Subaru’s current WRX sedan is starting to feel its age, particularly given that the Impreza that it’s based upon has been replaced by an all-new and more sophisticated model.

Fans will however have to wait until at least 2020 for the new WRX, but the silver lining is that the next-generation sports sedan is likely to have a more distinct personality.

Speaking to Autocar, Subaru design boss Mamoru Ishii implied that the design of the new WRX would remain faithful to the Viziv Performance Concept that was revealed at the recent Tokyo Motor Show. Autocar said the positive reaction to the show car made Ishii feel confident about the design of the production model that’s on the way.

This certainly implies that the design of this new WRX will be more meaningfully distinguished from the Impreza sedan, perhaps even gaining its own unique body shape, although it remains to be seen just how closely the production model will resemble the concept.

According to Autocar the design head also hinted that hybrid powertrain technology and automated driving technology could become part of the package, but he reiterated that driving pleasure was still the overriding priority.

Needless to say it remains a complete mystery what kind of drivetrain Subaru is concocting for the new WRX, although we can be certain that the company’s celebrated symmetrical all-wheel-drive system will live on in one form or another.

The current WRX is powered by a 2-litre flat four engine rated at 197kW and 350Nm, while the beefier STI version gets a 2.5-litre version of that engine, credited with 221kW and 407Nm.

Question is, will the upcoming Subaru performance range attempt to compete with the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and Audi RS3 sedan? Both are currently nearing the 300kW mark and the next generations could certainly go beyond that. 

IOL Motoring