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by Daniel DeGasperi

The 2014 Subaru WRX has been caught entering and testing at the Nurburgring in Germany, almost undisguised in its first-ever public sighting.

Previewed as the Subaru WRX Concept at the New York auto show one month ago, the production version stays true to the concept’s design language, while reflecting the promises made by Subaru executives to CarAdvice at the show.

2014 Subaru WRX 1

For production, the Subaru WRX maintains the hexagonal shape and mesh grille shown by the WRX Concept, although the opening isn’t as large and the grille isn’t tilted forward.

Headlights maintain the same shape and angular lines, and although the production WRX doesn’t keep the aggressive indent of the WRX Concept, it maintains the frosted-white C-shape border around the outside of the headlight.

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The bonnet keeps its power bulge and intercooler scoop, but the production car picks up regular circular fog lights housed within smaller flanks. A thinner, lower air intake compared with the concept rounds out the frontal changes that present a distinctly different look to current Impreza models.

Doors and mirrors on the production Subaru WRX appear to be shared with the Impreza, including picking up a ‘quarter window’. The wheelarches and rear haunches also appear to be substantially toned down compared with the WRX Concept.

2014 Subaru WRX 6

As with both the current WRX and the WRX Concept, however, the new model bound for production gets unique scooped-out ‘air intakes’ on the front guards.

To the rear of the car, the lower diffuser appears all-but-identical to that shown on the WRX Concept, with quad tailpipes and an oversized rear wing continuing as WRX trademarks. The rear surfacing, however, appears to closely resemble that of the current Impreza more than the WRX Concept.

2014 Subaru WRX 9

Only the tail-lights have different inner bezels, with the horizontal blinker light moving from a lower position in the tail-light to a central position. The adjoining reversing light then appears to dip down slightly to create half of a ‘T’ shape within the tail-light.

The production prototype seen lapping the Nurburgring confirms the comments made by Subaru of America president Tom Doll, who spoke to CarAdvice at the New York auto show last month following the reveal of the WRX Concept.

2014 Subaru WRX Nurburgring - 2

“We are trying to split the WRX and STI brands off and away from the Impreza to try and get their own unique styling and own unique attributes,” Doll remarked.

“They may share some [panels] but we’re trying to create – as you can see with the car here – its own style and its own definition, as opposed to just taking it [WRX] from the Impreza model and saying it’s based on the Impreza.”

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Doll also all but confirmed the inclusion of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and the availability of both a manual transmission and CVT with this next generation WRX.

“I think you can probably guess that with the 2.0-litres that are currently in the Impreza that a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is coming … It will have a manual transmission [and] we might [also] have a CVT in it, with paddleshifting.”

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Despite Subaru saying that it expects this new WRX to be its fastest-ever production model, Doll also added that the new car will be firmer, and will “drive and handle like a BRZ”.

This unexpected sighting of the production-ready 2014 Subaru WRX has substantially increased the chance that the road-ready version will debut at the Tokyo motor show in November. Doll described that scenario as “possible”.

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