Two of the remaining Japanese performance icons have been updated, with the 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI headed into Subaru dealerships now, with changes aimed at making them perform better on the road, a more premium interior and spec changes with the aim of appealing to a wider audience. There’s also a new WRX STI spec.R spec at the top of the range, with new Recaro sports seats.
Changes were also aimed at the car’s equipment levels, with much more standard equipment across the range, including wider availability of Subaru’s EyeSight active safety equipment and design changes aimed at making the car more aggressive and sporty.
Subaru Australia Managing Director, Colin Christie said: “Current generation WRX and WRX STI have truly taken on a life of their own in sales terms, harking back to the success they achieved in first generation back in the late 1990s.
“WRX fans recognise the amazing value these cars represent – and also engineering integrity – which sees these fantastic fun cars growing their audience more than 23 years after they launched in Australia, to create a cult following that is now well and truly mainstream.
“These comprehensive changes right across the range underline that fun, value, performance and safety can go hand-in-hand.”
Starting at the same pricing point as 2017 models ($39,240 plus on-road costs), all 2018 Subaru WRX and STI models are now better equipped than before, with a larger 5.9-inch centre screen now standard (up from 4.3-inches), as well as steering-responsive LED headlights and new LED foglamps.
All WRX models equipped with the CVT automatic now get auto-hold, which holds the car stationary at traffic lights until the driver presses the accelerator again, as well as an electronic handbrake. Entry level WRX automatic variants now receive Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist system, with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and radar cruise control now standard equipment.
Entry level WRX models also score automatic headlights and wipers as well, with all WRX and WRX Premium models gaining Jurid performance brake pads for supposedly 20 percent better braking efficiency, red painted brake callipers, a new design of 18-inch alloy wheel, heated door mirrors and electric lumbar support on Premium models.
The WRX STI has been revised for 2018 as well, with the same exterior changes as the WRX, as well as new 19-inch alloy wheels, yellow Brembo six-pot front and two-pot rear brake callipers, cross-drilled brake rotors for improved braking performance, red seatbelts and revised suspension for better control, stability and ride comfort.
A new spec has been added to the local WRX range, dubbed the WRX STI spec.R, which in addition to the equipment offered on the STI Premium, adds Recaro sports seats with electric adjustment for the driver and heating for both driver and passenger. WRX STI Premium and spec.R models add a new front view camera for increased visibility in low-speed maneuvering and parking.
The inside of all WRX and WRX STI models have been revised as well, with new interior materials and trims adding to a “more cohesive interior finish”, according to Subaru.
There have been no changes under the bonnet, with the WRX and WRX Premium still using a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine with 197kW of power and 350Nm of torque, matched to a six-speed manual or CVT automatic. All WRX STI models continue to be powered by a larger 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Boxer engine, with 221kW of power and 407Nm of torque, matched solely to a six-speed manual. Subaru claims a fuel consumption average for WRX models as low as 8.6L/100km (9.2 for the manual) and 11.2L/100km for the WRX STI.
Subaru Australia will be welcoming the 2018 updates as WRX sales are down year on year so far in 2017 by more than ten percent, with 1,179 sold so far. Overall Subaru sales are up however, with 25,962 sold so far in 2017 (up 7.9 percent) and the Impreza seeing the biggest sales increase, with 6,373 sales up a huge 114 percent over last year. Updates later in the year to the Levorg sports wagon, as well as the mid-size Liberty and popular Outback should help increase Subaru’s sales momentum. Local Subaru importer Inchcape has also taken on the local distribution for Peugeot and Citroen, with their revised lineup details due soon.
2018 Subaru WRX pricing (plus on-road costs):
WRX manual: $39,240
WRX CVT: $42,240
WRX Premium manual: $45,640
WRX Premium CVT: $48,840
WRX STI: $50,890
WRX STI with rear spoiler: $51,190
WRX STI Premium: $55,640
WRX STI Premium with rear spoiler: $55,940
WRX STI spec.R: $57,690
The 2018 Subaru WRX range is in showrooms now.