A rally-inspired Crosstrek could appeal to the masses.
Subaru was once a brand that enthusiasts could always look to for something cool, but as the Japanese brand began seeking manistream success, it seems to have lost a bit of that fun factor. Sure, there are cars like the BRZ that are great fun to drive and have almost limitless tuning potential, but what else is there? The automaker has just revealed a new WRX Wagon after the sedan debuted a few weeks back, but aside from a new WRX STI sedan, it's unlikely that we'll see anything really performance-focused for some time. Instead, we have things like the Crosstrek, a pretty good crossover but nothing to write home about. But did you know that the Crosstrek and the WRX use the same platform? And that the drivetrain can be almost directly swapped to create a Crosstrek WRX?
In years gone by, we've seen a crazy madman create his own Crosstrek WRX from the previous generation of both the Crosstrek and the WRX sedan, but we think it could be a gold mine that Subaru is sitting on and envisioned how it might look.
We've given the Crosstrek some WRX-inspired upgrades as seen on the recently revealed sport sedan. Among these are larger wheels with low-profile rubber, a massive rear diffuser with a quad-exit exhaust, vented fender flares, meatier fenders, and of course, a large hood scoop to feed the turbocharged Boxer motor. Naturally, the new 2.4-liter turbo unit with 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque would be a direct fit. As usual, this would feed the brand's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, and the platform would accommodate both the six-speed manual gearbox and a CVT option.
But where the underpinnings would differ is in the suspension department. With extra ride height and wheel travel, a Crosstrek WRX would be the ideal candidate for long-travel suspension. Give buyers the option of smaller wheels with meatier tires and this could be a downsized crossover version of the Ford F-150 Raptor - just a lot more chuckable.
While this remains little more than a fantasy for the time being, it's worth noting that such a creation could be well received. Crawford Performance last year modified the Crosstrek to be a rally-ready Baja bruiser, and Subaru itself has shown that the Crosstrek has off-road racing potential. Sadly, these days, it seems that Subaru is unwilling to take too many chances with performance vehicles, but if the glory days of Subaru Tecnica international (STi) are ever to return, then the Japanese rallying legend must return to the model choices that enamored so many young fans of Colin McRae and Richard Burns. We live in hope.