PURE POWER IN YOUR CONTROL: NEW SUBARU WRX
- Two new WRX models offer a more thrilling driving experience
- Manual and Sport Lineartronic™ CVT derivatives available
- Premium specifications up the comfort and luxury antes
The all-new Subaru WRX is now available in South Africa. Building on a long history and poised to continue to enjoy a cult following in the country, the new WRX conforms to traditional WRX characteristics while elevating the driving experience and premium feel with high specifications and advanced technical engineering. Born out of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Subaru WRX is revered the world over as one of the most formidable sports vehicles.
Subaru WRX Engineered through the pages of history
The original Subaru WRX had the mission of not only being a high-performance version of the road-going Impreza, but also of winning WRC. Since then, the Subaru WRX has repeatedly shown the power to fight it out at the highest levels of WRC, going on to become the first Japanese car to win WRC three times in a row. In WRC and in later years the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race, the WRX name continues to put up the best fight against the world’s top super sports car brands. The track-focused WRX STI has already won its class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours twice in a row and, in 2014, the all-new WRX STI, which makes its way to South Africa later in 2014 and in limited numbers, will enter the ‘Ring once more in the race to glory.
Successive WRX models have sought to offer both the absolute speed and handling characteristics offered by genuine sports sedans and the new, 4th generation WRX continues to embody this philosophy, with the practicality and comfort to double as a daily-use vehicle with true sports car attributes.
“The all-new WRX represents a new era for Subaru’s greatest performance vehicle,” comments Subaru Southern Africa Marketing Manager, Ashley Lazarus. “Featuring new-age drivetrain technology including Sports Lineartronic™ and Active Torque Vectoring, a new turbocharged Boxer® engine, Subaru’s famous Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ and refined appointment, the new WRX subscribes perfectly to the Subaru ethos, ‘Confidence in Motion’. The new WRX also brings true sports car performance and handling to a more affordable level, being benchmarked against some of the world’s most revered sports cars but available at a much lower price level.
“In developing the new WRX, Subaru engineers sought out to provide power and control at a higher level than before and not just in numbers on paper – a holistic approach was adopted to all the factors which culminate in producing absolute speed. These include having enough power available to cover ground quickly, a drivetrain which delivers this power with minimal loss on contact with the road surface, and a high lateral g-force limit during cornering. Responsiveness was also highlighted, with quick and immediate reaction to driver inputs key to achieving ultimate driver engagement. Linked to weight reduction, improved body rigidity and thoroughly-boosted chassis performance, ‘Pure Power in Your Control’ emerged as the perfect motto for the new WRX.”
Subaru WRX the quest for driver engagement
Subaru engineers identified the existence of a zone of low steering response in any vehicle, where the steering wheel draws close to the neutral position, and sought to minimise the extent of this zone and produce responsiveness such that the vehicle operates without any lag, the instant the driver makes steering input. Such subtle tuning cannot only be honed through calculations and computers, but also through hands-on development testing where test drivers’ feelings are expressed in order to create a solution based on real-world findings.
Lateral g-force will be experienced by the driver the instant they begin to turn the steering wheel and with human senses being so alert to such sensations, the goal was to reduce the amount of time – by hundredths of a second – between steering input and the sensation of g-force, to create the quickest-possible response for the most precise and accurate resultant drive. “The good feeling of matching the car to your rhythm and being able to go where you want to go” is how WRX engineers describe the sensation. As a result, an electric steering system with quicker ratios has been adopted for the ultimate in feel, precision and control – endowing the new WRX with steering responsiveness comparable to some of the world’s finest super sports cars.
Subaru WRX Design and packaging
he new WRX presents an all-new body design and is available only in sedan form. Embodying the latest in Subaru design DNA, the taut, muscular and wide stance of the new WRX conveys an immediate sense of sporty, powerful driving fun. True to type, the wide body design and aggressive visage impart the kind of cheeky and virile attitude the WRX is famous for, the downsized headlights designed to make the new WRX look like a raptor eyeing out its prey.
Sports overtones abound of course, the deep front air dam being matched by the signature bonnet scoop, the dark-painted 17-inch alloy wheels being accented by muscular side skirts and the pert rear end, which features an integrated boot spoiler and sculpted tail lights, rounding off the athletic look with a diffuser and dual-twin exhaust outlets.
The interior of the new Subaru WRX is a pure exhibition of luxury and premium quality meeting a sporty attitude and true WRX functionality. The new cabin is also roomier thanks to the A-pillar being moved forward by 200 mm and increases in wheelbase (up by 25 mm) and overall vehicle length (longer by 15 mm). Full leather upholstery and leather detailing is met by red stitching accents, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, soft-touch surfaces and a carbon fibre-like dashboard finish, echoing the exterior’s sporty details. Form follows function, with an ergonomically-sound layout designed to keep the focus on driving, with minimal distraction from auxiliary controls and vehicle functions. New-look dials and controls ensure an interesting atmosphere, with two colour display screens providing various information readouts including fuel economy and boost pressure.
Comfort has always been a WRX selling point and in the new version, this has been reemphasised by the supportive sports bucket seats and an increase in rear legroom specifically, enhancing the WRX’s duality as an everyday vehicle. The 460-litre boot is also larger than before by almost 100 litres, allowing for greater practicality along with the folding rear seats.
