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Subaru Australia has launched two new turbo twins to Australia’s motoring press today, which will be followed by a hard core track session at the fast-paced Phillip Island circuit, tomorrow.

I can’t say that I’ve been a huge fan of the current hatch version of the stock WRX, so the introduction of a four-door sedan and hatch with STI style wide body and four exhaust pipes is especially appealing to me, and to no doubt thousands of other REX fans around the globe.

The overall look of the previous WRX seemed to lack that ever so important ‘tough’ stance that most previous models possessed, although the outgoing STI, with its wider guards and four-pipe set-up, was exactly what the doctor ordered and suitably upheld the STI badge of honour.

Subaru bosses have listened well to the concerns of enthusiasts worldwide. While the hatch body WRX and WRX STI will still be available albeit in wide body guise, in comes two aggressive wide body sedans, each with four pipes and host of other improvements, including a wider track and tyre width for the stock WRX model.

Other new features worth noting for the WRX, are new lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels with gunmetal grey finish, new bumpers, rear suspension upgrades and Bluetooth wireless compatibility.

The all-new STI gets a raft of improvements beyond the wide body sedan, including; an automatic option – with STI-tuned five-speed paddle shift; A-line engine for auto – calibrated for sports performance; large aerodynamic rear spoiler on sedan; new bumpers and grille for a sportier look; revised suspension for better cornering performance, handling and stability; lowered by 5mm for a more aggressive stance; new stainless steel exhaust tips unique to the STI; new wheels – standard lighter ENKEI 18-inch alloys; new finish on BBS 18-inch alloys on STI Spec.R; darker look instrument panel and door trim; Bluetooth-enabled audio system and USB port in centre console for non sat-nav cars.

That’s not the half of it either. When you drill further down into the detail of the changes to the new cars, it gets even better for anyone considering one of these performance icons, and that’s before I tell you the price, which will only serve to makes these cars even more enticing.

For example, the sedans feature a rear diffuser with an integrated fog light, and all variants have more detailed gauge scales with a sweep function when the driver turns on the ignition.

The front and rear track on the WRX has been widened by 35 mm and 40 mm respectively, and tyres are 10 mm wider for better all round stability.

High-speed road holding has been improved too with new rear suspension sub-frame bushings, which serve to optimise toe and camber rigidity.

Brakes have also been upgraded on the WRX to 16-inch front calipers and pad return springs for quicker response.

With the STI version, the changes are even more pronounced. You can’t miss the trademark large aerodynamic rear spoiler.

The new lightweight 18-inch ENKEI alloys are standard kit on all WRX STI variants and are finished with a high-lustre look. They also save a total of 7.2 kilograms when combined.

Bluetooth wireless compatibility has been added to the standard audio as well as steering wheel-mounted controls for convenience and safety.

The STI automatic versions are powered by the Japanese domestic A-Line engine, which produces 221 kilowatts at 6200 rpm and 350 Newton-metres of torque between 3000-6000 rpm, so a reasonably wide torque band is on offer.

Although optional, the five-speed paddle shift transmission is said to be the fastest of any car in Subaru’s line-up. It allows “blipping” for quick downshifts into corners and a temporary manual mode can be used even when “D” for drive has been selected.

MANUAL GEAR RATIOS:

WRX STI manual WRX STI auto
First 3.636 3.540
Second 2.235 2.264
Third 1.590 1.471
Fourth 1.137 1.000
Fifth 0.891 0.834
Sixth 0.707
Reverse 3.545 2.370
Final reduction 3.900 3.583

The centre differential has been set-up with a 45:55 front/rear torque distribution, which is continuously variable for different driving conditions and optimum balance.

Suspension on board the STI variants has been completely revised, with the ride height lowered by 5mm for even better handling.

There’s a new aluminium lower control arm added to the front suspension, with new pillow-ball type rear bushes to improve toe and tread rigidity as well as sharper steering response.

