Future Cars: Crystal Ball Gazing the New 2014 Subaru WRX


Ladies and Gentlemen, what you see here could potentially be the all new Subaru WRX, but before I elaborate, allow me to take you for a short trip back to the past: Cast your minds back to the early Nineties, when Will Smith's stardom flourished from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and the Ford Taurus was actually America's bestselling car (…and what a distant achievement that was).

It was 1992 when Subaru revealed its newest compact car - the Impreza; a vehicle that I initially described as being a soulless rolling bar of soap. Its dull lines and horrid half-grill (Japanese market) conjured up thoughts that the designers had fallen asleep at a Vanilla Ice Cream conference.

Fortunately, the launch of the AWD and Turbo'd WRX helped boot this mediocrity out of the door; an actual grille, body-kit and bigger wheels brought huge improvements in aesthetics (and performance). Today, it can be said that the styling of the first generation Impreza WRX appears timeless in a classic Japanese-like sort of way.

The 2000's brought a new generation of the WRX; bigger and bolder. Some say the boldness aspect may have gone too far; those bulging bug-eyed headlights in particular were a love it or hate it affair. The Impreza was facelifted for the better in 2002, as those round headlights were exterminated and normality set back into the design.

However, it wasn't until the 3rd generation was launched in 2007 that some more noticeable changes started to occur; for example the doors lost their trademark frameless windows due to Subaru wanting to improve NVH levels. The basic shape moved away from the silhouette that began with the first generation, into that of a rounder, more fluid design that was more handsome, if not still a little mundane. The sedan arguably was the biggest visual departure from its predecessors; the odd upright cabin and side 3rd quarter window harking back to the generic sedans of the 1980's.

It wasn't until the current, fourth generation model, that Subaru got part of its styling mojo back; the crispier bodywork (the XV in particular) and better-looking front fascia has made it more visually competitive against rivals like the Ford Focus, Mazda3 and Honda Civic. However, at launch, the next WRX was noticeably absent; as it stands, production of the 3rd Generation WRX still continues, and will do so until the next one is revealed.

Word on the street is that, the upcoming WRX will differ greatly from the base Impreza. How big of a difference it will be has yet to be seen, but it is mooted the separation could be similar to Nissan dissecting the GT-R away from the Skyline body that it had previously been based on. Spy shots to date haven't revealed anything radical in terms of design for the WRX - test mules have so far shown the standard Impreza sedan with new running gear.

Since Subaru is still keeping us guessing, I've drafted up my take on how the next WRC-fighter could possibly look. Sure, it doesn't appear as a huge departure from the standard car, but things have been massaged to set it apart more than ever. For example, most of the body panels have been redesigned with rallying in mind - cue the expanded wheel-arch flares for a wider track. Those Forester-inspired vertical air intakes help with cooling, as do the vents behind the front wheel arches - even ducts below the narrowed headlights have a functional purpose.

Yet the showroom version needs to appeal to buying punters as well as being functional for racing; those aesthetics need to be sleek, aggressive and confident. To express this, the headlights have been given dynamic LED lighting spanning the outer edges, whilst the depression in the roof panel mimics that of the hood scoop. As one looks across the side profile, they'll notice the door skins now have more expressive character lines compared to the donor sedan and WRX trademark spoiler stays to aid with aerodynamic downforce and visual punch.

So, overall, this proposal finds the middle ground without losing too much of its Impreza identity - if it were to break away completely and morph into a smaller, more dedicated body, as suggested by some, then wouldn't it be treading on the toes of the BRZ? Regardless of how the final product will appear -  I say bring on 2014!

By Josh Byrnes

Renderings Copyright: CarScoop / Josh Byrnes




aaronbbrown said... »February 14, 2013

I'd drive that. Let's hope Subaru does a rework of their all-wheel drive system, it's rather out of date in comparison to the other performance systems on the market, particularly their direct competition Mitsubishi. It needs to be more street orientated, since most of these cars are driven only on the street. And offering a dual clutch transmission as an option is a must.

