Bigger engine, wider powerband.
After two teasers and much anticipation, Subaru has finally pulled the wraps off the 2022 WRX. The fifth generation of the iconic rally-bred sport sedan ditches the 2.0-liter turbo boxer in favor of a new 2.4-liter turbo boxer engine. Needless to say, it makes more power but only marginally. It makes 271 hp compared to 268 hp in the outgoing model, torque numbers, however, carry over as is at 258 lb-ft but promises a much wider powerband compared to the 2.0-liter motor.
A six-speed manual transmission comes standard with the WRX. Subaru will also offer the WRX with a CVT gearbox and has chosen to call its automatic gearbox the Subaru Performance Transmission or SPT for short. Being a CVT it will have eight virtual gears dialed in but claims to offer upshifts that are 30 percent faster and 50 percent faster downshifts and also includes rev-matching under braking, a feature that isn’t available with the manual transmission.
The new WRX is built on Subaru’s new Subaru Global Platform and offers 25 percent more torsional rigidity and suspension mounting points that are stiffer by 75 percent. It also features a new rear stabilizer bar mounted directly to the body and not to the subframe to decrease body roll in the corners. Lastly, it will also come with a dual-pinion electric power steering system for better steering response and feel.
The styling of the WRX is evolutionary rather than a stark departure from the one it replaces. A massive snout sits atop the hood as is the case with all WRXs. The front features sleeker headlights and flared wheel arches as part of a widebody design and you will not mistake the WRX for anything else. Air outlets on the front fenders help negate front-end lift while a similar setup at the rear helps negate sway. At the rear, the taillights will remind you of the new BRZ while the sculpted tailgate and rear diffuser look purposeful. The overall shape or essence of the WRX carries over but it does now come with rally-style cladding all around.
Inside, you will find a similar flat-bottomed Subaru steering wheel finished in black leather with contrasting red stitching. A new 11.6-inch tablet-style infotainment screen now takes center stage. It offers a unique split capability to show navigation and audio at the same time. Subaru has also retained physical controls for the HVAC and the volume controls but unfortunately, this configuration is available in the US only. In Canada, the HVAC and volume are screen operated only. Subaru has also introduced a new GT trim to the WRX lineup but it will be available in the US only.
It comes with Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede and GT-specific 18-inch wheels finished in matte gray. It also features a new Drive Mode Selector which allows you to configure steering feel, throttle response, and transmission settings according to your preference. Additionally, it also comes with electronically controlled dampers which combined with the aforementioned setup provides 430 different configurations.
SEE ALSO: 2019 Subaru WRX Raiu Review
In Canada, the WRX will be available in four trims, the base WRX, Sport, Sport with EyeSight, and Sport-Tech. While the Sport and Sport with EyeSight will come with cloth seats, the Sport-tech will feature Ultrasuede upholstery. The entry-level WRX will come with a 7.0-inch screen while the 11.6-inch one will be available with Sport trim onwards. Both screens will offer split viewing functionality and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The GT trim or its equivalent will not be made available in Canada, so there will be no electronically controlled dampers, Recaro bucket seats or an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat available north of the border.
As for driver assistance features, the EyeSight Driver Assistance suite is standard with all WRX trims with the SPT transmission and includes Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, pre-collision braking, and lane-keep assist. Other driver assists like blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist and the new Emergency Automatic Steering are all reserved for higher trims only.
The 2022 Subaru WRX will hit the dealerships probably in early 2022 and will command a slight premium over the current price.
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