Sports overtones abound of course, the deep front air dam being matched by the signature bonnet scoop, the dark-painted 17-inch alloy wheels accented by muscular side skirts and the pert rear end, which features an integrated boot spoiler and sculpted tail lights, rounding off the athletic look with a diffuser and dual-twin exhaust outlets.
The new cabin is also roomier thanks to the A-pillar being moved forward by 200mm and increases in wheelbase (up by 25mm) and overall vehicle length (longer by 15mm). Full leather upholstery and leather detailing is met by red stitching accents, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, soft-touch surfaces and a carbon fibre-like dashboard finish, echoing the exterior’s sporty details.
Form follows function, with an ergonomically-sound layout to keep the focus on driving, with minimal distraction from auxiliary controls and vehicle functions. New-look dials and controls ensure an interesting atmosphere, with two colour display screens providing various information readouts including fuel economy and boost pressure.
The 460-litre boot is also larger than before by almost 100 litres.
As is tradition with all Subaru vehicles, the new WRX is powered by a Boxer engine. The horizontally-opposed piston design provides for excellent balance and power delivery. The Boxer engine design also allows for a reduction in the vehicle’s centre of gravity, being mounted low down and enhancing handling characteristics.
The 2.0-litre direct injection turbo engine produces 197 kW at 5 600 rpm and a steady 350 Nm of torque between 2 400 and 5 200 rpm. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 6.0 seconds in the manual derivative (6.3 seconds for the Sport Lineartronic derivative) and top speed is a steady 240 km/h.
Linked to Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, two transmission options are available – a new six-speed manual derivative and a centre differential and viscous limited slip differential – or a Sport Lineartronic CVT model which presents a new age automatic WRX option, with variable torque distribution. Based on Subaru’s own Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) it has been engineered specifically for application in the new WRX. This combination has three pre-programmed and driver-selectable drive modes which alter the way the new WRX behaves, depending on driver requirements or preferences. Intelligent mode (I) is optimised for fuel economy. Sport mode (S) provides for sharper throttle response and a more engaging feel from the steering, while Sport Sharp mode (S#) realises the full potential of the engine as well as eight close-ratios from the transmission.
Integral to the improved handling dynamics, Active Torque Vectoring (ATV) makes its debut for Subaru in the new WRX. ATV applies the brakes to the inside front wheel while distributing torque to the outside front wheel, assisting in vehicle rotation and creating more responsive and direct handling dynamics. Working alongside Active Torque Vectoring, new multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and optimised suspension geometry for quicker steering response and enhanced cornering control.
Available exclusively in Premium guise, both new WRX models feature high levels of specification, leaving no factory-fitted options available, matching the performance and handling with value for money and a sound motoring experience overall. On the outside, highlights include the sporty dual-twin exhaust outlets, rear spoiler and diffuser, LED tail-lights, automatic headlights with self-levelling LED elements, automatic wipers, daytime running lights, the bonnet scoop, privacy glass, an electric sunroof, the sports body kit and 17-inch alloy wheels on Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tyres in 235/45 R17 94W specification.
The new WRX is also available as standard with a 3-year/100 000km warranty and Subaru’s 3-year/75 000km maintenance plan.