When Subaru axed the WRX STI, it ended production of what had become an iconic halo model for the brand as well as one of the world’s most prized performance cars.
The question remains: will Subaru do another WRX STI?
“It’s absolutely a possibility”, Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read told CarExpert.
“What I’ve said to a number of STI owners who often ask the question and are extremely passionate about STI, is that the engineering team and all of that STI knowledge, people, facilities and knowhow are still there and working on future product.
“It’s part of Subaru’s motorsport division and performance engineering but the difficult decision was made to stop development on this generation of WRX in order to get ahead and focus on the next-generation version given the current rate of change going on with powertrains.
“We would love to see it, as there’s such passion for STI badge, not to mention its halo status which has such history, so why would you not want that to continue?
“When you think about the older WRX and STI versions – some of them 25 years ago and what those engineers achieved back then, imagine what they could do now with the technology available today. That gets me excited”, Read added.
The current-generation WRX still has a few years left in it but the next-generation model might not end up being petrol-powered. It’s more likely going to be a fully-electric model, according to Mr Read.
“What I can point you towards is the STI E-RA, a concept car Subaru announced at the start of 2022, which was a fully electric prototype performance car that looked like a Le Mans prototype for testing – the STI team is definitely working in that area,” he said.
It features a carbon-fibre monocoque, using experience from STI’s BRZ GT300 car that competed in Japan’s Super GT series.
Like every other Subaru on sale today, the STI-E-RA concept featured all-wheel drive, but instead of petrol power it features one electric motor for each wheel.
This allows for torque vectoring, with each motor producing 200kW of power for a total system output of 800kW and 1100Nm of torque.
Interestingly, the traction motors were developed by Yamaha, which announced in April 21 it was accepting orders for its “Hyper-EV” traction motor, which produces 350kW per motor.
MORE: Everything Subaru WRX