AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020
  • All-new, fifth-generation WRX gains a bigger, more powerful and responsive 2.4-litre, direct-injection, turbocharged Boxer engine
  • Subaru Performance Transmission elevates driveability
  • Built on the new Subaru Global Platform featuring full inner-frame construction to enhance strength and driving dynamics
  • WRX GT wagon joins WRX 2.4T sedan in an expanded WRX family
  • Wider model range, including the new tS variant, to further increase WRX’s appeal

More power, greater handling precision and bold new exterior styling mark the arrival of Subaru’s long-awaited fifth-generation WRX, the latest iteration of the iconic rally-bred machine.

Becoming an overnight sensation in 1994, Subaru’s performance car has been a firm favourite over the following years and has now been reimagined for 2022. Increasing its appeal, WRX has been refined and is now available in a broader model range.

The fifth-generation Subaru WRX has two body styles – WRX 2.4T sedan and WRX GT wagon – with two model variants for each: WRX 2.4T Premium sedan and WRX 2.4T tS and WRX GT Premium wagon and WRX GT tS wagon.

The new WRX GT wagon will stand as a model in its own right, with both the WRX 2.4T sedan and WRX GT wagon featuring unique specifications tailored to their respective audiences.

Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper says: “The last time we launched a new generation WRX in New Zealand was in 2014. This 2022 launch and the all-new WRX have been much anticipated by both the Subaru of New Zealand team and of course the Kiwi WRX enthusiasts – many of whom have already pre-ordered their WRX.”

Mr Dumper says that the decision to bring the wagon variant to market was made as the WRX GT wagon and WRX 2.4T sedan have been designed as distinct vehicles to cater for different Kiwi buyer groups.

“The WRX 2.4T sedan, for example, is a car built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It’s a performance car with aggressive styling that proudly carries the WRX heritage, while the WRX GT wagon offers subtle and sophisticated styling as well as utility without compromising on its WRX performance credentials,” he adds.

The all-new WRX 2.4T sedan also incorporates a number of performance-inspired exterior design influences including air outlets located on the trailing edges of the front wheel openings, side garnishes and a lip-style boot spoiler.

Like its predecessors, this latest-generation WRX features bold styling promising exciting driving; its aggressive appearance starting at its prominent hexagonal grille, spilling over the wide, low-set front bumper and flowing back into its bulging fenders.

Black body trims sport side garnishes on the sedan’s front and rear fenders and prominent side sill spoilers feature a hexagon-patterned aerodynamic texture designed to reduce air resistance.

Inside, the cabin features stylish black upholstery with red stitching and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. WRX 2.4T Premium and tS sedan are trimmed with Ultrasuede upholstery while the WRX GT Premium has leather and the WRX GT tS has Ultrasuede trim.

A new cockpit design features an intuitive layout with highly visible and readily accessible instruments and controls.

The clean instrument layout features prominent tachometer and speedometer displays directly in front of the driver with the engine temperature gauge and fuel gauge respectively integrated into the rev counter and speedometer faces.

A high-resolution, multi-information display with easily recognised colours ensuring high visibility is located between the two main dials. The large tablet-like 11.6” central touchscreen for the infotainment system makes easy operation of key systems including:

  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto connectivity
  • Satellite navigation (all models)
  • Vehicle settings
  • Air conditioning

All model grades come to market with an extensive standard equipment list that includes an 11.6-inch central information display, eight airbags, Subaru Vision Assist with Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, self-levelling LED headlights, Steering Responsive Headlights and LED front fog lights.

While this latest-generation WRX proudly carries the motorsport DNA of the four previous generations, it also brings impressive new technologies that combine with its renowned Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive layout to deliver true performance car values.

For the first time in its history, WRX uses the new Subaru Global Platform which has been designed to both enhance the car’s responsiveness by enabling sharper handling and add comfort by reducing unpleasant road vibrations and shaking. 

It features full inner-frame construction for high body and chassis rigidity and gives the all-new WRX about 14 per cent more front lateral flexing rigidity and 28 per cent more torsional stiffness than its predecessor.

Under the bonnet a new, more powerful direct-injection, turbocharged 2.4-litre, horizontally-opposed four-cylinder Boxer engine delivers 202 kilowatts of power at 5,600rpm and 350 Newton metres of torque from 2,000 – 5,200rpm. Power is up five kilowatts over the outgoing model and while torque output remains the same, it is produced lower in the rev range, generating high torque from low engine speeds.

The new WRX offers buyers two transmission choices; a precision six-speed and exclusive to the 2.4T, a close-ratio manual or the Subaru Performance Transmission with Sports Shift Control for rapid-response gear changes for automatic models. The tS variants have Drive Mode Select which allows drivers to change the car’s on-road characteristics to suit their own preferences. Drive Mode Select features a variety of driving modes that change WRX’s driving dynamics and character. An ‘Individual’ mode allows full driver customisation.

Electronically-controlled dampers debut on the WRX tS models to enhance the already sporty handling while refining ride quality. A new dual-pinion electronic steering system reduces steering resistance, for a smooth and linear steering response.

Performance has always come with practicality for WRX and this latest car is no exception. The sedan’s overall length is up by 75mm and width has grown by 30mm, ensuring comfortable cabin space with increased shoulder room front and rear while increasing rear seat legroom.

Measuring 4,755mm overall, the all-new WRX GT wagon is 85mm longer and 35mm taller than its WRX 2.4T sedan counterpart. The wheelbase is 20mm longer than that of the superseded fourth-generation WRX and it is160mmlonger. Overall width is 1,795mm and the cargo floor length (with the back seat raised) is 1,070mm, making it a very versatile GT wagon.

All-new WRX’s impressive ride and handling qualities are managed by a fully-independent suspension layout featuring MacPherson-style struts at the front and double rear wishbones, designs chosen to improve handling while maximising driving stability, ride comfort and interior quietness.

Braking is handled by large, power-assisted, ventilated front and rear disc brakes. Low-profile Dunlop SP Sport Maxx sports tyres on 18-inch alloy wheels are also standard across the WRX range.

Mr Dumper says this latest generation of Subaru’s performance classic has been hugely anticipated by WRX car fans everywhere.

“When the first-generation WRX was launched back in the early 1990s it became an instant hit, and a must-have, aspirational vehicle.”

“It was a rare car, one that immediately achieved immense motorsport success and was able to bring that same rallying and racing DNA to the road at an affordable price.

“The latest-generation WRX incorporates this rich history and lives up to the legend. It is a car that puts a smile on every driver’s face each time they go for a drive, be it for an adventure or a trip to the shops. The catch phrase ‘they don’t make them like they used to – but we still do’ is very appropriate for this model and will resonate with every person who discovers how great a WRX is.”

“This next generation WRX 2.4T cements itself as the best bang for buck drivers’ car with phenomenal balance and control. The 2022 WRX is a vehicle designed and engineered for maximum performance, yet remains amazingly practical. With the addition of the GT wagon, this latest WRX iteration takes that practicality one step further without diminishing the pure enjoyment of this performance model,” Mr Dumper adds.

The all-new Subaru WRX pricing starts from $59,990* for both the WRX 2.4T sedan and the WRX GT wagon.

To view WRX’s on Auto Trader follow this link.