After numerous teasers, the 2022 Subaru WRX has finally been unveiled with plenty of new tech, an all-new platform, a more powerful turbo engine, and plenty of body cladding.
Ever since the previous generation, the WRX (and WRX STI) became a distinct model that’s completely separate from the Impreza compact sedan. The Subaru WRX and Levorg sports wagon also share the same platform, so it’s no surprise that their front ends are similar and almost completely different from the Impreza.
From an aesthetics standpoint, the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX is heavily inspired by the Viziv Concept. Subaru’s signature hexagonal grille dominates the front end, and this is flanked by a slim pair of C-shaped LED headlights. The side profile features a few aluminum components such as the front fenders, while the WRX’s widebody proportions give it a purposeful look. As we move towards the rear, the distinction from the Impreza becomes even more significant, with a completely different set of C-shaped LED taillights and a trunk lid design.
Weirdly enough, Subaru has decided to add black cladding to their sports sedan, which is what you’d normally find on SUVs and crossovers like their own XV and Forester. It’s also the car’s most controversial aspect yet. The rear bumper in particular is filled with so much black cladding that it almost makes the WRX look like a lifted crossover sedan thing. We’ll let you be the judge of that, but we do hope that there will be a painted option for all the sport sedan’s black stuff.
The adoption of the Subaru Global Platform (SGP) delivers a substantial upgrade in ride and handling performance thanks to increased chassis stiffness and lower center of gravity. SGP delivers a 28 percent increase in overall torsional rigidity and a 75 percent increase in suspension mounting point rigidity. A longer suspension stroke increases vehicle stability and lateral grip on uneven surfaces. The rear stabilizer bar, now mounted directly to the body (vs. the subframe), operates more efficiently and contributes to a roll rate reduction when cornering.
As for the interior, it’s now completely different from the Impreza. Dominating the dashboard is the newest generation of the Subaru Starlink infotainment system that’s composed of a portrait 11.6-inch touch screen, while sounds are played through a Harman Kardon sound system on higher-end variants. Sports seats come as standard, but the GT variant for the North American market comes with Recaro sports seats with 8-way power adjustment.
Powering the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX is a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine that’s also found in the Ascent. In this case, it produces 271 hp and 350 Nm, of torque. Despite the bigger engine, this represents a mere 3 hp gain over the previous 2.0-liter turbo engine, while torque remains the same. Subaru did say that the bigger engine has a fatter torque curve, and this should still improve acceleration times, though no 0-100 kph times or top speed figures have been provided yet.
This engine is then mated to either a 6-speed manual or a new CVT that the company calls the “Subaru Performance Transmission” that simulates eight gears when in manual mode. Subaru claims that the new CVT feels much more engaging with its 30 percent faster upshifts and 50 percent faster downshifts. There’s also rev-matching for the first time when downshifting. And then opting for the CVT ditches the mechanical handbrake for an electronic one. We’re certainly curious to try this out once the WRX arrives in the Philippines.
Subaru has also tuned the suspension for a more engaging driving experience. Optimized front suspension geometry reduces mass offset of the front suspension, and a new dual-pinion electric power steering system separates the driver’s input shaft from the motor-assist shaft. Together, these enhancements deliver a quicker response to driver inputs, improved accuracy, and a more natural steering feel.
For the first time ever, the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX comes with adaptive suspension on the top trim GT variant for the North American market. This should significantly improve its ride quality whilst still having the ability to firm itself up during track use.
All CVT-equipped variants of the all-new 2022 Subaru WRX come with the brand’s EyeSight 4.0 suite of advanced driver-assist systems, which bundles full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane centering, and automatic emergency braking. Optional driver-assistance features outside EyeSight include rear automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert.
The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX is expected to go on sale first in North America in early 2022. Motor Image Pilipinas, the distributor of Subaru in the Philippines, is currently in the midst of a model onslaught. It has now launched the all-new Evoltis (aka Ascent), refreshed XV, and the all-new Outback. Three more cars are expected to arrive until mid-2022, and this includes this all-new WRX.