Next-generation Subaru Wrx Sti Getting New Engine, Platform, Styling

Next-generation Subaru WRX STI getting new engine, platform, styling

We just covered Japan's updated Subaru Impreza, which naturally has everyone wondering about a new WRX, the current fourth-generation on sale since 2014. According to a story in Japan's Best Car magazine, the fifth generation arrives late next year with a new platform and engine as part of the automaker's Japanese-market overhaul of the WRX STI, JDM-only WRX S4, and Levorg wagon. The STI is expected to switch from the current turbocharged EJ20 boxer-four to a direct-injection FA20 boxer-four engine with output of around 315 horsepower. Note, the Japanese-market WRX STI uses a 2.0-liter engine, the U.S version gets the 2.5-liter EJ257 with 310 hp. The U.S.-market WRX (sans STI) already uses the turbo FA20, but it makes 268 horsepower. The WRX STI will finally move to the Subaru Global Platform that the Impreza switched to in 2017, which will hopefully go a long way in improving ride comfort around town. The six-speed manual makes the switch as well. Best Car says the four-door's size won't change much, but the looks will crib from the Viziv concept - something everyone wants - with a design language called "Dynamic x Solid," U-shaped LEDs, and "greatly inflated front and rear fenders." Until then, the 2020 Subaru WRX STI will stick with its current architecture and another limited edition called the Series.White. A Torque News story says that as with the Series.Gray launched for the 2019 model year, the Series.White will be limited to 250 examples in WRX STI flavor, and 750 examples of the WRX. The Series.White gets a tonal neighbor on the palette for 2020, a new hue called Ceramic White that's exclusive to the WRX and WRX STI, which will omit any metallic or pearl effects in order to distinguish itself from the already-available Crystal White Pearl. The Series.White, as a special edition, will come with the requisite Crystal Black Silica badges, Recaro seats, Performance Package, suspension upgrades, folding side mirrors, and 19-inch black wheels.  The WRX S4 and Levorg will benefit from two brand new, downsized, direct-injection turbocharged engines in Japan, one of 1.5 liters, the other of 1.8 liters. Built around smaller, lighter engine blocks and boasted improved combustion efficiency, the 1.5-liter will produce about 148 hp, the 1.8-liter about 266 hp. Our non-STI WRX gets a 2.0-liter FA20 with 268 hp. Considering the similar horsepower, we wouldn't be surprised if Subaru continues to use the FA20 in the U.S.-spec WRX in the next-generation car since it's already certified for the U.S. and aftermarket parts should be easy to adapt to the new car. It's possible Subaru will preview all three new models at this year's Tokyo Motor Show.

2020 Subaru Wrx Sti S209 Prototype First Drive Review | The Best Is Just For Us

2020 Subaru WRX STI S209 Prototype First Drive Review | The best is just for us

We're about 70 miles southwest of Tokyo on the grounds of Fuji International Speedway. Yoshihide Yano puts his hand on the camouflaged carbon fiber roof of the 2020 Subaru WRX STI S209 prototype we're about to drive and smiles. "This will never make a business case," says the assistant manager of Subaru's North America Business Planning Department. "We don't want to make more than 250. The more we make, the more money we lose."

From the wince of his co-workers, Yano is clearly off the script, but his statement isn't a huge surprise. Building the STI S209 is complicated and time-consuming, with most of its extensive engine, suspension and aerodynamic modifications being installed by hand at STI's small off-site headquarters just outside Toyko. Founded in 1988, Subaru Technica International is the automaker's motorsports division and employs only 120 people. It can produce just two cars a day.