Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
3 minute read
13 Sep 2021
8:36 am

Cladded-up new Subaru WRX revealed with touch more grunt

Charl Bosch

All-new styling expanded to the Global Platform architecture and the FA flat-four engine in place of the stalwart EJ.

Controversial cladding usage not simply for aesthetics.

The soon-to-be-outgoing model hailing from 2014, Subaru officially revealed the all-new WRX this past weekend in US market spec.

One of the most eagerly awaited new models of the year, the much speculated upon WRX debut as a comparatively lightly toned down version of the 2017 Viziv Performance Concept, underpinned by the brand’s Global Platform and powered by a more powerful turbocharged flat-four Boxer engine.

Like its predecessor, the WRX will only be offered as a sedan with the crossover inspired cladding around the wheel arches, on the bumpers and at the base of the doors by being offset by a subtle integrated boot spoiler, front wings made out of aluminium and air vents behind the front arches said to aid brake cooling and air flow.

Wider than the previous WRX with the use of the new platform seeing a 28% improvement in torsional rigidity and 75% in suspension mounting point rigidity, Subaru has made additional changes such as fitting the rear stabiliser bar directly to the body and lengthening the suspension stroke in order to improve stability and grip on tardy surfaces.

New Subaru WRX
Styling draws heavily from the Viziv Performance Concept shown in Tokyo four years ago.

Mounted on 18-inch alloy wheels as standard with 19-inch inches optional, the often criticised interior has been given a through rework and now falls-in with that of the Forester, Outback, XV and Ascent.

Aside from unique touches such as faux carbon fibre inserts and a WRX specific flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel, the cabin boasts the 11.6-inch Starlink touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, new climate control panel and an optional 504-watt eleven-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

ALSO READ: Subaru gearing-up for two model WRX

Despite the mentioned infotainment system lacking satellite navigation, which can be specified as an option, the specification sheet does include Subaru’s revised EyeSight system, with a new addition to the model line-up being the GT.

New Subaru WRX
Interior a dramatic departure from the previous WRX.

Serving as the flagship WRX model, the GT, over and above the already mentioned list of features, comes further equipped with black suede trimmed electrically adjustable Recaro sport seats, model exclusive matte grey 18-inch alloy wheels and the SI-Drive mode selector with three modes; Normal, Comfort and Sport.

Up front, and with the retirement of last year of the aged 2.0 and 2.5-litre EJ engines, the WRX now derives motivation from the 2.4-litre FA unit used not only in the Ascent and Outback, but also without forced assistance in the BRZ and its twin, the Toyota GR86.

Paired to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new CVT, the latter standard on the GT, the unit produces 202kW/350Nm, a five kilowatt uptake from the 2.0-litre, with drive, as ever, going to all four corners via Subaru’s rally derived Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system.

Going on sale in the States later this year with speculated pricing from $27 000 (R384 198), the WRX has been confirmed for South Africa and will touch down in the first quarter of next year.