Hold the Phone: Subaru WRX Hatchback Spied

We pinched ourselves, and we’re still not dreaming. Subaru die-hards will surely join us in hailing new spy shots of a Subaru WRX hatchback test mule, which suggest that the Pleiades brand is finally heeding the demands of its hyper-passionate constituency.

Unsurprisingly for a car with such a loyal fan base, feelings were mixed when the 2015 Subaru WRX debuted at the 2013 Los Angeles auto show. Many praised the car's more refined driving dynamics and better-appointed interior, while others griped about its frumpy looks and automatic-mimicking continuously variable transmission. But the biggest shock of all was the noticeable lack of a five-door hatchback variant, a staple of the old Subaru WRX. Subaru initially claimed that it needed to scratch the hatch in order to preserve the degree of differentiation it wanted from the regular Impreza -- building one WRX bodystyle left more money for performance tweaks -- but this latest test mule suggests they’re finding a way to bridge the gap.

Earlier this year, Subaru WRX project general manager Masuo Takatsu told Australian journalists a five-door WRX was on the way: "We have received strong interest from the U.S., where the hatchback was 50 percent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering." However, Subaru officials flat refuted Takatsu's statement and denied there were any plans for a WRX hatch. "We don't have any plans, or know about any plans, for a WRX hatch," Subaru of America's Dominick Infante told Automobile in April.

The Subaru WRX hatchback test mule seen here is clearly based on a current Impreza hatchback, but it is plainly recognizable as something more special. Up front we can see the front spoiler, wider front bumper, and wider fenders lifted from the 2015 Subaru WRX sedan, while the all-important hood scoop is easily distinguishable despite efforts to cover it with a removable metal panel. This hot-hatch Subie is also wider at the rear fenders; the 2015 Subaru WRX sedan is 2.2 inches wider than a normal 2014 Subaru Impreza sedan.

For now the Subaru WRX hatchback mule is testing without the black-painted wheels and higher-performance tires of the production sedan, but we can look forward to more testing down the road. While we expect the eventual hatchback version to be just as exciting to drive as the sedan, a five-door Subaru WRX would also allow drivers to carry more stuff along the way.

Check back for more details on the Subaru WRX hatchback in the coming weeks and months. If you can stomach the 2015 Subaru WRX sedan for your off-roading and joy-riding needs, it starts at $27,090 including destination.

Oleg Tkachov
Wow, new look - Subaru LAGUNA 2010
Pedro Peñafiel
Alelluya brothers!
Michael Keil
yay! Now make a 2 door coupe and it's in my driveway!
To those commenting negatively on the design...the Impreza/WRX has always been somewhere between quirky and ugly so I'm not sure what you were expecting. I'm very happy that they are making a 5-door for this generation of WRX. A purchase of one is in my future as my 2005 WRX wagon now has over 160K miles. It's surprising they decided to go ahead with the wagon with the next-gen Impreza coming out in 2017. This WRX wagon may only see two years of production.
Gaurav Gore
Roland Deschain
Why is automobilemag.com posting pictures of an orca whale? Oh wait...
Joe Lussier
Very surprised to see Subaru moving this quickly on the hatch, the new WRX's are selling faster than they can make them right now... not so much the STi's though.
Danny Baker
Hmmm, looks like a Toyota Matrix!
Robert Brewer
I love it when people complain about the looks of a test mule. Folks, it does not reflect the production model. Remember how hideous the BRZ test mules looked? They don't resemble what you can buy at the dealership. Why should this one be any different?
Lynn Scott Paden
Que feissimo!
George C Shammas
Gross, looks like a bloated toyota matrix..... exciting?!
Patrick Kinlaw
Too bad it isnt a proper wagon like through 07.
Matt Carter
Very wise move for Subie
Jon Gregory
I'll just stick with my 2012 sti.....looks WAY better.
Saverio S Castellana
Would rather the Subaru of America, please bring the 2015 Levorg wagon to the US and Canada. instead. but yes the STI needs more power. at least 380..
Matt Mason
Not being funny but i think it looks hideous. Subaru have gone down hill instead of improving with each model.
Wayne Cearley
Jon Gregory
Corey Hibbs
Subaru needs to worry what they're gonna do to the STi to keep pace with the RS.
Barry White
Renauldo Caldwell
Not needed.
Miguel Gil
another hideous toyota matrix
Robert May
That is one ugly rear end.
Tim Koehrman
Exciting ?
Mitch Fratzke
Bout time! With the RS and MS3 coming, it better pony up.
Mike Compton
James Bodden Matt Rizkallah - finally.
Terence Stawski
Maybe they should fix the 2.5 and get more power since the Focus RS seems to be headed here with 350 HP.
Andrew O.
When I opened this article I was having hot flashes that I was going to see the Levorg.... 
Sadly disappointed.  The hatch in this generation looks pretty bad with those stupid little tail lights.  I want to upgrade my '09 WRX to a Levorg now that I have a family, but I'm going to stick with the sedan, which is very impressive in person.  It looks like a blend between the Evo and a 3-Series, its rivals.
Andrew O.
YES!  Ditch this thing and bring the LEVORG!  It's properly proportioned, gorgeous, and FAST.  Plus, it can commute and carry groceries, a kayak, kid, camping gear, bikes, dog and love it....
Yeah Just throw away 50% of  yours sales who needs them! I haven't read such a stupid comment in months. Subaru like any other company is in business to make money period, if that means making a hatchback then make a hatchback!
@Johnny.7sp Well, if they WERE truly needed, they'd have never axed it in the first place.  The "throw away 50% of yours [sic] sales who needs them!" statement is stupid and can be looked as inversely too...every product line is treated as a project...projects have revenue limits and goals.  For the WRX and STI to have met their project goals, the hatch needed to be eliminated.  Now that the goals have been met and extra revenue has been generated, they can now focus on a hatch.
Remember, it's their (Subaru's) product to mess up...not ours, no matter how many of us are loyal fans.  

@unixfool @Johnny.7sp the article stated "We have received strong interest from the U.S., where the hatchback was 50 percent (of previous-generation WRX sales)"

did you read the article?
@Johnny.7sp I've read the article and knew of that last fall when they first announced the WRX.  

Did you read my response fully?

If a project manager has limits as to how to handle the project and he needs funding, he has to make compromises.  The compromise was to not make the hatch.  I'd take that over a shitty version of the sedan and hatch.
You're looking at it as a "glass half empty" perspective.  I'm looking at it as a "glass was half full and ready to add more" perspective.

I fail to see why you're bringing up a year old argument, when it looks like they're finally building a hatch.  Me?  I don't care...I prefer the sedan, but the complaining of no hatch gets old.  The most ridiculous thing is, it looks like a hatch is coming for you hatch guys and you (@Johnny.7sp) are still complaining.  If you don't like Subaru, don't buy their products...just don't expect everyone to jump on that bandwagon.

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