Why was the Subaru WRX STI given a makeover if it’s the only game left in town?
With the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution now really dead, the WRX and WRX STI are it, if you’re looking for a small Japanese performance sedan that’s all-wheel drive, turbocharged and rectangular. Fortunately for fans of this niche, Subaru hasn’t changed the recipe with this update.
In fact, it’s hard to grasp what they actually changed. The revised front still looks like a WRX front, there’s still a big scoop in the hood that looks like parcels go in and there’s still a big wing on the back of the STI. And the earth still revolves around the sun.
Interior changes as reported by Subaru consisted of newly available Recaro front seats, available power adjustments for those seats, driver assistance technologies, some squishier plastics and glossy black trim. The result is a WRX STI that feels like a WRX STI inside. So while it doesn’t feel like a Mitsubishi from 2008, it also feels a lot like a Subaru from 2017.
Not that this car’s fans minded it before. It’s going to take a drive to determine whether the 2018 WRXs handle or stop any better because of the Brembo brakes or suspension tweaks, or whether it’s actually any quieter inside. But already, the signs are good for WRX STI fans who don’t like change.