17/21 8:04 a.m.

One thing to note about the 2015-2021 WRX's is that they've got a rubber coupling in the steering shaft that's not present in the STI. There are a few options to deal with this, one is a clamp type device that aims to stop it from moving much, but I went the other route and replaced that little piece of steering shaft with the one out of the STI that has no rubber in it and that made the steering way nicer. I also added a shifter stop and a solid shoft bushing to eliminate a lot of the slop in the shifter and both changes together made a real noticeable improvement to how the car felt while driving. Coming from an FC with a de-powered steering rack to an RX8 R3 to the WRX, I was used to good steering feel and good shifter feel. 

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/17/21 8:50 a.m.
RX8driver said:

One thing to note about the 2015-2021 WRX's is that they've got a rubber coupling in the steering shaft that's not present in the STI. 

Why would they do that? It's like they just don't understand the type of person who wants a WRX...

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/17/21 11:32 a.m.
STM317 said:

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/c_fit,f_auto,g_center,pg_1,q_60,w_1315/4259218c55c616abd3bb8fd15cdd433e.png

The tacked-on "styling feature" has grown additional "styling features." I think that's a clear indicator of "too far."

RAV4 was the first thing that sprang to mind for vast areas of black plastic in a funny shape around the wheelwells.

I do wonder how it drives. My '12 WRX wasn't anything like as good looking as the earlier cars (which I never sampled) but for a modern car I found it quite engaging.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/17/21 4:53 p.m.
MrFancypants said:
RX8driver said:

One thing to note about the 2015-2021 WRX's is that they've got a rubber coupling in the steering shaft that's not present in the STI. 

Why would they do that? It's like they just don't understand the type of person who wants a WRX...

Maybe they do?  I mean, you can get an OEM level parts upgrade from a junkyard or eBay, and some people don't care how good stock is if there is a way they can think they are upgrading it...

RX8driver
RX8driver Reader
9/19/21 9:46 a.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
MrFancypants said:
RX8driver said:

One thing to note about the 2015-2021 WRX's is that they've got a rubber coupling in the steering shaft that's not present in the STI. 

Why would they do that? It's like they just don't understand the type of person who wants a WRX...

Maybe they do?  I mean, you can get an OEM level parts upgrade from a junkyard or eBay, and some people don't care how good stock is if there is a way they can think they are upgrading it...

Lots of non-enthusiast types buy WRX's for various reasons. The ones who are after higher performance and track/autocross use typically go to the STI, which is why it has the no rubber steering.

Heck, I heard of someone buying a WRX over an Impreza because they wanted it in blue. My car was my mom's from new until my parents sold it to me and she's definitely not an enthusiast.

Jesse Ransom
Jesse Ransom GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
9/19/21 10:22 a.m.

In reply to RX8driver :

A minor point, but I wouldn't say enthusiasts typically go for the sti. I mean, I'm sure they typically would like to, but when I bought mine there was no way the premium was worth it. That's a huge jump in price.

But I totally agree that there are lots of not-really-enthusiasts driving WRXs; probably the vast majority of them.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants Reader
9/19/21 2:24 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
MrFancypants said:
RX8driver said:

One thing to note about the 2015-2021 WRX's is that they've got a rubber coupling in the steering shaft that's not present in the STI. 

Why would they do that? It's like they just don't understand the type of person who wants a WRX...

Maybe they do?  I mean, you can get an OEM level parts upgrade from a junkyard or eBay, and some people don't care how good stock is if there is a way they can think they are upgrading it...

I don't know... every non car enthusiast I've known who purchased a recent WRX very quickly got rid of it because of the stiff suspension. I had a bugeye and I don't recall it being particularly stiff, but riding in a newer one I was surprised. It wasn't as harsh as the STI I owned, but compared to my GTI it may as well have been.

So they're going to give customers a stiff, uncomfortable suspension but then add unnecessary rubber parts to reduce NVH in the steering? That doesn't make sense to me.

rallyxPOS13
rallyxPOS13 New Reader
9/19/21 5:39 p.m.

I realize my previous comment may make me sound like a hater....  So to set the bias:

I've owned 3 GC generation chassis, and those are daily driving and enthusiast motorsport bliss, good visibility, ergonomics, lightweight, decent NA torque.  I've also owned a bugeye WRX wagon, the perfect do-it-all car, AutoX RallyX and a comfortable drive to work.  With a better turbo and a handful of supporting mods, was as fast as I neede it to be.  In college I had a poster of Mark Lovell's ProRally car in my dorm, I always appreciated the funky styling of the bugeye....

Later on in life, my wife encouraged me to get an Adult Car, so co-workers didn't have to scramble around a cage to get to lunch, and I bought an overweight bloated WRX with plastic cladding...  and I have to say, Subaru nailed the styling on that in 2005 way better than today:

Turbo motor, now making about the same power as the modern car, manual transmission with 4.44 gears make it seem far quicker than it really is, and every other motorist just thinks I'm munchin' on granola with on the highway.

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