While Mitsubishi is killing off the high-performance Lancer Evolution, Subaru is pushing forward with ambitious plans for its new WRX STI.
If reports from Motoring turn out to be true, the next-generation WRX STI will be unlike any other. Specifically, it is claimed that the new Subaru WRX STI that’s widely tipped for a debut in 2017 will be powered by an updated version of the existing FA20 2.0-litre turbocharged boxer four-cylinder engine. In an effort to boost performance, while also reducing emissions and improving fuel economy, that engine will be mated to an electric motor which should push peak power to around the 320 hp mark.
At this stage, it remains unclear how the hybrid system will be implemented. However, there’s a possibility that it could be mated to the rear axle and therefore power the rear wheels. Whatever the case may be, it will be fitted as standard alongside a six-speed dual-clutch transmission driving all four wheels.
Beyond its powertrain, the 2017 WRX STI will retain the current car’s sedan body style and also incorporate a plethora of bold visual components including a towering rear wing, flared front and rear wheel arches and a downforce-generating rear diffuser. The car will of course be based around the next-generation Impreza sedan, previewed in concept guise last month at the LA Auto Show.
Following the market introduction of the latest WRX STI, sources indicate that a plug-in hybrid variant could be revealed in late 2018 as well.
Note: 2013 Subaru WRX Concept pictured