What does a new WRX mean? It means the best bang for your buck in the turbo 4WD world. It also translates to a car that draws on nearly 30 years of rallying knowhow and results including three World Rally Championships. But it also means that a new flagship WRX STI is just around the corner and that has Subarists around the world drooling with anticipation.
The all-new WRX, which has just arrived in showrooms, gives us a very good idea of where the 6th generation STI will go. Sitting on the all-new Subaru Global Platform, wearing a new edgier body and powered by a new 2.4-liter turbo, the new STI will pack some serious punch.
The WRX might be powered by a new 2.4-liter boxer engine generating 271-hp and BLAH lb-ft of torque but the next generation WRX STI, due out next autumn, will up the ante considerably. Targeting the Mercedes-AMG A45 S’s class-topping 416-hp, Subaru engineers will take that 2.4-liter turbo, add a larger turbine and intercooler, reinforce the engine’s internals with bespoke pistons and conrods, remap the ECU and fit a special exhaust system.
According to one source close to Subaru, these modifications will elevate the STI’s power to a figure hovering around 420hp with maximum torque clearing 362 lb-ft. And expect nothing but a 6-speed manual transmission option as Subaru does not have a CVT that can handle this kind of power.
As far as the body work goes, the new STI will be based on the WRX, which in turn was based on the brand’s muscular Viziv Performance Concept first seen at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. And according to our source, the STI’s aero package will borrow heavily from the firm’s multiple class-winning visits to the Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.
While the new model will get the same blacked out wheel arches and side skirts that the WRX employs, the new four-door will get large brake ducts to cool the 6-piston brakes, improved underbody aero treatment for less drag, a huge snowboard-sized rear wing to maximum downforce, and a large hood scoop to feed the intercooler. It will also be fitted with rubber no smaller than 19-inches, bespoke STI badging, and inside the car will incorporate tight body hugging Recaro seats, new instrumentation on a par with the latest WRX and specialized STI badging.
Expect this model to appear late in 2022, and to be the last STI to feature no electric motors.