Malcolm Flynn | Aug 27, 2012

These recent spy photos show what looks to be a development mule for the next-generation Subaru WRX, though not as obviously as you might think.

With no more differentiation from the regular Impreza sedan than a bonnet scoop, quad exhausts, current WRX wheels and a subtle lip-spoiler, this would have passed as standard WRX fare just a few years ago.

However, previous reports have confirmed that the next generation WRX will be clearly differentiated from the Impreza range.

The cobbled together bonnet scoop and exhaust outlets are visual clues that this mule is not representative of the final model’s appearance.

The disguise reveals that Subaru is keeping the new model’s styling close to its chest, making the new model all the more tantalising for WRX fans.

2014 subaru wrx spy photos 05

A turbocharged version of the FA 2.0 litre boxer engine found in the BRZ/Toyota 86 twins is expected, but with a Subaru-specific direct injection system (unlike BRZ/86’s Toyota system).

The move from the current model’s 2.5 litre displacement is being driven by fuel economy and efficiency demands.

Outputs will be easily maintained at or above the current model’s 195kW/343Nm by combining the direct injection with more modern turbo technology.

The gear selector pictured in this mule suggests that the new model will use a six-speed manual transmission for the first time, with the extra ratio currently exclusive to STi models.

A launch date for the new model remains unconfirmed, though late 2013 or early 2014 is expected.

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