Illustration by Radovan VaricakCar and Driver
- There is all sorts of speculation swirling about the next-generation Subaru WRX STI.
- One report says it will have over 400 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer-four.
- We expect the new WRX models to arrive sometime in 2021 for the 2022 model year.
We've been waiting for a new version of the Subaru WRX ever since the redesigned Impreza compact arrived a few years ago, and it looks like we will have to keep waiting for at least another year for it to arrive. But we already know lots of information about the new model, and new rumors are cropping up all the time, such as the latest report from Forbes that says the WRX STI will pack a big punch: up to 400 horsepower's worth, to be specific.
This story lends credence to our earlier speculation that the new WRX and WRX STI would use a version of Subaru's FA24 turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer-four currently installed in the Ascent, Outback, and Legacy. The reported output figures of at least 400 horsepower and 361 lb-ft of torque for the STI are new, though, and surprising, given that this engine makes 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque in its more plebeian applications. Obviously, this engine will be highly tuned for the WRX and WRX STI, likely with a larger turbocharger running more boost and upgraded internals. We suspect the STI will offer only a six-speed manual transmission, while the standard WRX will also offer the stick shift or the choice of a CVT.
The WRX's platform, too, will be shared with other Subaru models, which all ride on what the company calls its Subaru Global Platform. These underpinnings will likely give it a lower center of gravity compared to the outgoing WRX, and all-wheel drive will be standard, natch. It will of course have a stiffer suspension, larger brakes, and grippier tires compared to the Impreza, and we're hoping to see the STI with those iconic gold wheels.
As for the new model's styling, Subaru has offered a few previews of what the WRX will look like in the form of the Viziv Performance concept from a few years ago and the recently revealed Japan-market Levorg wagon. Our artist's rendering shows a WRX that's lower, longer, and more aggressive than the current car, with more differentiation than before to set it apart from the mainstream Impreza sedan.
Our best guess is that the new WRX will debut sometime in 2021, meaning there's a possibility it will arrive in the U.S. as soon as the 2022 model year. The STI will likely follow the standard WRX by a few months, and both models are poised to have a price uptick. We'd wager somewhere around $30,000 for the WRX's base price and upward of $40,000 for the STI.