Fans of fast four-doors will be wringing their hands in anticipation of the 2018 WRX range, and ahead of next week's Detroit Auto Show Subaru has revealed the mid-cycle changes to its iconic all wheel drive performance flagship.
Preliminary info centres on specifications for the North American market, though for the most part changes to the new model should be fairly similar around the globe.
Under the bonnet power outputs for both models are unchanged - which for the Australian market means 197kW and 350Nm from the 2.0 litre turbocharged flat-four WRX and 221kW and 407Nm for the turbocharged 2.5 litre WRX STI
The most obvious external change is a new front bumper design, featuring a larger lower intake and topped by a new hexagonal design that echoes the styling direction set by the recently introduced Impreza.
Redesigned LED headlights and new 18-inch alloy wheels on the WRX and, for the first time, 19-inch alloy wheels on the WRX STI round out the exterior changes
Subaru has also tweaked the suspension of both models to deliver a flatter, more comfortable ride. The steering has also been fettled, including a new lighter integrated motor and control unit for a smoother steering feel.
WRX models come with red painted brake calipers and upgraded Jurid brake pads, while the WRX STI wears massive six-piston Brembo calipers up front, with two piston calipers at the rear, finished in unmistakable yellow paint, clamping down on four-wheel drilled rotors.
Changes to the six-speed manual transmission extend to a new synchro design for reduced friction, improved gear shift feel, and a smoother clutch take up. WRX STI variants also features a revised version of Subaru’s Driver Control Centre Differential (DCCD) with full electronic control for reduced response times.
On the safety front, Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH) replaces Hill Hold and Hill Start Assist functions and can keep the vehicle stationary on all road types, not just inclines, including traffic lights. Eyesight Assist Monitor on the WRX displays Eyesight status warnings in the windscreen, while Steering Responsive Headlights react to steering inputs for a wider spread of light during night driving.
Australian timing for the updated WRX and WRX STI is yet to be confirmed by Subaru, with details of the local market updates to be confirmed closer to launch.
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