From the May 2022 issue of Car and Driver.
There is a refreshing honesty to the new Subaru WRX. It continues to be a clear descendant of the bug-eyed example enthusiasts fell in love with 20 years ago. Subaru has remained true to the original formula, giving the new one a turbocharged flat-four, all-wheel drive, a standard manual transmission, and bear-hugging front seats. The engine still warbles when the weather is cold, and the suspension, though slightly softer than before, occasionally punishes. It’s a hot-rod economy car. It doesn’t even have adjustable drive modes. Don’t like the way Subaru set it up? Modify it yourself, or don’t buy it. How refreshing indeed.
Base models start at $30,100, and the Limited trim we tested goes for $36,990. The powertrains are identical, so expect any manual WRX to hit 60 in 5.5 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds at 101 mph. Skidpad cling came in at 0.95 g.
Wait, wasn’t the old WRX quicker? Blame the gearing of the six-speed manual and the 6100-rpm redline (600 lower than before) of the new 271-hp 2.4-liter flat-four. Hitting 60 in second gear is no longer possible, so the new WRX requires an additional shift before reaching that speed. Despite the bump from 2.0 liters to 2.4, the turbo still hits a little late and with an abruptness that middle-aged drivers might not appreciate. Younger folks, however, might like it.
Subaru has informed us that there won’t be a new STI sharing this platform due to consumers’ interest (and thus resources) shifting toward EVs. That’s too bad, because this WRX steers, stops, handles, and can be chucked sideways as well as any of its predecessors. It seems like an ideal recipient for a 40- or 50-hp injection. We’re hoping this WRX isn’t the last affordable proto–rally car. And we’d bet that a battery-powered WRX will have drive modes.
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