The next-generation Subaru WRX has been teased ahead of its reveal later this year.
Local launch timing has yet to be confirmed, but it’s expected to arrive early in 2022.
It was originally expected to arrive at the end of 2021, alongside the redesigned BRZ, but you can blame COVID-19-related delays.
The shadowy teaser image doesn’t betray much about the WRX’s looks, other than it’s an evolution of the current model’s design.
It also appears to borrow some elements, like the upkick of the beltline at the C-pillar, from the 2017 Viziv Performance Concept. Subaru concepts, however, have a habit of becoming much more conservative in the transition to production.
It will reportedly upgrade to a version of the turbocharged 2.4-litre flat-four offered in the North American Ascent SUV.
While the Ascent produces 190kW of power and 376Nm of torque, the WRX’s application of the 2.4-litre will reportedly pump out upwards of 213kW.
The current WRX produces 197kW of power and 350Nm of torque in standard guise, with the STI amping that up to 221kW of power and 407Nm of torque.
Both models come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, though the regular WRX has an optional continuously-variable transmission.
The new WRX’s list of safety and driver assistance equipment is expected to mirror that of the redesigned Levorg.
In the standard EyeSight safety suite is autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition.
Other available features include a digital rear-view mirror, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and emergency lane-keeping assistance.
The new Levorg’s available EyeSight X package includes a hands-off driving mode for traffic jam assistance, as well as the ability to automatically slow down for toll booths and curves.
Recently redesigned Subaru products like the Levorg and Outback have also added a portrait-oriented 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which could make its way to the WRX.
Of the current WRX, Subaru Australia says it has “sufficient stock for a number of months, dependent upon customer demand, but [we] are monitoring it closely”.
Subaru is about to embark on a substantial overhaul of its performance range, with the new BRZ due before the end of 2022 and the new WRX and a more performance-focused Levorg set to arrive in early 2022.
The current, fourth-generation WRX sedan was introduced locally in 2014.
While it used to be redesigned in tandem with the Impreza, Subaru separated the two several years ago and gave the WRX a more unique visual identity.
The third-generation WRX ran alongside the fourth-generation Impreza for a few years, while the fifth-generation Impreza was introduced in 2016, two years after the current WRX which rides on a modified version of its predecessor’s platform.
Last year, the WRX was the only car in VFACTS’ Small Under $40,000 segment to improve its sales over 2019.
Subaru sold 1399 WRXs, a 26.1 per cent improvement over the year before, albeit down from the current model’s zenith in 2015 when Subaru sold 3551 examples.