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Subaru updates WRX and STI for 2018

More aggressive cars also enhanced in performance, comfort and safety

Published: January 4, 2017, 4:30 PM
Updated: January 10, 2017, 4:55 AM

2018 Subaru WRX

2018 Subaru WRX STI badge

Having introduced a new Impreza to the world at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, Subaru turns its attention to the WRX, improving the 2018 models across the board.

The 2018 WRX and WRX STI are instantly differentiated by more aggressive front end styling with a bolder grille and larger lower grille openings. New LED headlights work in tandem with steering input to highlight the road ahead, even if that’s around the bend.

2018 Subaru WRX STI

Behind the WRX grille, power continues to be supplied by the 268-hp 2.0-litre Boxer 4-cylinder delivering 258 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed manual or Lineartronic CVT to all four wheels, employing Subaru’s Symmetrical All Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring.

The WRX STI continues with the 305-hp, 290 lb-ft 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed “four,” multi-mode driver controlled centre differential (DCCD) All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring and multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. The only transmission choice is a 6-speed manual.

2018 Subaru WRX STI

A new front and rear suspension setup improves ride comfort and improves steering stability, while retaining cornering performance. The electric power steering has been revised to provide a more natural feel. The WRX STI builds on that with upgraded Brembo brakes with yellow calipers, and the model application of 19-inch wheels (alloy, Y-spoke design, and shod with 245/35R19 tires).

A new optional performance package for the WRX ads Recaro 8-way adjustable power seats, red brake calipers and JURID brake pads. It also deletes the moonroof for weight reduction. All models get upgraded interiors with improved sound insulation, new larger instrument panel display screens and rear seat armrests with cupholders.

2018 Subaru WRX STI interior

On the safety front, models feature improved front collision performance, and EyeSight-equipped models add a vehicle hold feature that replaces hill-holder and hill-start assists, and also works at traffic lights. The EyeSight Assist Monitor uses LED indicators to display status and alerts on the windshield to allow drivers to keep eyes on the road.

The new models will be available in Subaru dealerships in spring 2017.