2022 Subaru WRX is Stiffer, Sharper and Blessed With a New Turbo

Subaru today unveiled the all-new, fifth-generation 2022 WRX, the first to be built on the Subaru Global Platform. It will go on sale early next year.

In typical Subaru fashion, the evolution is fairly conservative. The body and hood scoop are a bit wider to give the WRX a more aggressive look. The headlights and taillights have a more modern appearance, the latter designed to glow with a look reminiscent of volcanic magma, the company says.

The front fenders are now made of aluminum for reduced weight, while the rear deck lid still has an integrated low-profile spoiler in matching body colour. Designers enhanced the car’s aerodynamics, in particular with an air outlet at the trailing edge of the front wheel opening and another one at each side of rear bumper. The new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels are wrapped in summer performance tires.

Stiffer, Yet Barely More Powerful

As expected, the 2022 Subaru WRX gets the turbocharged 2.4-litre engine from the Outback, Legacy and Ascent. Output is increased to 271 horsepower (previously 268 with the 2.0-litre engine) and torque is unchanged with 258 pound-feet accessible from 2,000-5,200 rpm. The increased displacement, along with a turbocharger equipped with electronically controlled wastegate and air bypass valves, is said to improve responsiveness and acceleration. We’ll see when we get to put it to the test.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system features Active Torque Vectoring and works with a standard six-speed manual transmission that benefits from optimized gear ratios for improved shift quality. Optionally, the new Subaru Performance Transmission (CVT) offers up to 30 percent faster upshifts (2nd to 3rd) and 50 percent faster downshifts (3rd to 2nd). It incorporates adaptive shift control that can quickly respond to perform rev-matching downshifts under braking. A simulated eight-speed manual mode can be accessed using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Photo: Subaru

With the new platform, Subaru claims 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, while the rear stabilizer bar is now mounted directly to the body instead of the subframe for reduced body roll when cornering. There’s also a new dual-pinion electric power steering that reportedly delivers a quicker response to driver inputs, improved accuracy and a more natural steering feel.

A top-line GT model (automatic only) is added for 2022, but only in the U.S., not Canada. This one stands out with electronically controlled dampers that can tailor the dynamic performance to the driver’s preferences with Comfort, Normal and Sport settings. It rides on exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels in matte grey finish paired with 245/40R18 summer performance tires. New Recaro sport seats are unique to the GT, as well.

Updated Cabin

A black interior with contrast red stitching and carbon fibre pattern accents throughout awaits drivers of the 2022 Subaru WRX. They’ll grip a flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel and play with an all-new, tablet-style 11.6-inch full HD centre touchscreen, the latter offering split-screen capability. If you’re not a fan of the SUBARU STARLINK multimedia system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported.

Photo: Subaru

Navigation powered by TomTom is available. Same thing for an 11-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and 504-watt equivalent amplifier.

Standard on all trims (with automatic transmission) is EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, enhanced with expanded angle of view and software performance improvements that deliver a wider range of operation. For the first time in a WRX, Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering plus Automatic Emergency Steering are available.

Pricing for the 2022 Subaru WRX will be announced closer to launch. As for the new WRX STI, a debut shouldn’t be too far away.

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