Subaru have released details of the latest upgrades to the WRX and WRX STI models and the changes for some in the range is more than just skin deep.
Both the turbocharged Subaru WRX and WRX STI are now available as sedans as well as hatchbacks and for the first time there’s an automatic option available in a market outside of Japan.
The WRX STI now comes with an optional five-speed paddle-shift coupled to the A-line’s 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 221 Kilowatts of power at 6200 rpm and 350Nm of torque between 3000-6000 rpm.
Manual WRX STIs retain the current engine, producing 221 kW at 6000 rpm and 407 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm.
On the outside all models feature sharper bumper corners and new design foglight surrounds that highlight the wide, low, aggressive look.
The bigger, dark finish grille merges with the headlight lines, underscoring the sporty look.
Sedans feature a rear diffuser that includes a centre rear fog light while below the rear bumper all models now come with four exhaust pipes while the sedan has a unique exhaust system with 80mm diameter pipes.
WRX has new lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels with gunmetal grey finish and both front and rear tracks have been widened … 35mm on the front and 40mm on the rear. Tyres on all models are now 10mm wider.
The WRX now gets 16 inch front brake calipers plus pad return springs for increased performance.
On the inside the instrument clusters have more detailed gauges that include a sweep function when the ignition is turned on.
A four-door sedan variant of the current generation WRX STI is available for the first time.
Bumper corners are sharpened and fog lamp surrounds feature a new look, plus black-tone grille. The rear bumper diffuser is located between the dual exhaust pipes, underlining the sporty appearance.
WRX STI sedans have a large aerodynamic rear spoiler and aerodynamic performance is enhanced by a large undercover panel.
Lightweight 18-inch ENKEI alloy wheels are standard on WRX STI variants, with a high lustre finish. Combined, they are 7.2 kg lighter than the superseded design.
18-inch BBS alloys on the WRX STI spec.R also feature the reflective finish.
Bluetooth wireless technology compatibility is added to the standard audio, together with steering wheel-mounted buttons, for added convenience.
A USB jack is now located in the centre console box (non SatNav models).
Engine and transmission
WRX STI automatic variants adopt the famed Japan domestic market A-Line engine that produces 221 Kilowatts of power at 6200 rpm and 350 Newtonmetres of torque between 3000-6000 rpm.
The optional five-speed paddle shift automatic transmission is the fastest in the Subaru line-up.
It includes “blipping” control, which allows drivers to change quickly, for example, from fifth to third simply by operating the paddle shift twice in quick succession.
Temporary manual mode can even be used when “D” has been selected with the shifter.
Suspension is completely revised, with ride height 5mm lower, for even more precise handling.
A new aluminium lower arm is added to the front suspension. The rear bushes of the arm are changed to a pillow-ball type, improving toe and tread rigidity, which better reflects the driver’s steering input.
Rear suspension sub-frame bushing is changed to improve toe and camber rigidity, but produce better responsiveness and road-hugging ability.
Specialised tuning of the damping force of both front and rear dampers produces secure roadholding, while changes to the front and rear coil springs and stabilisers have greatly improved roll rigidity.
Both the front and rear suspension systems employ higher-rate springs and thicker front and rear stabilizer bars than the 2010 model: 21 mm versus 20 mm in front and 19 mm versus 18 mm in rear. Spring rates have increased by 15.6 per cent in front and 53 per cent in the rear.
Prices for the new Subaru WRX sedan and hatch start at $39,990 plus dealer delivery charges as well as statutory and government charges.
Prices for the WRX STI start at $59,990 plus dealer delivery charges as well as statutory and government charges.