With overhauled front suspension, quicker steering and ventilated disc brakes all round, the WRX is claimed to give “the highest levels of dynamic performance and ride comfort in its history”.
The newcomer’s design is characteristically inspired by the WRX’s historic association with top-flight rallying. A sizeable bonnet scoop dominates the front end and chunky black trim adorns the wheel arches and side skirts in a nod to its off-road potential. The rear spoiler is more subtly integrated than on earlier WRX-badged models, but any top-rung WRX STI variant will be differentiated by a traditionally outlandish aero-influenced styling package.
Subaru also highlights several ‘functional’ styling elements as factors in the WRX’s improved dynamic performance. New air outlets behind the front wheels, for example, reduce lift on the front tyres and improve stability, while similar outlets at the rear help to stop air getting trapped behind the rear bumper. Even the engine’s undertray features a special “aerodynamic texture” that reduces air resistance to increase front-end downforce.
The WRX’s reinvention is perhaps most evident inside, where a wide-reaching overhaul aims to bring the sports saloon into line with more premium-oriented rivals. It’s still driver focused, with a flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel and a smattering of red stitching and carbonfibre accents, but it now has Subaru’s latest Starlink infotainment platform, controlled via a 11.6in HD touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built in.