The 2022 Subaru WRX Has Arrived, and Yes, It Still Has a Manual Transmission
And unlike the 2022 BRZ, it's actually all-new.
In case you'd forgotten about it amongst all the other chaos and news of recent years, the WRX is Subaru's rally-inspired sports sedan. It's a car we thirsted over in high school, and one of the influential cars that made us love cars. It's also very long in the teeth.
Well, until now — as Subaru has just unveiled the all-new 2022 WRX. It isn't a dramatic departure visually (though the sight of a WRX that isn't festooned with aftermarket mods and JDM stickers can be jarring.) But unlike many combustion performance cars biding their time until being phased out, the WRX is legitimately all-new.
Here's what you need to know about the 2022 Subaru WRX.
Unlike the new BRZ, the WRX will join cars like the Outback and Forester on the Subaru Global Platform. The new platform is much stiffer and offers a lower center of gravity, leading to improved handling, ride quality and crash protection.
Subaru also replaced the previous base engine with a turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer engine putting out 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The larger displacement from the previous 2.0-liter should provide a broader torque curve.
All WRX models will feature Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system.
As expected, Subaru has kept the six-speed manual for the WRX. The conundrum for keeping the manual was that it isn't compatible with Subaru's Eyesight safety technology available on the new global platform. Subaru resolved that by...not offering Eyesight on manual versions.
The other option is what Subaru is calling the "Subaru Performance Transmission," which is basically an improved and sport-tuned version of Subaru's CVT — not an enthusiast favorite. (Subaru swears it's good, though.) That transmission offers an eight-speed faux manual mode with paddle shifters, however.
Subaru wants to make WRX enthusiasts think twice about getting the CVT. One sweetener is a new high-performance GT trim. It offers electronically controlled dampers and a drive mode selector, which can customize the driving profile up to 430 different ways. The GT trim also offers Recaro seats and special 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires.
The catch? The GT model will only be offered with the CVT.
Subaru says the new WRX will arrive at dealers in early 2022 as a 2022 model year vehicle. There's no word yet on pricing.
Expect Subaru to reveal a racier STI version of the new WRX sometime soon. Rumors suggest the new STI model could be manual-only and pack up to 400 hp. However, note that rumors shot about 30 hp too high with the base model, so don't be surprised if the 2023 WRX STI makes closer to 370 ponies.
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