Subaru used a big portion of its press conference to play up the company's green credentials. Nature sounds, videos of waterfalls, and the introduction of the XV Crosstrek hybrid all reaffirmed Subaru's commitment to eco-friendliness and outdoorsy shoppers. But then on the other side of the stage, Subaru introduced the car we were all waiting for: a concept of the next WRX sedan.
"Our passionate owners always want to know what we're thinking," said Subaru global marketing head Tomohiko Ikeda. "Subaru will remain committed to performance products."
Shown in Subaru's traditional World Rally Blue, the WRX concept continues many of the dramatic styling cues from the existing WRX and WRX STI: big air intakes, big wheels with cross-drilled brakes, a hood scoop, and a subtle rear spoiler. The brake calipers and exhaust tips on this concept are bright green, the roof appears to have a carbon-fiber appliqué, and the door handles are flush-fitting chrome pieces. The coolest feature of all? The CHMSL (third brake light) is cleverly integrated into the roof-mounted fin antenna.
Sadly, Subaru executives specifically said they won't release more details on the new WRX for some time. We expect the new car will continue with a 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer-four engine, all-wheel-drive, and a six-speed manual transmission. It will use the same chassis as the new Impreza sedan and hatchback.
Despite not sharing any information, Subaru of America president and COO Tom Doll promised the new car will live up to its legacy.
"The WRX and STI have shown in dramatic fashion how a turbocharged Boxer engine can take on much bigger competition," he said. "This car means business… This is a car that is built for speed and control."
Expect more details on the new Subaru WRX to trickle out over the next year.