Friday, March 31, 2023

Subaru WRX STI axed in green push

An affordable performance car with a loyal following in Australia has been canceled as its manufacturer shifts its focus for the future.

Subaru has shocked performance car fans by ending production of the WRX STI.

The manufacturer introduced a new-generation WRX in Japan and the US in late 2021 ahead of a local debut mid-year.

Every generation of the turbocharged WRX has been bolstered by a high-performance “STI” version with more power, better brakes, and in most cases, an enormous rear spoiler.

More than 10,000 Australian customers have bought a new STI since the model debuted in 1999.

But Subaru fans will have to make do with the standard Rex, as the STI has been culled by the brand.

Subaru issued a statement surrounding the decision, saying it needed to focus on electrification, low emissions vehicles and fuel economy.

“As part of that effort, Subaru Corporation is exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification,” it says.

“In the meantime, a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform.”

The brand says it will leverage its performance brand by “incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles”.

That sounds as though Subaru plans to follow the likes of Audi’s S-Line and Mercedes’ AMG-Line, which bring sporty looks and other minor tweaks without improving the performance of regular vehicles.

Subaru’s decision is as good as a lottery win to lucky owners of the collectable WRX STI “EJ25 Final Edition” that was intended to send off the last-generation engine, but ended up farewelling the WRX STI altogether.

Low-mileage examples listed for sale were already above the $100,000 mark, with one enterprising owner asking for double that.

The decision to drop the STI is a shame, as the regular WRX misses out on the Brembo brakes, Recaro seats, additional body bracing and other touches that make the halo model a better bet for track days and competition.

It follows similar moves by rivals.

Ford recently dropped plans for a new Focus RS, Renault killed off its Renault Sport arm to focus on green machines, and Mitsubishi ended production of the Lancer Evolution several years ago to maximize the potential of its hybrid tech.

VW’s diesel emissions scandal contributed to the cancellation of a 300kW version of its Golf R hot hatch.

It’s not all bad news for fast car fans, who can look forward to a new Volkswagen Golf R this year, along with similarly powerful Cupra spin-offs.

A fresh Honda Civic Type R is just around the corner, joining Toyota’s upcoming GR Corolla hatchback – a five-door powered by the same motor as the smash hit GR Yaris.

And Hyundai is carrying the torch for affordable performance cars, offering turbocharged “N” models with four body styles.


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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