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Fourth-generation Subaru WRX sedan stays true to its rally-bred roots

28 Mar 2014

THE automotive landscape has changed a great deal over the past two decades, but Subaru’s essential formula for its WRX hero – now on-sale in its fourth-generation – has not.

This latest version perhaps retains fewer stylistic links to the Impreza that spawns it, but underneath remains a rally-bred all-wheel-drive system fed by a punchy turbocharged Boxer engine.

Of course, some things are different, most notably the engine that has been reduced from its old 2.5-litre capacity to 2.0-litres, but gained a few kilowatts, and the new CVT (gasp!) automatic transmission option that Subaru will use to net a new sort of buyer.

Don’t worry, a six-speed manual gearbox remains, and for the purist, it is of course the pick of the bunch.

Perhaps even more interestingly, Subaru has also axed the hatch body-style, meaning you can have your WRX with four doors and a boot, or not at all.

The question is, even with a sharper-than-ever starting price of $38,990 plus on-roads, does the latest version of the car fondly called ‘Rex’ have what it takes to put a cluster of hot rivals such as the Golf GTI, Octavia RS and Focus ST in their place?

Let’s find out...

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Model release date: 1 March 2014 to 1 July 2015

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