Bushing has also been changed on the rear suspension for improved toe and camber rigidity, while providing better response rates and road holding ability.

Front and rear dampers have been specially tuned for less rebound and changes to front and rear springs and stabiliser bars have substantially reduced body roll.

Spring rates have actually been increased by 15.6 percent at the front and a whopping 53 percent at the rear.

Subaru’s SI-Drive is retained on the WRX STI variants and offers three different driving modes; Intelligent – for smooth power output for low speed conditions or highway driving; Sport, which is the default mode and ideal for routine everyday driving chores; Sport #, for a sharper driving experience providing highly responsive engine and throttle control.

MY11 WRX PRICING

*Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Limited’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorised Subaru dealer.

WRX sedan and hatch $39,990

WRX sedan and hatch with SatNav, leather trim and sunroof $43,990

MY11 WRX HIGHLIGHTS

  • Widebody sedan and hatch design – new front bumper and grille, WRX badges
  • New STI exhaust system – four tailpipes
  • New lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels with gun metal grey finish
  • New bumpers
  • Wider front and rear track
  • Wider tyres
  • Rear suspension upgraded – sharper, more aggressive handling
  • Bluetooth wireless technology compatibility
  • WRX entry-level pricing maintained – simple choice between hatch or sedan
  • WRX option with SatNav, leather trim and sunroof $1000 less than superseded equivalent model

WRX STI MY11 PRICING

*Prices are Subaru (Aust) Pty Limited’s Manufacturer’s List Prices only and include GST on the list price but exclude dealer delivery charges and all other government and statutory charges. For the drive away price of Subaru vehicles consumers should be advised to contact their local authorised Subaru dealer.

WRX STI manual hatch $59,990
WRX STI auto hatch $59,990

WRX STI manual sedan $59,990
WRX STI auto sedan $59,990

WRX STI spec.R manual hatch SatNav $65,990
WRX STI spec.R manual hatch SatNav with Recaro seats $66,990

WRX STI spec.R auto hatch SatNav $65,990
WRX STI spec.R auto hatch SatNav with Recaro seats $66,990

WRX STI spec.R manual sedan SatNav $65,990
WRX STI spec.R manual sedan SatNav with Recaro $66,990

WRX STI spec.R auto sedan SatNav $65,990
WRX STI spec.R sedan SatNav with Recaro $66,990

MY11 WRX STI HIGHLIGHTS

EXTERIOR

  • Aerodynamic flared front and rear guards – zero lift design
  • Colour-coded electronically folding wing-mirrors with integrated indicators
  • Dunlop SP 600 tyres
  • Quad exhaust system
  • Rear wing and diffuser to optimize road holding
  • Front and rear bumpers and grille unique to model
  • Xenon low beam headlights with pop-out power jet washers
  • 18-inch alloy wheels

INTERIOR

  • Large cabin, short and light body
  • Optimum NVH
  • STI front door sill panel
  • STI instruments

ENGINEERING

  • 2.5 litre DOHC turbocharged engine. A-line engine for auto – ideally set-up for sport performance
  • Dual Active Valve Control System (AVCS), ensures optimum power and torque output
  • Manual engine meets Euro STEP5 emission standard; auto STEP4
  • Newly developed double wishbone rear suspension ensures optimum drivability
  • Framed doors for enhanced safety and NVH
  • Multi-mode Drive Control Centre Differential – manual only
  • SI-Drive
  • Multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control
  • STI close ratio six-speed manual gearbox
  • Body stiffened at strategic points to aid rigidity and performance
  • Braked towing capacity of 1200 kg
  • Light front suspension – improved steering response and cornering, reduced NVH
  • Double wishbone rear suspension – sharper handling, less cargo area intrusion

SAFETY

  • Vehicle Dynamics Control across the range
  • ANCAP five-star crashworthiness rating for occupant safety; four-star pedestrian rating
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • Ring-shaped reinforcements around the cabin
  • Hill Start Assist



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