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.