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Subaru America gives world first glimpse of new WRX

New-generation Subaru WRX due here early 2022 following August reveal in US

28 Jul 2021

SUBARU America has once again teased the world, this time with a global-first snippet of the new-generation WRX as the countdown begins to the performance sedan’s official reveal at the New York International Auto Show.


Although it’s due to be unveiled on August 19, the new WRX isn’t expected to land Down Under until early next year with the delay attributed to the global microchip shortage.


Subaru America this week launched a dedicated WRX landing page on its website with a countdown and 45-second teaser video.


The clip actually reveals very little about the car – not unexpectedly – with the audience only ever catching snippets of the all-paw rally icon up close, although there are plenty of panning longshots filmed both from ground level and the air.


In keeping with its rally heritage, the WRX’s teaser clip was shot on a dried-up lake bed, ensuring plenty of dynamic-looking and, more importantly, camouflaging dust was stirred up.


From the few titbits of close-up footage, we can see the new WRX will debut a new orange and black hero colour scheme not dissimilar to the one seen on the third-generation Club Specs.


As predicted by the dozens of renderings and apparent spy shots that have been circulating for more than six months, the new look has taken on a sleeker design compared to the current version with the roofline sweeping down more gently to the boot.


Purists may lament the omission of a lairy rear wing or even anything more than the subtle lip spoiler shown in the clip, however generously proportioned exhaust tips can clearly be seen below the rear bumper – we expect there to be a matching set on the other side.


Whereas the current model has body-coloured side skirts and wheel arches, the new WRX looks to be going down a more contrasting route with black side skirts, wheelarches and lower section of the rear bumper.


Whether or not these turn out to be SUV-style cladding or imitation carbon remains to be seen, but it should help to instil a new level of muscularity to the overall package, especially in conjunction with the black wheels.


Rumours have been swirling for almost a year now as to what will be powering the fifth-gen ‘Rex’ and what the final kilowatt count will be.


The most likely candidate is a turbocharged version of the new BRZ’s 2.4-litre flat four-banger, tipped by some outlets to develop around 215kW.


Whatever the final figure ends up being, it’s a safe bet that it’ll be more than the current model’s 197kW/350Nm 2.0-litre while the new mill should also be more efficient.


Drive will undoubtedly be channelled to all four wheels, by either a six-speed manual or continuously-variable transmission depending on customer preference.


According to Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley, there has already been “huge” local interest in the new WRX despite the fact it’s still more than six months away.


“WRX has long been a magnet for Subaru fans and performance enthusiasts generally,” he said.


It could be a WRX double delight for local Subaru fans when the new version does finally arrive Down Under with Mr Rowley having previously hinted at the return of a five-door version in the near future.


At the launch of the sixth-gen Outback earlier this year, it was revealed the Levorg wagon would be morphing “into something slightly different in our market” compared to the Japanese versions.


“What you see in Japan at the moment cosmetically will give you some clues, what you see in Japan in terms of specification varies quite considerably from what we will get here,” Mr Rowley told GoAuto at the time.


“I would perhaps refer to it as a ‘turbocharged performance wagon’, not necessarily as ‘Levorg’.”


He had nothing more to add when quizzed on the topic again this week, telling us Subaru Australia hoped “to have some news on the Levorg replacement in the not too distant future”. 


“It’ll be worth the wait!” he said.

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