A new look, new tech, new platform and a little more power.
The fifth-generation 2022 Subaru WRX has arrived. It happens after months, nay years of teasing and little bits of information on the next rally-bread, asphalt-pounding, boxer equipped sedan. It gets a new, more powerful engine, a bigger touchscreen, a new platform, new trims and more safety features. That's a lot to pack in any new model, let alone in one of the enthusiast champions.
Let's start with the engine. The new WRX gets the company's 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer four, as opposed to last year's 2.0-liter unit. It makes 271 hp and, up 3 hp from last year, and 258 lb-ft of torque. That torque number is the same as last year, though Subaru says through the increased displacement and electronically controlled wastegate and air bypass valves, responsiveness and acceleration should improve.
A six-speed manual is standard equipment, which got slight changes to its ratios. A new CVT automatic called Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) will offer 30% faster "upshifts" and 50% faster "downshifts." Those are in quotes as those gears are just preprogrammed ratios in the computer somewhere. Subaru says it will hold the ideal ratio through corners, and respond faster to corner exit. The SPT has three settings and can be operated with the paddle shifters when requested.
As we expected, the new WRX rides on the Subaru Global Platform, which should deliver both a handling and ride improvement thanks to a lower center of gravity. It will get 28% increase in torsional rigidity while its suspension mounting points are 75% more rigid. The new WRX also has a longer suspension stroke and a new body-mounted rear stabilizer bar.
The redesign on the WRX was gentle. It gets a bolder hexagon grille with new LED headlights to go along with the returning hood scoop. Character lines run across the front, sides and rear emphasizing the width of the vehicle while new aluminum front fenders saved 5 pounds.
Like the Forester Wilderness, the WRX features prominent wheel well arches with a texture that reduced aerodynamic drag. An outlet at the rear edge of the wheel wells lets air exit more freely. The rear bumper features two more outlets, for the same reason.
Inside were looking at an 11.6-inch Starlink Multimedia Plus display with direct touch controls for climate and multimedia. Icons can be swapped around to keep the important stuff on the home screen, while the navigation is again handled by TomTom. It offers a split display to show two types of info at the same time. Volume, tuning and temperature are still handled by knobs. An upgraded 11-speaker audio system from Harmon Kardon is optional.
The new top WRX trim will be called the GT and will feature electronically controlled dampers for the first time in WRX history. It also comes with a drive mode selector to adjust those dampers, along with the steering feel and SI-Drive settings. New Recaro seats get a Y-shaped design with Ultrasuede, red stitching and eight-way power adjustments.
Subaru is finally bringing its safety tech down the WRX line. All trims with the automatic transmission get its improved EyeSight safety package. Subaru says its lane departure software has been improved to feel more natural. EyeSight also comes with adaptive cruise control, lane centering, automatic emergency steering and pre-collision braking.
We don't have pricing yet, as the new WRX will come out in early 2022. But we'll remind you that last year's model started at $27,495. We also don't have any word on the STI model, though we're guessing we'll learn about that shortly.