Oh thank heavens.
Athough we still have to wait another three years until Subaru launches its next generation WRX and WRX STI, we are already learning a few details about both. Wheels.au has learned that despite a growing number of performance cars ditching their manual transmissions for fast-shifting dual-clutches or automatics, the 2020 Subaru WRX and WRX STI will retain their manual option. This was confirmed by Masahiko Inoue, project manager for the Impreza and XV, both of which come with CVTs.
Although the two WRX top trims do offer a CVT, the WRX STI is manual only, and it appears Subaru will be following the same or similar path for their replacements. "On some sporty models, the manual should be adopted," Inoue said. The current Impreza, whose platform will once again serve as the basis for the WRX and WRX STI, has already been engineered for a manual, although it's a five-speed unit. But no worries, the six-speed manual will undoubtedly continue to be the gearbox of choice for the performance versions. But what will be interesting is whether or not the 2020 WRX STI will have a CVT option.
Subaru isn't saying anything just yet, but we honestly wouldn't be surprised if it did for both fuel economy reasons and because a growing number of WRX buyers are opting for the CVT, a trend currently happening in Australia. WRX and WRX STI buyers aren't exactly the same, but they're close enough, especially when the latter graduates to the former for their next car. But the most important thing here is that Subaru has no plans to change the six-speed manual status quo for its all-wheel drive fun machines.