Spied: Is This The 2014 Subaru WRX?

Subaru enthusiasts have been impatiently waiting for an all-new WRX variant of the Impreza compact. Well, the wait may soon be over – our spy photographer caught this mule for what looks to be the next-gen WRX out testing in the desert alongside a current-generation WRX.

Rumor has it that the next Subaru WRX will lose the Impreza name completely, despite still being based on the compact sedan and hatch. We already knew that the hotter Subie would move further from its plebian platform-mate, but, if these shots are any indication, the WRX may not transform into a coupe. The car spotted is wearing the bodywork of a standard Impreza sedan, albeit slightly modified to pack the uprated powertrain of the WRX. Giveaways include quad exhaust tips, larger brakes and wheels, and a functional hood scoop.

Unfortunately, we can't see under the hood, but can see a large intercooler through the turbo scoop. Past rumors have indicated that the next WRX would use a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 derived tuned to 270 hp that's derived from the engine in the 2013 BRZ. Our spy shooter also indicates that this WRX mule has the six-speed gearbox out of the BRZ.

Given the past reports that the WRX will move further away from the Impreza, there is a chance that this car isn't the next-gen WRX, but instead another performance-oriented model. Could this be a mule for a tarted-up Impreza GT, similar to the multiple powertrain offering from the Legacy? What do you think this hotter-looking Impreza is? Let us know in the comments section.

It's a test mule..Mitsubishi did something similar with the Evo X by using an Evo 9 (the two cars are completely different production wise) shell to test the motor and suspension components of the X. Subie is probably doing the same and will later reveal what the external bodywork will look like.
I hope this is a test mule only. It doesn't matter whether there are 2 or 4 doors...the "new Impreza" is an excrescence...dumpy looking with a cheap angular look reminiscent of mid 2000's Dodge/Chrysler shlock. I love my 07 Leggy Wagon....they were on to something with that generation of Legacy and then they lost it....probably due to Toyota influence.
Having read rumors of an upscale, 2-door, purpose-built WRX...these spy shots are a let down. However, from a business perspective, I can see the logic in this move. They already have the BRZ. Would they really need another 2-door car with the same engine and transmission as the BRZ? The main difference would be the addition of all-wheel drive. A 90% Impreza-based car makes more sense...lower development costs, another sporty car in their offerings but with four doors that is clearly different from the BRZ, and a formula that has worked in the past. Not as fun for us enthusiasts but more practical for Subaru.

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