By Otsile Kadiege
Subaru’s much-awaited fifth-generation WRX (World Rally eXperimental) has finally arrived in South Africa. The newcomer boasts an assertive design, a practical yet sporty interior, a raft of new technologies, a new powerful turbocharged engine and a plethora of safety systems to list a few.
Rugged performance sedan
Staying true to its rally origins, the new WRX is instantly recognisable thanks to its sporty and prominent contrast body cladding on the wheel arches as well as a striking silhouette. Adding to the striking and sporty appeal of the new WRX is aggressive-looking LED headlights which flank the patterned grille with a single slat. Another highlight upfront is Subaru’s signature bonnet scoop.
The new WRX comes fitted with 18-inch wheels wrapped with 245/40 contact tyres. Moving to its rear, the new Subaru WRX has C-shaped LED taillights with a crystal glass effect, quad exhaust pipes, a large contrasting bumper with an integrated centre brake light as well as a spoiler on the top of the tailgate.
Customers can choose from a selection of eight colours for the new WRX, four of which are all-new. These include Ignition Red (new), Solar Orange Pearl (new), Sapphire Blue (new), Ceramic White (new), WR Blue Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Crystal Black Silica and Magnetite Gray Metallic.
Refined interior with sporty touches
Climbing aboard the new Subaru WRX you are met by a large portrait-style 11.6-inch touchscreen running on the automaker’s infotainment system which is said to serve as an easy-to-access hub for a wide range of entertainment and vehicle-related functions. The system also features Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth in addition to a built-in navigation programme that is standard across the locally-available WRX range. All WRX models are available with a 10-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
Other interior highlights include red contrast stitching on the leather/Ultrasuede seats, which feature 3-stage heating, door panels, steering wheel and dashboard. With the increased width of the all-new WRX, passenger space has seen a considerable improvement. The shoulder room now measures 1,441 mm at the front (+30 mm), and 1,412 mm at the rear (+40 mm). The wheelbase has also seen an increase in length and now measures 2,675 mm (+25 mm).
Improved safety and driver assistance systems
The Subaru WRX has a comprehensive list of safety features which has been bolstered by Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive. This is complemented by sensor-based systems within Subaru’s Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), a suite of safety systems. These include Active Torque Vectoring, ABS, EBD and ESC that ensure optimum traction and handling in all driving conditions.
The WRX tS ES derivative comes standard with Subaru’s most advanced EyeSight® 4.0 Driver Assistance System which includes the following driver assistance systems: a Pre-Collision Braking system, Autonomous Emergency Steering, Lane Departure Prevention, Adaptive Cruise and Steering Control, Traffic Sign Recognition Driver Monitoring System and Intelligent Speed Limiter.
Enhanced Boxer engine
Nestled beneath the sculpted bonnet is a reworked 2.4-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder Boxer engine. It delivers 202kW (+5kW) at 5,600rpm and a wide torque band of 350Nm between 2,000 and 5,200rpm.
There are 2 derivatives available in the line-up: the WRX Manual and the WRX tS ES. In the Manual derivative, the 2.4-litre Boxer engine is paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The WRX tS ES derivative brings with it the newly-developed 8-speed Subaru Performance Transmission (SPT) which Subaru claims is up to 50% faster than before.
Subaru’s WRX tS ES derivative is also fitted as standard with the Si-Drive Performance Management system that allows drivers to tap into the multi-faceted driving mode setup of this premium sports sedan.
Subaru WRX pricing and warranty
Subaru WRX 2.4DIT Manual R759,000
Subaru WRX 2.4DIT tS ES CVT R859,000
Each Subaru WRX model is sold with a 3yr/75 000km Maintenance Plan and a 5yr/150 000km Warranty.
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