Subaru WRX Boxer® power meets new-age drivetrain enhancements
As is tradition with all Subaru vehicles, the new WRX is powered by a Boxer® engine. The horizontally-opposed piston design provides for excellent balance and power delivery. The Boxer® engine design also allows for a reduction in the vehicle’s centre of gravity, being mounted low down and enhancing handling characteristics.
Subaru WRX Engine
Displacing 2.0-litres and naturally featuring a turbocharger, the Direct Injection Turbo (DIT) DOHC Boxer® engine produces 197 kW at 5 600 rpm and a steady 350 Nm of torque between 2 400 and 5 200 rpm. The 0-100 km/h sprint is dispatched in 6.0 seconds in the manual derivative (6.3 seconds for the Sport Lineartronic™ derivative) and top speed is a steady 240 km/h.
Subaru WRX Transmission and drivetrain
Linked to Subaru’s trademark Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™, two transmission options are available – the new six-speed manual derivative offers ultimate driver engagement with the refined manual gearbox serving up a slick shift and engaging pedals, along with a centre differential and viscous limited slip differential. Highlighting comfort and ease of use, the Sport Lineartronic™ CVT model presents a new age automatic WRX option, with variable torque distribution. Based on Subaru’s own Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and engineered specifically for application in the new WRX, Sport Lineartronic™ with manual shift paddles for full manual control has been benchmarked on some of the world’s best single- and dual-clutch automatic transmissions to ensure superbly quick shifts and exceptional power delivery.
Subaru WRX SI-DRIVE
Available on the Sport Lineartronic™ model, Subaru Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) provides three pre-programmed and driver-selectable drive modes which alter the way the new WRX behaves, depending on driver requirements or preferences. Intelligent mode (I) is optimised for fuel economy, providing a linear and less responsive throttle map and six simulated ‘gears’ with smooth shifts and uninterrupted power for improved efficiency and comfort. Sport mode (S) provides for sharper throttle response and a more engaging feel from the steering, heightening the senses in many respects. For full-bore performance driving however, Sport Sharp mode (S#) realises the full potential of the engine as well as eight close-ratios from the transmission, allowing the driver to experience a no-holds-barred attack on the senses.
Active Torque Vectoring
Integral to the improved handling dynamics, Active Torque Vectoring (ATV) makes its debut for the Subaru brand in the new WRX. ATV applies the brakes to the inside front wheel while distributing torque to the outside front wheel, assisting in vehicle rotation and creating more responsive and direct handling dynamics. Working alongside Active Torque Vectoring, new multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) and optimised suspension geometry for quicker steering response and enhanced cornering control result in the most fun and engaging Subaru WRX ever built.
Premium specification for both Subaru WRX models
Available exclusively in Premium guise, both new WRX models feature high levels of specification, leaving no factory fitted options available, matching the performance and handling with value for money and a sound motoring experience overall. On the outside, feature highlights include the sporty dual-twin exhaust outlets, rear spoiler and diffuser, LED tail lights, automatic headlights with self-levelling LED elements, automatic wipers, daytime running lights, the bonnet scoop, privacy glass, an electric sunroof, the sports body kit and 17-inch alloy wheels running on Dunlop SP Sport Maxx RT tyres in 235/45 R17 94W specification.
The interior mirrors the exterior’s premium look and feel, with feature highlights including full leather upholstery and soft-touch surfaces, keyless access and push-button starting, a 6-speaker multimedia audio system with USB and auxiliary connectivity, voice control, Bluetooth, a full-colour multi-information display which provides clear readouts for fuel efficiency, trip information, audio details and a new boost gauge, a rear view camera, cruise control, automatic climate control, electric power steering with satellite controls, SI-DRIVE and red ambient lighting. Available accessories include satellite navigation, a sports exhaust system and the STI body kit.
The safest Subaru WRX , ever
Subaru’s fastidious obsession with safety has naturally filtered into the new WRX. A 5-star ANCAP safety rating has already been earned, thanks to inherent safety features including ABS with EBD and BAS, VDC (Vehicle Dynamics Control), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), TCS with LSD (Traction Control System with Limited Slip Device), seven airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors and Subaru’s Ring-Shaped Reinforcement™ body structure, incorporating the use of super-high-strength steel which dissipates energy during a crash. Naturally, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive™ and the low-mounted Boxer® engine also contribute to heightened safety, with a reduction in body roll and superior grip. In keeping with Subaru tradition, the all new WRX was recently awarded the Top Safety Pick Award by US crash test giant IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). This latest accolade brings Subaru’s total of IIHS award-winning vehicles to six, and no other brand holds as many IIHS awards as Subaru.
The new Subaru WRX is also available as standard with a 3-year/ 100 000 km warranty and Subaru’s 3-year/ 75 000 km maintenance plan, which can be optionally extended at purchase. Service intervals are 15 000 km.
How much does the Subaru WRX Cost in South Africa?
|New Subaru WRX||Retail price incl. VAT|
|WRX Premium 6MT||R 449 000|
|WRX Premium Sport Lineartronic™ CVT||R 469 000|