Today, Subaru finally introduced the fifth generation of the sharp WRX sedan, which offers new technology in the familiar packaging.
The fifth generation Subaru WRX was based on the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), which brought several improvements. The new chassis should be up to 28 percent stiffer overall, while the shock mounts are up to 75 percent stiffer. In addition, the new platform helped reduce the center of gravity and allowed the rear stabilizer to be attached to the body.
The body of the new model looks quite familiar and overall, the design could be described as more of an evolution, yet everything is new. The WRX received slightly smaller headlights with a traditional light signature, a larger hexagonal radiator grille or a larger intake opening on the hood, which enhances the car’s dominant appearance.
However, the dominant position of the car is also enhanced by more significantly extended fenders, as part of the weight reduction made of aluminum, which have plastic-coated hems following the example of an SUV. In addition, there are functional ventilation openings behind the front wheel arches and in the rear bumper, which help to improve aerodynamics. But it is also worth noting the new rear lights, whose graphics are reminiscent of the new generation Subaru BRZ.
And what changes took place under the hood? Instead of the original 2.0-liter engine, the new generation received a 2.4-liter flat-turbocharged four-cylinder offering 268 horsepower and 349 Nm of torque in the 2,000 to 5,200 horsepower range.
The car was boosted by only 3 horses and the torque remained the same, but thanks to the larger volume and electronic control of the turbo, the torque curve should be smoother, the turbo should have a smaller lag and improve acceleration and response to the accelerator pedal.
The transfer of power to the Subaru all-wheel drive system can be handled by either a six-speed manual or a “Subaru Performance Transmission” – which should be a sublime designation for a CVT transmission. At the same time, it also offers a manual mode with eight gears and paddle shifting under the steering wheel. For an additional fee, the carmaker also offers a radiator for the transmission.
The cab will impress with its new layout, which is dominated by an 11.6-inch vertically oriented Star Link infotainment display with support for Apple Car Play, Android Auto and other connectivity. Of course, standard equipment includes the renowned Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist safety system and several other safety features. The surcharges include the Harman Kardon audio system, for example.
A novelty for the fifth generation WRX will be the GT gear, available only in combination with an automatic transmission, but which will offer electronics-controlled shock absorbers. These have three settings (Comfort, Normal, Sport) and in combination with the new Drive Mode Select selector, the car will offer up to 430 different driving settings.
Recaro sports seats with eight-way electric adjustment, which are upholstered in black Ultrasuede in combination with red contrast stitching, will be reserved for GT equipment only. The GT version gets matte gray 18-inch alloy wheels with 254/40 R18 tires, while other versions can stand on 17 “or 18” alloy wheels.
The carmaker has not yet announced the prices of the new generation of the WRX model, but in general only a small increase is expected compared to the previous generation. In addition, the carmaker did not mention the arrival of a new generation of a sharper version of the WRX STI model, which, according to overseas colleagues, is expected next summer.
The fact that information about the new model is missing from the carmaker’s European website only again suggests that we are probably unlucky in Europe. Maybe the carmaker will surprise us over time.