Subaru has culled the high-performance STI variant from their new WRX line-up.
Instead, the Japanese manufacturer will explore possible electrified versions of the WRX. They haven’t said this is a sure thing but have confirmed there will be no internal combustion engine STI version based on the next-gen WRX.
“Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification,” the company said.
“In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform.”
Subaru offered some brief explanations for why they are not making the STI this time around.
They cite things like strict emission standards and the changing landscape of the performance car world.
Basically, you could think of it as it not being eligible for a Clean Car rebate if imported to New Zealand.
Before the announcement, rumours were making the rounds about the new STI increasing the current WRX’s power to 300kW; Supra or A45 hyper hatch power.
However, the WRX will now be capped at the standard 200kW of power from its 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
What we are left to ponder is what an STI EV may look like. Subaru’s first all-electric car is its Solterra SUV coming next year. That will give the marque a base to build their EV future off of and potentially introduce an all-electric WRX much sooner than we might expect.
Earlier this year, Subaru also revealed their STI E-RA concept – an electric race car using four motors and boasts a power output over 800kW.
It is only a concept, for now at least. Still, it’s fascinating to see Subaru dedicate so much time and resources to developing high-performance electric vehicles.
Subaru has formerly said they intend to fully electrify its fleet by the end of the decade.
Check out our review of the last turbocharged WRX STI, the limited edition Saigo model, here. Now excuse us while we scour Trade Me for a bargain STI before the inevitable price rise kicks in…