After a week or two of pictures and information being leaked on the internet, the new generation WRX has broken cover today at the Los Angeles Auto Show, featuring a new engine, technology and styling.

While details for the Australian-spec WRX are yet to be confirmed, the US-specification car on display in LA has a new turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder horizontally-opposed direct-injection Boxer engine, offering, says Subaru, “improved performance and lower emissions”. The new 2.0L DIT engine, which supersedes the larger capacity 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged Boxer that’s been powering the WRX for some time, is more powerful, offering 199kW at 5600rpm and 349Nm of torque from 2000 – 5200rpm.

This engine is mated to either a six-speed manual (the first time a manual has been offered with the DIT engine), the WRX has only ever had a five-speed manual transmission, or a Sport Lineartronic CVT (with eight-speed shift mode) which Subaru says is sportier than conventional CVTs. Subaru says the manual transmission features a widened gear set to keep engine revs lower and improve fuel efficiency.

Since the release of the current Impreza, XV, and Forester, Subaru’s engineers have proved they know what it takes to produce vehicles that can ‘handle’ and, now the company says the WRX will be even more impressive.

New WRX revealed at LA Motor Show

“Stiffening both body and suspension, while optimizing suspension geometry, has both quickened steering response and raised the cornering limit. In addition, Multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and Active Torque Vectoring are added for even more predictable and enjoyable driving.

“Many hours of in-depth suspension tuning has produced a flat yet comfortable ride.

“Electric power steering, together with more rigid steering gearbox mounts, helps improve fuel efficiency while producing a more direct steering feel,” Subaru says.

So, the looks. Subaru’s designers have since the first WRX appeared in 1992 been a bit hit and miss with the thing’s look. This new one certainly looks more muscular than its predecessor and it benefits from improvements made to the current-generation Impreza by being roomier inside. The wheelbase is enlarged by 25 mm, expanding rear leg room. This gives new WRX more elbow and shoulder-room, without changing the total body width. As with the Impreza, the bottom end of the A-pillar has been pushed 200mm towards the front, and the wing mirrors mounted on the door panels. A new quarter window has been added and the dashboard and door window sills are lower.

Front and rear door opening dimensions are enlarged, making entry and exit much easier. Boot space is expanded and made easier to use via fold-down rear seats, with a large opening and 60:40 split.

For the first time, WRX gets a D-shaped steering wheel while a silver ring engraved with the letters “WRX” rests around the shift lever on manual models. Elsewhere around the cabin, Subaru’s motor trimmers have added carbon trim panels and metal trim accents. The gauges offer a dual dial layout with horizontal needles, 3.5-inch full colour liquid crystal display and aluminum rings. The new WRX, like the Ford Focus RS also features that most useless of things for daily driving, a turbo boost pressure display screen. Hmmm.

There’s no word yet on pricing or arrival time in Australia, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.


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