A more rugged version of what we know as the Subaru WRX Sportswagon is coming, according to a report out of Japan.
It’s reportedly due in the northern autumn of 2023, so between September and November.
Ground clearance will reportedly be increased from 140mm to 200mm, the same as the Crosstrek.
It will also reportedly receive black plastic cladding, something that has previously been exclusive – rather unusually – to sedan versions of the WRX, which actually have 5mm less ground clearance than the wagons.
Best Car Web reports the new model is expected to be equipped with a 1.8-litre turbo flat-four, which is the standard engine in the Japanese-market Levorg. This produces 130kW and 300Nm.
It’s unclear whether Subaru will also offer this ruggedised Levorg with the up-level 202kW/375Nm turbocharged 2.4-litre flat-four, the only engine offered in this vehicle locally, to create a more rally-ready wagon.
This engine is shared with the WRX sedan, though Subaru only offers the option of a manual transmission with the three-box body style and leaves the wagon solely with a continuously variable transmission.
The WRX sedan and Sportswagon arrived locally in 2022, with the latter replacing the previous Levorg – though it retains that name in Japan.
The previous Levorg was offered here with a choice of two turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains: a 1.6-litre with 125kW and 250Nm and a 2.0-litre with 197kW and 350Nm.
Subaru Australia opted not to bring the second-generation wagon here with the new 1.8-litre turbo, instead repositioning it as a more dedicated performance vehicle and bringing it under the WRX umbrella as a spiritual successor to WRX wagons of yore.
There’s plenty of precedent for a higher-riding WRX Sportswagon. Subaru has been applying cladding to its wagons and giving them higher ride heights since the 1990s, to the point where the Liberty-derived Outback supplanted its wagon donor entirely.
MORE: Everything Subaru WRX