2014 SUBARU WRX
There's little left to know about the new sports car however; leaked images and details have given up many of the WRX's key details over the past week.
As reported here earlier, the new WRX is driven by a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0 litre four-cylinder boxer engine, producing 199kW (at 5600rpm) and 349Nm of torque (2000-5200rpm).
A six-speed manual transmission is standard - replacing the five-speed shifter in the old model - offering wider gear ratios to keep engine speeds lower.
Buyers opting for an auto will get a CVT unit rather than a dual-clutch or conventional single-clutch system, but eight programmed and paddle-shifted 'gears' will offer a faux-manual experience.
The new WRX is again an all-wheeel-drive affair, although there is now two different systems depending on the transmission choice.
In manual form, Subaru's permanent symmetrical all-wheel-drive remains the key feature, with a viscous coupling locking centre differential distributing torque 50:50 front to rear.
There is however a new torque-vectoring system, delivering improvements to handling and cornering speeds.
Go for the auto model and there's a new system with variable torque distribution, with a rear-biased 45:55 ratio.
A planetary gear-type center differential and an electronically controlled hydraulic transfer clutch control torque distribution between the front and rear wheels.
Subaru says the system continually tweaks torque distribution based on steering wheel angle, yaw and lateral g-force sensors.
The new WRX also benefits from a stiffer chassis, thanks largely to greater use of high-tensile strength steel and special stiffening elements throughout the body.
Suspension is by MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone arrangement at the rear, and there's thick stabiliser bars at both ends. A new electric power steering system is also featured.
There's 17-inch alloy wheels as standard - wrapped in 235/45 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tyres. Subaru has not described a larger wheel option.
The new WRX measures 4595mm long, 1795mm wide and 1465mm tall, riding on a 2650mm wheelbase. The base of the A-pillar has also been extended forward 200mm.
Inside, the 2014 WRX promises a significant leap in fit and material quality, building on the improvements made with the new Impreza range.
Subaru promises a more spacious cabin, with rear passengers picking up an extra 50mm of leg room.
Boot space has grown (numbers not offered however), and there's a wide load-through space with 60:40 split-folding rear seats.
Features will include a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with tilt and reach adjustability, sports seats, automatic climate control, two LCD display screens, satellite navigation, Bluetooth/USB/iPhone connectivity, and Harmon Kardon audio with nine speakers.
The new WRX will make its Australian debut in March, with pricing and specs to be confirmed closer to launch.
"I have driven the new car and I am confident it will not disappoint fans. I won't go into details today, but I also know that the changes and features in the new model will also win over new buyers," Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior told TMR in October.
"We don't want to 'dumb down' its performance edge. It will impress the fans."
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