The Subaru WRX, ever since its introduction to U.S. buyers for 2001, has stood at the forefront of AWD performance and sharp handling. While Subaru has continued to modernize its advanced Symmetrical AWD system for WRX performance applications, the car it's applied to has grown increasingly bloated and average-looking over the last decade or so.
The Impreza it's based upon has become more mainstream, leaving the WRX to patiently wait for the true hardcore visual flair that made the first variations so appealing.
[See: Entire 2013 Subaru Model Lineup]
All that is changing next year (2014). Debuting in concept form at the 2013 New York Auto show, the next-gen WRX is lower, wider and much sleeker, with the return of prominent blocky fender flares to hint at the AWD performance and ultra-wide 20-inch, 245-section tries to keep it glued to the tarmac. The roof is fashioned entirely from carbon fiber for a lower center of gravity. And gone is the picnic-table rear spoiler, replaced by a subtle upward-sloping lip spoiler that gives the WRX Concept a more grown-up look.
The wide-open hexagonal grille and massive air intakes provide cooling for what promises to be “a new turbocharged engine and intercooler”, which we assume will be based on the BRZ's FA20 2.0-liter Boxer four-cylinder, making around 280 horsepower with the addition of a turbocharger. Persistent rumors point to a new electric turbo, a technology also in the works from BMW. With quad exhaust outlets and a ground-hugging stance, the new WRX is all business, and a huge leap forward for a Subaru design department that had lost its way before the introduction of the hot new rear-wheel drive 2013 BRZ.
The production 2015 WRX will be revealed later in the 2014 auto show season, most likely at Los Angeles in November, and is expected to go on sale in time for the holidays at the end of 2014. It will once again be available in WRX and WRX STI variants, with the latter receiving more power, an improved AWD system and extra performance equipment.
Pricing should start at around $27,500 for a base WRX and $37,500 for the STI.