Subaru’s new WRX S4 sedan, teased via a shadowy silhouette this time last month, has made its Japanese market debut this week.
There’s little about the S4’s exterior that will surprise - apart, perhaps, from the Levorg wagon’s 18-inch wheels and small body-kit tweaks - but it’s what you’ll find under the skin that counts with this new model.
Driving the S4 is a souped-up version of Subaru’s direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0 litre FA boxer, which first appeared here in the Forester XT with an already decent 177kW and 350Nm.
But, for this Japan-only and CVT-only WRX S4, Subaru has turned outputs up to 221kW at 5600rpm and 400Nm between 2000-4800rpm.
Yes, you’ll remember those figures from the turbo FA engine’s application in the Levorg, also a Japan-only model. (For now, at least… - Ed.)
Those figures compare favourably to Australia’s WRX, where the same engine offers 197kW at 5600rpm and 350Nm between 2400-5200rpm.
In fact, the 2.0 litre S4’s outputs are just-about a match for our local STI hero, which offers 221kW at 6000rpm and 407Nm from 4000rpm via its EJ25 2.5 litre turbo boxer.
Meanwhile, Japan’s WRX STI is driven again by port-injected 2.0 litre turbo unit, turning out 227kW at 6400rpm and 422Nm at 4400rpm.
That can be filed under ‘to be expected’, of course, with the previous generation of WRX STI models following a largely identical split: a 227kW/422Nm 2.0 litre unit in Japan and 221kW/407Nm 2.5 litre mill for Australia.
Once again, we shouldn’t expect anything about the Australian arrangement - which is more-or-less the same as other western markets - to change anytime soon.
And that’s A-ok with us, with Australia’s new WRX and WRX STI proving plenty impressive as it is.