The ‘Rex range is growing.
With the second-generation Levorg adopting WRX branding, the greater 2022 Subaru WRX line-up will initially consist of three trim levels, two body styles, and two transmissions.
That’s before the inevitable STi joins the range.
Non-STi variants will arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2022.
Government approval documents reveal the WRX range will open with an unnamed base model, available with either a six-speed manual or a continuously-variable transmission in sedan form.
In the WRX Sportswagon, the base trim will be offered exclusively with a CVT.
The next rung up is the WRX RS, available only in the sedan body style but offering a choice of a manual or CVT.
The range-topping (for now) WRX tS (tuned by STi) will be available as a sedan or wagon, but appears to be CVT-only.
Subaru has historically used the tS nameplate on models that feature a brace of aesthetic and mechanical enhancements.
The outgoing BRZ tS, for example, not only features red highlights inside and out and different wheels, but it also features additional body bracing and Brembo brakes; likewise, the tS special edition of the last Forester featured myriad aesthetic tweaks but also a retuned suspension.
The WRX and Levorg ranges currently top out in the Japanese market with the STi Sport R and STi Sport R EX, which include a unique black and Bordeaux interior colourway with the option of Recaro seats upholstered in suede, plus electronically-controlled adaptive dampers.
Pricing and specifications for the redesigned WRX range will be released closer to its launch.
Power for the 2022 range will come from 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 202kW of power. That’s up 400cc and 5kW from the engine available in the previous WRX and Levorg.
Peak torque remains unchanged at 350Nm, but it comes on song between 2000 and 5200rpm, which means it’s available 400rpm earlier and hangs around 200rpm longer.
Subaru says the engine’s bigger displacement combined with a new turbo packing an electronically-controlled waste gate and air bypass valves deliver more mid-range performance with less turbo lag.
Though the WRX is unusual in being a performance vehicle with a CVT, Subaru has programmed eight “steps” you can toggle between using the paddle shifters.
Subaru says this CVT allows for faster ‘gear changes’ than before, and there’s also a downshift blipping control. This will be the only transmission available on the wagon.
Power is sent to all four wheels through a traditional Subaru all-wheel drive system, backed by an active torque vectoring system.
Regardless of model, the suspension has a longer stroke for 2022, designed to allow the WRX to breathe better with the road on rough surfaces. The car is also built on a stiffer platform than its predecessor.
Subaru says the suspension mounting points are 75 per cent stiffer than before, and the chassis has 28 per cent better torsional stiffness.
The Australian-specification WRX interior has yet to be seen, although we know it’ll be offered only with the larger, vertically-oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system (pictured).
CVT-equipped models also come with the EyeSight suite of active safety and driver assist technology, which includes autonomous emergency braking and steering and adaptive cruise control with lane centering.
We expect pricing to be higher than the current WRX, which ranges from $40,990 to $50,590 before on-roads in ‘regular’ (i.e. non-STi) grades.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.
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