Subaru is reportedly in talks this week that will determine the future of the company’s WRX and STI models. These rally-bred turbo funboxes are due for an update and Subaru has promised to further distance them from the more pedestrian Impreza.
GoAuto reports the news came from Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior, who said he was boarding a plane for Japan this week to provide his input as Subaru imagines the next high-performance car.
We’re careful not to say “high-performance Impreza” because, as we’ve previously reported, Subaru is distancing the WRX, STI, and the XV Crossover models from the Impreza.
Instead, Subaru is reportedly toying with making the WRX and STI a bit more European–removing some of the boy-racer character from the rally-inspired cars in favor of a more refined sport-sedan mentality. Senior said Subaru is looking to BMW’s M and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG divisions for inspiration, which should excite fans of fast, livable sports cars.
As for what the next WRX would have underhood, Senior told GoAuto that the 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder in the new Impreza is certainly able to be turbocharged, which would mean power figures greatly exceeding the adequate 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet the base Impreza makes. In comparison, the current-model-year WRX makes 265 horsepower, and the STI makes 305.
This is where things begin to get strange: Senior also said that the base Impreza could donate something else to a WRX, its Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. While there’s certainly no confirmation that this will happen, the WRX and STI’s manic fans usually don’t love CVTs.
In any case, we should expect to see the end product of this week’s meetings and labor in roughly 18 months. Let’s hope it’s worth the wait.