The recent years have not been kind to the Subaru WRX. From a WRC-derived pin-up throughout the 1990s and early 2000s PlayStation era, it has became somewhat tamed to the point of Subaru deciding to brand it as a model of its own separate from the Impreza.
While it has outlasted its arch-rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, the WRX is now minus the STI following Subaru’s controversial decision to focus on combining the moniker with electrification.
This means the WRX is now really a model of its own despite using the Impreza’s Global Platform as a base. Even more controversial is the new WRX’s crossover-type sedan look.
While laudable for remaining a sedan instead of an SUV, the move is unlikely to be universally accepted. This includes the presence of a new CVT dubbed Subaru Performance Transmission that comes as an option relative to the standard six-speed manual.
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Select this, it also throughs in a few added features, including the latest iteration of the brand’s EyeSight safety and driver assistance system resplendent with items not offered on the manual.
Arguably the biggest highlight is the new 2.4-litre FA24 turbocharged flat-four Boxer engine that only replaces the venerable 2.0 and 2.5-litre EJ units discontinued three years ago, but delivers more power; 202 kW versus 197 kW with torque remaining unchanged at 350 Nm.
Priced at R859 000 in tS ES guise, the inclusion of the ‘box, plus a few luxurious and the EyeSight translates to a R100 000 premium over the unbadged, more “basic” manual.
Question is, is it worth it? Find out soon as we headed to Gerotek to find out.