Greg VENEZIANO-BELAIEFF said... »February 14, 2013

If it's something like this... well... first sexy face since the initial one.

jh said... »February 14, 2013

better than the 3rd generation by far... but, personally, i miss the bug-eye! back in the day i thought it was plain ugly, but it grew on my with the years going by and that would be the one i would buy. the first and second generation were kind of slim - like the body was sucked onto the frame. the 3rd gen is just too bulky. the new subaru design looks like a mix between holden and vauxhall... they should adapt a new look for the new generation and set it up to be more direct than the 3rd gen. more of a driver's car, not a status symbol...

WRX said... »February 14, 2013

Would be awsome looking like that!
Now Subaru, don't dissapoint us.

SomeRandomCommenter said... »February 14, 2013

It looks so badass

Douglas Wainwright said... »February 14, 2013

Looks like a Honda..I don't like it at all.

Chris said... »February 14, 2013

I wish they gave it a lower wider looking stance, this looks mean, but tall and narrow.

James said... »February 14, 2013

TOOOOO short and tall.
The current '13 WRX has an incredibly short trunk. Make it 6 inches longer and it'd be great!
This WRX looks ever shorter almost as if they took the current model and smashed it like a soda can.
Design wise, Awesome, dimension wise, YUCK!
Anyone else agree?

Den said... »February 15, 2013

кривая) причем вся!!!! фотошопер хреновый!))))

Billy Filippopoulos said... »February 16, 2013

looks wicked. i would upgrade from 2011 sti sedan if this was released. anticipation is killing me. fast and furious 6 is out and subaru needs to stick to the game, the sent the same car in again... not the best marketing!!

BLKITALIAN1 said... »February 18, 2013

that looks like an EVO with a new front end

Friendly Travler said... »February 18, 2013

Nice EVO

Dirtriot said... »February 27, 2013

I think you have it all wrong! It's going to be much shorter than the current Impreza, and with very different design character. The picture you show looks like a current Impreza dressed as a WRX. Think more like the Citroen and Ford Rally cars in Europe. I think that Subaru has a real Ace up their sleeve. Look for the base model to be even cheaper than the current WRX. They are now looking for Toyota-Like sales volumes.

Nicholas Hebert said... »February 28, 2013

Surbaru listened to me about the front end it seems. Horray!

Imp-reza said... »March 02, 2013

This is something i came up with awhile ago when the new impreza was first launched. and comments will be appropriated,

Josh said... »March 03, 2013

I drive a 97 Impreza and when the time comes it will be hard to part with it. I'm interested in the next WRX and EVO but struggling to find ANY leaks on what's going on with them. Considering we keep hearing '2014' release wouldn't that mean we'd see them at the end of 2013?

DJsan said... »March 04, 2013

Another Ricer, now it will be made by Toyota which means it'l get played out even quicker. What a joke!

Kaveh Ghavim said... »March 10, 2013

That would be cool if it went that way

Kaveh Ghavim said... »March 10, 2013

Nice, hopefully it will still have a stick.

Brian C said... »March 25, 2013

The first mistake with almost all renderings of the future WRX that I've seen is that they use the new Impreza as its base. The new WRX is going to be completely separated from the Impreza line, so it shouldn't look anything like it. If it has the slightest hint of design inspiration from the current Impreza (which is really ugly and blocky in my opinion), Subaru won't be getting my money next year.

Kyle MacDermaid said... »March 26, 2013

Hey guys, I made a rendering, I bet it'll look like my personal drawing...

Dave Cohen said... »March 26, 2013

Get rid of the chrome in the grill, and by the way, I like your rendition a lot more.

STI said... »March 27, 2013

get rid of the civic look. this looks gross. Subaru failed before launch already?

STI said... »March 27, 2013

2013 WRX has the best body so far. cant hate on wide body with a slim waist.

STI said... »March 27, 2013

agree. to ricer looking. Subaru was like Audi...conservative...silent. however powerful and raw.

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