Subaru upgrades looks, performance of 2018 WRX and WRX STI models

Article by Christian A., on January 9, 2017

Subaru just commenced sales of the fifth-generation Subaru Impreza months ago starting with the 2017 model. It was very impressive with its new appearance, but we won’t be able to see its new looks on the Impreza WRX or WRX STI soon, especially if the current generation of these performance models was just introduced in 2015. At the earliest, the next generation high-performance Impreza model would be available by the end of the decade.

But while the upcoming 2018 Subaru Impreza WRX and the Impreza WRX STI won’t sport completely new looks, the changes made were what many customers, fans and enthusiasts were waiting for – a more dynamic performance and a more aggressive appearance to match.

Just like on the WRX, the 2018 Subaru WRX STI boasts of a revised suspension tuning. Not only that, Subaru tweaked the DCCD AWD system by employing electronic control, thereby resulting to a quicker and smoother response. It also gave the 2018 Subaru WRX STI a set of newly designed 19-inch alloy wheels – with the Y-shaped spoke design – wrapped in 245/35R19 tires. Behind the wheels is the upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System with yellow-painted brake calipers.

Exterior Design

Let’s start with the cosmetic tweaks implemented on both high-performance Impreza versions. For instance, all WRX and WRX STI models are provided with a restyled front fascia marked by more pronounced grille design with the lower grille sporting a larger opening.

All WRX and WRX STI models are fitted with new roof rack mounting brackets. Meanwhile, the WRX Limited model and all STIs are provided with redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights. All WRX and STI models now feature faster remote trunk opening.

Interior Design

Inside, the WRX and WRX STI use improved materials, a 5.9-inch high-definition multi-function display and rear seat armrest with cup holders as well as redesigned interior door grips, thicker door glass.

To ensure lower levels of noise inside the cabin, Subaru thickened the door glass, revised the door sealing and installed a foam-filled windshield header beam.

Powertrain

While the power levels of both the WRX and WRX STI remained unchanged -- 268 hp for the 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine in the WRX and 305 hp for the 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine in the WRX STI – Subaru made several changes to improve their performances on the road.

For instance, the WRX has a newly tuned new front and rear suspensions, thereby improving its steering stability and ride comfort.

Subaru also tweaked the WRX electric power steering (EPS) for a smoother, more natural feel. Its six-speed manual transmission now comes with a new synchro design, lower friction levels and smoother clutch take-up.

Press Release

SUBARU DEBUTS 2018 WRX AND WRX STI WITH PERFORMANCE, COMFORT AND SAFETY UPGRADES

Subaru of America, Inc., which this month posted its eighth consecutive year of record-breaking sales, today introduced the 2018 WRX and WRX STI, each debuting performance, comfort, design and safety enhancements for a more rewarding driving experience. The new models reach Subaru retailers in spring.

A restyled front fascia WRX and WRX STI shows a sportier attitude, highlighted by a more pronounced grille design, along with a larger lower grille opening. The WRX Limited and all STI feature redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights that help illuminate curves in nighttime driving. For greater versatility, all WRX and STI models now feature new roof rack mounting brackets.

WRX for 2018
With its 268-hp, 2.0-liter direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine, Symmetrical All Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, the rally-bred WRX is a performance and value benchmark in the high-performance AWD sport-compact segment. The WRX comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and offers an optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode.

The WRX features new front and rear suspension tuning for improved steering stability and ride comfort, while retaining the car’s high cornering performance capability. Subaru significantly enhanced shifter feel for the 6-speed manual transmission, with a new synchro design and reduced friction, along with smoother clutch take-up. The WRX electric power steering (EPS) was revised to provide an even smoother, more natural feel, while integrating the steering motor and electronic control unit reduces weight.

A new optional Performance Package for the WRX Premium features Recaro 8-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded JURID brake pads, and deletes the moonroof to reduce weight. The standard 18-inch wheels feature a bold new double-spoke design.

WRX STI for 2018
A comprehensive handling enhancement for the 2018 STI includes the revised suspension tuning as featured on the WRX, plus a revised DCCD AWD system, significantly upgraded brakes and this model’s first-ever 19-inch wheels. The DCCD system, which previously used a combination of mechanical and electronic center limited slip differential control, now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response. The 19-inch alloy wheels feature a striking Y-shaped spoke design and carry 245/35R19 tires that help raise cornering performance while giving the STI an even more aggressive stance.

The yellow-painted brake calipers identify a significantly upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System that now uses stronger monoblock 6-piston calipers in front, monoblock 2-piston calipers in the rear and larger, drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation. New brake pads provide significantly greater surface area for improved braking feel and fade resistance. The STI also offers the Recaro seats (standard on STI Limited, optional for base trim).

Powered by a 305-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the WRX STI brings rally-bred performance technology to the road with Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Standard handling technologies include Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control.

Improved Usability with a Sporting Edge
The everyday usability that has contributed to WRX and STI popularity gets even better for 2018. All models feature upgraded interior materials, rear seat armrest with cup holders, redesigned interior door grips and faster remote trunk opening.

New measures that reduce unwanted noise include thicker door glass, revised door sealing and a foam-filled windshield header beam. A new, larger high-definition multi-function display (5.9-inch vs. 4.3-inch before) makes it easier to see vehicle functions at a glance. WRX Limited models feature power driver’s seat lumbar adjustment. The standard WRX adds heated exterior mirrors (already standard on others), while the WRX Premium upgrades to a SUBARU STARLINK™ 7.0” multimedia unit from the previous STARLINK 6.2” unit.

Safety
Subaru revised the front structure of the WRX and WRX STI for enhanced frontal collision performance. The WRX Limited, when equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology now features Vehicle Hold (AVH), and a new EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM). The EAM uses LED indicators to display EyeSight status and alerts on the windshield, allowing the driver to see them without diverting eyes from the road ahead. The AVH feature replaces the Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions and offers greater functionality, holding the vehicle on all road grades, not only inclines. For example, AVH can help reduce driver fatigue by holding the car at traffic lights, and then can seamlessly transition to acceleration.

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