The latest generation of the Subaru Impreza debuted back in early 2011, as a 2012 model. That means we’ve been waiting about two and a half years for the updated WRX that was sure to follow. Today at the LA Auto Show, we got our first live shots of the all-wheel-drive performance sedan, and we like what we see.
Subaru says that the WRX should be considered a standalone model, separate from the Impreza, but it sure looks like an Impreza from where we sit. In effect, it looks like a more aggressive Impreza sedan. This sedan happens to have a 2.0-liter flat four-cylinder engine, that is turbocharged out to 268 horsepower. The intercooler sits atop the engine, which means that big scoop on the hood is not just for show.
That horsepower number is up only three, but torque is up 14, to 258 pound feet, and is spread over a larger power band.
The WRX comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, ditching the 5-speed manual that was the previous standard transmission. Also available is a Continuously Variable Transmission. It has a paddle shift, with simulated shift points. It can be shifted in six-speed mode and eight-speed mode.
The manual-equipped WRX gets from zero to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds and gets 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway. The CVT-equipped model will take 6.4 second to make the same 0-60 run, while returning a poorer 19 city, 25 highway.
Like the Impreza, the WRX benefits from the simple-yet-improved interior. The WRX is meant to be driven, so the no-nonsense approach to the cabin is welcomed. No word yet on pricing, or when we can expect this AWD performance machine to hit dealers, but we’ll have info on it when it drops.
Update: In a previous version of the post, I stated that hood scoops on previous versions of the WRX were not functional. That’s not true. I was actually thinking of certain past models of the MINI Cooper S. The change in placement stuck out in my mind– thus the mix-up. It’s been a long day of debuts and we want to make sure we get all the information right– even if it is regarding past models.