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Subaru launches WRX Special Edition

Bantamweight punch: Subaru’s first horizontally opposed or 'boxer' engine was launched in its 1000 sedan 50 years ago.

Special Edition celebrates 50,000 Subaru WRX sales and 50 years of boxer engines

12 May 2016

SUBARU'S 50,000th Australian WRX sale has coincided with the 50th anniversary of its trademark boxer engine, prompting the Japanese car-maker to celebrate the landmark delivery with a WRX Special Edition exclusively for Australia.

Just 200 of the cars are up for grabs for $2000 over the standard WRX Premium price, taking the manual price to $46,890, but Subaru advises fans to get in quick with most of the stock already spoken for.

“There's always such a healthy demand for WRX special editions,” said Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley.

The Special Edition can be ordered in a choice of Crystal White, Ice Silver, World Rally Blue, Dark Grey or Crystal Black paint schemes, all matched with BBS 18-inch rims in stealthy black.

The Special Edition's leather seats have red accents to match the red stitching. Door trims and gear knob are lifted from the STI performance flagship, while red stitching and a matching pinstripe on the sun visors and air-vents complete the customisation.

Standard equipment includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, Harmon Kardon eight-speaker sound system, keyless entry and start, sunroof, LED headlights and reversing camera.

The limited-edition cars are mechanically identical to the regular WRX, with an all-paw drivetrain fed by the 2.0-litre turbocharged horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine and a choice of either six-speed manual gearbox or continuously variable transmission (CVT).

With 197kW and 350Nm of torque, Subaru's signature boxer engine has come a long way since it debuted in the 1966 Subaru 1000 coupe and sedan with less than a quarter of the WRX's output and 41kW.

Today, every Subaru is powered by a boxer engine in either four- or six-cylinder configuration and is so-called because of the motion of its pistons, which resemble the movement of a boxer's gloves.

While only a handful of other manufacturers have toyed with boxer engines, Subaru has stuck with the unorthodox layout for half a century for its inherent balance, smoothness, compact construction and low centre of gravity, it says.

Porsche is the only other car-maker to currently use a horizontally opposed engine, with its flat-six 911 and four-cylinder Boxster/Cayman sportscar pair. Boxster takes its name from a hybrid of the words boxer and roadster.

Subaru’s company's first boxer-engined car was a front-wheel drive, but very model in the current line-up is either four-wheel drive or rear-drive, as in the case of its BRZ sportscar. Earlier this year, Subaru celebrated another milestone, when it produced the 15 millionth all-paw model.

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