The new-generation Subaru WRX will reach Australia in less than six months’ time and be followed soon after by its hardcore WRX STI sibling.
Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior confirmed the all-new fourth-generation WRX would land in local showrooms in March, around two months ahead of the flagship STI that’s due in the second quarter of 2014.
The latest instalment of the Japanese manufacturer’s iconic all-wheel-drive sports car is set to be a scaled-down version of the Subaru WRX concept (below) that debuted at the New York auto show in March.
Set to be revealed at next month’s Los Angeles auto show, the production car will be available exclusively as a sedan, as the brand aims to further distance the WRX from the Impreza small-car line on which it has been based since the first-generation WRX launched in 1992.
Subaru expects the WRX’s new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine to make it quicker than the outgoing 2.5-litre turbo model, which accelerates from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds. The new model will be available with a manual transmission and (while not yet officially confirmed) an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddleshifters.
While pricing is still to be finalised, Senior all but confirmed a price rise for the new-generation WRX, admitting retaining the current model’s $39,990 price tag was “going to be a challenge”.
“We’ve got to be realistic, it’s going to be the biggest change in the WRX’s history, so we’ve got to be mindful of what we’ve done, what we’ve improved,” he said.
“There’ll be a lot of additional equipment, a lot of improvements, a lot of technology, so there is a bit of change around pricing, but we’ve got a bit of time to work it out.”
Though he would not be drawn on specifics, Senior suggested the story would be similar with the new WRX STI, which looks set to ask more of customers than its $59,990 predecessor.
“I’m not going to talk pricing other than to say it’s challenging, but as always we will demonstrate good value for money.”
Spy shots of the Subaru WRX testing at the Nurburgring in April gave us our clearest look yet at the final form of the new model.
All is set to be revealed in around seven weeks’ time when the covers come off the WRX in Los Angeles on November 22.