New 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI get mild updates, still missing something

January 5, 2017

A new Impreza may already be here, but a new WRX and STI won't be following any time soon.

Subaru just announced a redesigned 2018 Subaru WRX and 2018 Subaru WRX STI based largely on the last generation Impreza. Unlike the new generation that's build in Lafayette, Indiana, which started arriving in dealer showrooms last month, the WRX and WRX STI will still be assembled in Japan and won't take advantage of Subaru's new scaleable architecture and vastly improved interior.

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The improvements to the WRX and STI include a minor tweak to the grille up front with adaptive LED headlights, suspension tweaks for each car, and upgraded interior materials (namely some revised trim garnishes). Thicker windows help cut down road noise, and both models get a larger center multi-function information display (5.9 inches vs. 4.3 inches) to watch the boost build.

The WRX gets an improved shifter for its 6-speed manual transmission with a smoother clutch take-up, and a retuned electric power steering system for a more natural feel. A CVT is also available, if you're in to that sort of thing.

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A performance package for the WRX is all new this year, but before we get too ahead of ourselves it's still the same 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4 under the hood that makes 268 horsepower for the WRX—that doesn't change. Instead, the WRX Performance Package focuses on the details: Recaro seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded brake pads, and removing the moonroof to save weight. (One of those things helps, at least.)

The WRX STI gets a retuned Driver Control Center Differential system, upgraded brakes, and new 19-inch wheels. The WRX STI's brakes are upgraded with six-piston calipers up front (instead of four-piston anchors last year) and drilled rotors all the way around. The powerplant is still the throwback 2.5-liter turbocharged EJ flat-4 that we know and love that makes 305 horsepower—get 'em while they last.

Pricing hasn't yet been announced for the 2018 model, but should follow closely to the 2017 versions. The 2017 Subaru WRX started at $27,515, and the 2017 Subaru WRX STI started at $36,015.

Oh yeah, still no wagon.

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