Subaru has already shown the chiselled new look expected for the next generation Impreza range in a pair of concepts shown earlier this year, but the Impreza’s faster stablemate, the WRX is still yet to surface.
But some hints of what to expect are starting to surface. Like so many other manufacturers, Subaru will make the move to a modular platform, the Subaru Global Platform (SGP).
To meet the ever-tightening restrictions on emissions in markets like Europe and the USA, the high performance Subaru will continue with a turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine under the bonnet, but will benefit from an electric push as well.
All-wheel-drive will remain as one of the brand’s hallmarks, but, for the next generation of WRX STI, an electric motor will propel the rear axle.
Meanwhile, up front the current boxer four will be swapped for a version of the smaller 2.0 litre FA20 engine, taking the place of the 2.5-litre mill used in the US and Australia.
Combined power output for the system is expected to be around 240kW in the WRX STI, a 19kW boost over the current engine, while fuel consumption is targeted at 6.5 l/100km.
Also new for the Subaru range, the WRX will debut Subaru’s first dual-clutch transmission - a six-speed unit, expected to make its way into more of the maker's high-output models in place of the current Lineartronic CVT.
That’s not all though - once the dust has settled from the hybrid WRX STI strom, Subaru will fire another arrow at the hearts of purists by adding a plug-in hybrid version of the WRX STI. This model is expected to be capable of doing most of its urban running on electric power alone, with both petrol and electric power sources chipping in for ultimate performance.
Expect the new WRX range, including the hybrid STI to emerge during 2017 to be followed in 2018 by the plug-in version.