The Subaru WRX and WRX STi have picked up mid-life revisions inside and out, including a more aggressive front-end design and a larger multi-function display in the centre of the instrument cluster.
The updated models were unveiled in the United States and are expected in New Zealand later this year. Central to the new-look front end (above) is the lower grille. It has been enlarged and trimmed in black and supported at each side by sculptured air intakes, this time without indicator and fog lights. The front end of the existing WRX and STi is below.
No changes to the turbocharged powertrains – the 199kW 2.0-litre engine in the WRX and the 227kW 2.5-litre in the STi are carried over. But both models get a retuned suspension setup that’s said to improve steering stability and ride comfort.
WRX also gains an electric power steering system that’s been revised, says Subaru, for a “more natural feel”, and an “enhanced shifter feel” for the six-speed manual. The WRX rides on 18-inch wheels and the STi on 19-inch.
One of the more significant changes is to the STi’s Driver Controlled Centre Differential all-wheel drive system. The mechanical and electronic control mechanism for the central limited-slip differential has been ditched in favour of an all-electronic setup.
There’s also a better Brembo brake package with new brake pads, yellow callipers, larger drilled discs all around, stronger mono-block six-piston callipers up front, and mono-block two-piston callipers at the rear.
The interior also features subtle tweaks. There’s a larger 5.9-inch multi-function display, and top-end models now have a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system rather the current car’s 6.2-inch unit.
Both models also now come with roof rack mounting brackets, a new rear armrest with cupholders, and, according to Subaru, improved interior materials.
Safety on both models has been improved via an updated front-end structure, available adaptive LED headlights, an updated vehicle hold feature, and the acclaimed EyeSight warning system in the windscreen.