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Next Subaru WRX STI set for hybrid reinvention

Autocar logo Autocar 4 days ago Jimi Beckwith
Next Subaru WRX STI set for hybrid reinvention © Autocar Next Subaru WRX STI set for hybrid reinvention

The next Subaru WRX STI will be a more emissions-friendly model, according to Subaru Europe’s sales and marketing manager David Dello Stritto. 

Speaking with Dutch website AutoRAI, Dello Stritto confirmed that the WRX STI’s 2.5-litre turbocharged boxer engine “can simply not exist in the future”. That engine is likely to be replaced by a plug-in hybrid. 

The addition of electric motors opens up several possibilities for the model, including the option of electrically driven rear wheels or keeping the brand’s signature boxer engine as the combustion element of a plug-in hybrid. 

Related: 2018 Subaru WRX - First Look (TestDriveNow)

The hot hybrid Subaru will not be introduced soon, however, with a hiatus in the timeline of the model as the current version exits the brand’s product line-up, while a hybrid powertrain for the next version is developed.

“There will really be a new WRX STI in the future, but it takes time.” Dello Stritto said. “We’re not giving up on 'fun to drive'. The new Impreza delivers this fun in a different, more sensible, CO2 emissions-compliant way.” 

Although Dello Stritto did not confirm explicitly that the next WRX STI would be a hybrid, he said “Subaru is looking carefully at market developments and makes its future plan with this information in mind”, hinting at the global push for electrification by both the car industry and global legislators. 

Subaru WRX STI © Subaru; Newspress Subaru WRX STI No timespan has been given for when the electrified WRX STI will arrive, but its future aesthetic was signposted by the Viziv Performance concept of the Tokyo motor show this year. Details of the concept's powertrain were not disclosed, except that the model featured a boxer engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive. 

The new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) architecture will be the underpinnings for the future WRX; the modular platform has been engineered with hybrids in mind, featuring a protected space for batteries and electric motors.

An electric Subaru model is scheduled for launch in 2020, although this will likely be a more mass-market offering than the niche WRX STI. 

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Related: Refreshed 2018 Subaru WRX - what you need to know (US News & World Report)

Subaru’s Sport Sedan Gets a Revised Look, but Bigger Updates Will Have to Wait: <p>The <a href="https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/subaru/wrx/2018">Subaru WRX</a> has been the closest thing you can get to a competition rally car for a long time, and Subaru has made it even better for the 2018 model year. The 2018 Subaru WRX receives minor updates over the previous year, though Subaru hasn’t decided to move the WRX to its new Subaru Global Platform that was implemented on the redesigned <a href="https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/subaru/impreza/2017">2017 Impreza</a>.</p><p>Not only did Subaru update the WRX, but it updated the WRX STI as well. You can learn more about the STI by following <a href="https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/subaru-wrx-sti-preview">this link</a>.</p><p>Read ahead to find out more about the 2018 Subaru WRX and why it deserves your attention.</p> Refreshed 2018 Subaru WRX: What You Need to Know
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