The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX sports sedan aims to engage a new generation of buyers with rally-inspired speed that’s packed with technology.
The Subaru WRX arrived on American shores in the early 2000s and reignited a horsepower war that has continued down to this day. Now, Subaru is releasing a brand new generation of the WRX that’s meant to disrupt the status quo once again. New “from the wheels up”, the 2022 Subaru WRX features more power, a new trim level, and a very aggressive face. Let’s dive into what Subaru is calling “the rally legend for the next generation”.
Outwardly, the 2022 Subaru WRX looks a bit more like a mid-cycle refresh than it does a whole new platform. Major exterior updates mainly come in the form of the front and rear fascias. Upfront you’ll find new Kono-Ji LED headlights, and in the back is something Subaru calls Magma-Design taillights. Both serve to more closely tie the sports sedan to the rest of the Subaru lineup. On each side, buyers will find functional vents just behind the front wheels and a more aggressive beltline that aims to drive home how athletic this new car really is. Under the hood is where things get really interesting though.
The new 2022 Subaru WRX sits on the same Subaru Global Platform or SGP that the Forester and Outback do. That in part serves to make this the biggest WRX ever clocking in at 2.9 inches longer and 1.2 inches wider than the old car. While larger isn’t always better when it comes to sports cars, in this case, it’s a benefit. Subaru says that roll stiffness has been improved by 20% and that torsional stiffness is up 28% over the previous WRX. It also allows the use of a larger engine than the past car. Gone is the 2.0-liter engine and in its place sits a 2.4-liter boxer.
It will power all four wheels with 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s 3 more horsepower than the outgoing car and exactly the same amount of torque. Subaru does say that the power is going to cover more of the RPM range now, so that’s better than nothing. Subaru spent a large swath of testing time benchmarking the new WRX directly against the Ford Mustang EcoBoost, so perhaps they felt that they had achieved their goal. Getting the power to the wheels will be a standard six-speed manual transmission. A CVT is optional.
Inside the new Subaru WRX, buyers will find an all-new interior layout. The center control stack features an almost square 11.6-inch touchscreen equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A premium Harmon Kardon sound system will also be available. EyeSight, Subaru’s advanced driver assist technology suite, will also be available for those who buy the automatic version of the WRX.
For those that select the new GT Trim level, automatic is the only option, so they’ll end up with EyeSight as well as some other exclusive features. Among them is a pair of Recaro seats in the front, electronically adjustable dampers, and a transmission oil cooler. Subaru says that the CVT in the WRX GT will have a special “8-Speed” setting to allow drivers to “manually” shift between “gears” with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. With the addition of the GT trim level that makes a total of four including Base, Premium, and Limited. Subaru has not formally announced anything about an upcoming STI.
Subaru and the WRX specifically have truly grown up. I owned a 2002 Subaru WRX built for rallycross and autocross for nearly a decade, and to compare it to the new car is just comical. The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX is nothing like its rally-bred predecessors and, despite sentimentality doing its best to win the day, that might end up being a good thing.