Subaru has a new rally-bred hero.
The 2022 Subaru WRX has been officially revealed, and the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Subaru has confirmed the WRX is likely to arrive in Australian showrooms during the second quarter of 2022 – a delay on the late 2021, or early 2022 launch dates signposted previously.
Power comes from a turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine, but it’s a 2.4-litre unit massaged to make 202kW at 5600rpm – up 400cc and 5kW on the current model. It’s not a big increase, but it’s an increase nonetheless.
Peak torque remains unchanged at 350Nm, but it comes on song between 2000 and 5200rpm, which means it’s available 400rpm earlier and hangs around 200rpm longer.
Subaru says the bigger displacement combined with a new turbo packing an electronically-controlled wastegate and air bypass valves to deliver more mid-range performance with less turbo lag.
The CVT automatic option remains, as does the six-speed manual. The CVT has eight pre-programmed steps for drivers keen to mimic a traditional auto using the paddles behind the wheel, and is capable of faster ‘downshifts’ than before.
Power is sent to all four wheels through a traditional Subaru all-wheel drive system, backed by an active torque vectoring system.
Drivers will be able to pick from a range of drive modes, and high-end GT models will pack an electrically-controlled adaptive suspension.
Regardless of model, the suspension has a longer stroke for 2022, designed to allow the WRX to breathe better with the road on rough surfaces. The car is also built on a stiffer platform than its predecessor.
Subaru says the suspension mounting points are 75 per cent stiffer than before, and the chassis has 28 per cent better torsional stiffness.
A choice of 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels will be offered.
Inside, the WRX follows the Outback in offering a vertically-oriented 11.6-inch infotainment system with factory satellite navigation, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Top shelf models come with an 11-speaker Harmon Kardon sound system with a 504W amplifier.
Standard equipment in the WRX with a CVT includes autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The new WRX is built on the Subaru Global Platform, which underpins all of the company’s new models, except for the BRZ.
As we’ve reportedly previously, the new WRX and Levorg are very closely related. Externally, all the sheet metal forward of the B-pillar is shared, with the WRX distinguished by more aggressive bumpers and plastic wheel arch protectors.
Inside, the WRX cabin seems to come straight from the Levorg, although there are differences in trim and colour choices.
Subaru is about to embark on a substantial overhaul of its performance range, with the new BRZ due before the end of 2022.
The new WRX and a more performance-focused Levorg are set to arrive in early 2022.
MORE: Everything Subaru WRX