Subaru has marketed the WRX and WRX STI successfully for a long time now, but perhaps this latest changes for the 2018 MY, to the All-Wheel Drive turbocharged WRX and WRX STI, are set to add more white-hot thrills for drivers of the brand’s long-established pocket rockets.
The upgrades include both performance and mechanical features as well as cosmetic changes. The good news is that the starting price for the WRX manual is still $39,240 MLP.
Externally they have a revised nose with more aggressive grille design. Internally Subaru have improved the ambience and quality as well as introducing EyeSight® Driver Assist in WRX automatic transmission variants. All automatic WRXs also add an electronic parking brake and Automatic Vehicle Hold – meaning the driver doesn’t have to keep their foot on the brake pedal in situations such as traffic lights and road congestion.
Subaru’s performance flagship model introduces a new range-topper – the WRX STI spec.R, featuring Recaro seats.
Among the new features on all WRX variants: Jurid performance brake pads – for superior fade resistance, Red painted brake callipers (front-only in auto variants), New design 18-inch alloy wheels, Heated door mirrors, Fog lights upgraded to LED, Revised suspension, Electric lumbar support – WRX Premium and WRX STI Premium
Every WRX and WRX STI also adds: Steering responsive LED headlights, with LED Daytime Running Lights, 5.9-inch Multi-Function Display – upgraded from 4.3-inch – wider with higher definition, making viewing and reading data easier, Greater practicality and convenience, with the introduction of roof carrier brackets
Also new in entry-level WRX are dusk sensing headlights and rain sensing windscreen wipers, which are already featured in WRX Premium.
WRX Premium adds an 8-way power seat with dual memory and electric lumbar support for the driver’s seat – and heated driver and front passenger seat.
WRX Premium with Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) adds the EyeSight® Assist Monitor, which displays warnings and status on the lower windscreen.
WRX STI also adds new sports features including:Yellow Brembo 6-pot front + 2-pot rear brake callipers, Cross-drilled brake rotors – for even greater braking performance, 19-inch alloy wheels – for greater agility, handling and tremendous performance – the first time the larger wheels have featured on WRX STI, New front bumper and grille, Red seatbelts, Revised suspension – optimized roll rigidity, suspension coils and shock absorbers, for both excellent control, stability, and flat ride comfort
New on entry-level WRX STI are heated door mirrors, while WRX STI Premium and WRX STI spec.R also add the Front View Camera.
WRX STI Premium also gets a 8-waypower and electric lumbar support driver’s seat, while spec.R adds eight-way adjustable Recaro driver’s seat, designed for both excellent support and comfort.
Subaru Australia Managing Director, Colin Christie said: “Current generation WRX and WRX STI have truly taken on a life of their own in sales terms, harking back to the success they achieved in first generation back in the late 1990s.
“WRX fans recognise the amazing value these cars represent – and also engineering integrity – which sees these fantastic fun cars growing their audience more than 23 years after they launched in Australia, to create a cult following that is now well and truly mainstream.
“These comprehensive changes right across the range underline that fun, value, performance and safety can go hand-in-hand.”
As with the entire Subaru new car range, every WRX and WRX STI has an independent five-star rating for occupant safety.
We will have a more in-depth drive review when we have an opportunity to road test the new variants.