Subaru's new WRX finally lands in SA, without an STI variant
Back in March, Subaru made a rather shocking announcement that the next-gen WRX won't be getting the full-blown STI treatment as the electrification topic and tighter emission regulations become an increasingly serious topic of discussion.
Luckily, the Japanese marque didn't completely rule out the idea of introducing the STI nameplate in the future but as far as speculations go, it could resurrect it either as a hybrid or a fully-electric model.
With that said, the new solitary Subaru WRX (World Rally eXperimental) model has finally landed in Mzansi wearing the brand's Dynamic x Solid design philosophy. Available in 6-speed manual and CVT guises, the new WRX is completely new, thanks to a height reduction of 10 mm and an overall length increase of 75 mm over the outgoing model. The width has been increased by 30 mm which has resulted in improved interior space.
Regarding looks, the new WRX features the iconic bonnet scoop which has become synonymous with the brand, as well as multi-functional LED, Steering Responsive Headlights, and a hexagonal front grille. Moving to the side, there are side garnishes with incorporated air outlets.
The rear is fitted with an integrated diffuser for better airflow, four exhaust tips, and a rear spoiler for rear-end stability. The WRX comes with 18" alloy wheels and 245/40 tyres.
Optimised and luxurious cabin
Inside, the WRX has a new 11.6" tablet-style infotainment system which serves as a central command hub for a wide range of entertainment and vehicle-related functions. The system supports Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, built-in navigation, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, plus an individually selectable, and customisable drive mode select interface. '
Other interior features include a multi-functional small-diameter, leather steering wheel, EyeSight Driver-Assist System, and aluminium steering-mounted shifters for the CVT variant. For improved comfort, safety and support, the seats were reworked and are covered in soft-touch Ultrasuede trim. Furthermore, the seats boast a three-stage heating system plus whiplash-reducing structures. The driver's seat boasts eight-way adjustment with additional lumbar support.
The beating heart
Under the bonnet beats a new 2.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged horizontally-opposed Boxer petrol engine with 202 kW and 350 Nm of torque without any hybrid assistance – an increase of 5 kW over the WRX's forebear. Power is accessed via a 6-speed manual or a newly-developed 8-speed Subaru Performance CVT Transmission that, according to Subaru, offers gear transitions 50% faster than before.
Offered as standard is the Si-Drive Performance Management system as well as the Symmetrical AWD system.
The new WRX is available in eight exterior shades, four of which are entirely new; new Ignition Red, new Solar Orange Pearl, new Sapphire Blue, new Ceramic White, WR Blue Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica and Magnetite Grey Metallic.
Safety in the new WRX comes courtesy of Subaru's Vehicle Dynamics Control, Active Torque Vectoring, ABS, EBD, ESC, eight airbags and the brand's EyeSight Driver Assist System with 4.0 Driver Assistance System in the case of the tS ES derivative.
The EyeSight technology features a Pre-Collision Braking System, Autonomous Emergency Steering, Lane Departure Prevention, Adaptive Cruise and Steering Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Speed Limiter.
- Subaru WRX 2.4DIT Manual R759.000
- Subaru WRX 2.4DIT tS ES CVT R859,00
Each Subaru WRX model is sold with a 3-year/75,000 km maintenance plan and a 5-year/150,000 km warranty.