Almost 20 years ago, Subaru earned even more adoration from its most ardent followers when the automaker finally brought the coveted WRX — a World Rally-inspired sports car — to America. With a powerful engine and the company’s legendary all-wheel drive system, the WRX is akin to a street-legal rally car for driving enthusiasts. Today the automaker takes the wraps of the fifth generation of this iconic sports car — the 2022 Subaru WRX — boasting even more power, improved driving dynamics and bold new styling.
Subaru Global Platform
Introduced on the 2017 Impreza, Subaru’s Global Platform eventually underpinned every all-wheel-drive model in the brand’s lineup — except for the WRX and STI. That changes for 2022, when the WRX moves to the new platform, which provides an impressive upgrade in ride and handling with increased chassis stiffness and a lower center of gravity. Torsional rigidity is increased by 28 percent, with suspension mounting point rigidity up 75 percent. The new platform also reduces noise, vibration and harshness as well as increases overall safety.
The 2022 Subaru WRX gets a larger 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer 4-cylinder engine producing 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Although these numbers are similar to the previous generation (268 vs. 271), the torque curve widens to improve dynamic performance. Power gets sent to the road via Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with active torque vectoring.
The 2022 Subaru WRX will remain one of the few new models available with a manual gearbox — in this case a 6-speed manual with optimized gear ratios for improved performance. For those who prefer only two pedals, Subaru will offer the 2022 WRX with a new Subaru Performance Transmission. This new SPT is a CVT that can simulate shifts considerably faster than the previous version and will rev-match downshifts when braking. Utilizing the steering wheel paddles, the SPT can operate in an 8-speed manual mode for those who prefer a bit more engagement. Acceleration and responsiveness should be greatly improved.
Whether tackling twisty backroads or heading out on the track, the WRX’s updated steering and suspension should provide excellent feedback for sharper performance. The track-tuned suspension features an optimized front geometry, while the new dual-pinion electric power steering system is designed to provide quicker response with improved accuracy.
Tires and Brakes
The new 2022 Subaru WRX will ride on summer performance tires fitted to either 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels. Stopping power is provided by the four-wheel ventilated disc brakes.
While the new look of the 2022 WRX remains recognizably Subaru, the larger signature hexagonal grille gets flanked by compact LED headlights. A wide hood scoop adds to the sporty character of the new WRX. The body seems to bulge around the wheels, emphasizing the powerful nature of this high-performance four-door sedan.
At the trailing edge of the front wheel wells are ducts that allow air to flow freely away from the wheels, reducing frontal lift and improving overall stability. At each side of the rear bumper sit additional air ducts designed to reduce body sway by keeping air from being trapped behind the bumper.
At the rear of the 2022 Subaru WRX sits a low-profile spoiler integrated into the trunk lid. Unique rear taillights help differentiate the WRX from the Impreza — according to the Subaru release these lights are “designed to glow with a look reminiscent of volcanic magma.” The quad exhaust outlets complete the high-performance look.
The high-performance vibe of the 2022 Subaru WRX carries into the cabin via a black interior accented with red stitching, as well as carbon fiber bits throughout. Adding to the interior’s sporting nature is a flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped steering wheel fitted with integrated switches for audio, voice recognition and EyeSight (Subaru’s suite of advanced safety features) controls.
The 2022 Subaru WRX gets the automaker’s latest infotainment system featuring a tablet-style 11.6-inch HD touchscreen display with the brand’s STARLINK in-vehicle technology. The system features Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity. Also available is a Harmon Kardon sound system with 11 speakers and an HK 504-watt equivalent amplifier.
For the 2022 model year, Subaru also adds a brand-new top-level trim to the WRX lineup. The new WRX GT will feature electronically controlled dampers to adjust the dynamic performance to the driver’s preference with Comfort, Normal and Sport settings.
The GT also gets new Recaro front seats wrapped in black Ultrasuede, with a unique Y-shaped design at the center. Outside, the GT stands out thanks to 18-inch matte-gray alloy wheels with 245/40 R18 summer performance tires.
The new WRX also gets improvements in both passive and active safety. The new global platform provides better crash protection with increased energy absorption from a front or side crash, as well as seven airbags. That said, it’s always better to avoid a crash entirely, which is what Subaru’s innovative EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is designed to do.
New Eyesight Tech
Now enhanced with an expanded angle of view as well as software improvements, Eyesight is standard on all WRX’s equipped with the new Subaru Performance Transmission. In addition to automatic emergency braking and lane departure prevention, the WRX will also be available with automatic emergency steering, which works with the pre-collision brake system to assist with accident avoidance at speeds under 50 mph.
The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX is expected to roll into showrooms early in 2022, with pricing to be released closer to the on-sale date. Although Subaru has not given any official indication about an updated version of the more powerful STI, we expect it will follow soon after the new WRX.