All-new Subaru WRX revealed with crossover-inspired styling

By Jason Woosey Time of article published Sep 13, 2021

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CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY - The long-awaited fifth-generation Subaru WRX has finally been revealed to the world following delays related to the cancellation of the New York Auto Show.

But will Subaru WRX fans like what they see here? Built on the latest Subaru Global Platform, the new performance model has an edgier design that was previewed by the Viziv concept. That much was expected, however, we were not expecting it to come with large plastic wheel arch mouldings that make the sedan look somewhat SUV-like.

But what’s under the hood? As expected, the new Subaru WRX inherits the Japanese carmaker’s latest 2.4-litre turbocharged flat-four engine, but with 202kW on tap at 5600rpm and 350Nm from 2000rpm, it’s hardly any more powerful than its predecessor, which is good for 197kW.

Subaru WRX buyers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission and a new automatic gearbox with adaptive shift control that can quickly respond to perform rev-matching downshifts under braking.

Subaru says the suspension has been “track-tuned” for a more engaging driving experience, and the new vehicle is also 28 percent more torsionally rigid overall thanks to the new platform. Furthermore, the WRX comes with a new dual-pinion electric power steering system that separates the driver’s input shaft from the motor assist shaft to improve responsiveness.

The new WRX is available with 17-inch and 18-inch wheel options, although keep in mind that the version we see here is in North American spec variant, so global versions could differ.

For the first time, buyers can opt for a new GT trim grade, which features adaptive dampers that can be tailored through three settings: Normal, Comfort and Sport. Drivers will also get to enjoy new Drive Mode Select options that offer up to 430 different customisation options for aspects like steering feel and SI-Drive settings.

The WRX’s interior has a black colour scheme with contrast red stitching and carbon fibre pattern accents adding some sporty flavour. The aforementioned GT trim option also brings new Recaro seats with a Y-shaped design at the centre of the backrests.

Cabin tech includes a new Starlink infotainment system with high-res touchscreen and optional voice-activated navigation by TomTom. Subaru also speaks of a new split-screen display system, which can simultaneously show two types of information, such as audio and navigation. Furthermore, customers can opt for an 11-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with 405-watt amplifier. All models come with Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist tech, which includes Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Prevention and Automatic Emergency Steering, among other features.

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