I knew there was something different about the WRX as soon as I walked up to it in the parking garage, but I wasn't aware of exactly what the changes were for 2011 until I looked at the spec sheet. The gist of it is that the WRX sedan now has wide-body styling to ape the look of the high-performance STI. The front and rear tracks have been widened by approximately 1.5 inches, and the front end has been restyled a bit. There are also new wheels, 17x8 inches rather than the previous 17x7 inches, yet they each weigh 1.5 pounds less. The performance rubber is now 235/45R-17 rather than 225/45R-17.
The engine remains the same 265-hp, 244 lb-ft, 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer four-cylinder as before, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Some may say that it's time for the WRX to have a six-speed manual, but I didn't have a problem with this five-speed, and the clutch takeup is much better than in some previous Subarus.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor