Once the dream car of many racer boys, the Subaru WRX, now a standalone model separate from the Impreza range, has officially arrived in Malaysia. Available as the WRX and harder-edged WRX STI, these new high performance sedans are now available for booking at all Subaru showrooms nationwide.
Following the familiar formula of a 2.0-litre boxer turbo engine propelling Subaru’s proprietary Symmetrical AWD drivetrain, the base WRX, which now incorporates direct injection technology, pushes out 264hp and 350Nm, the latter delivered over a wide range of revs spanning from 2,400 to 5,200rpm.
A big departure from WRX tradition however, is that the good ol’ manual gearbox has been displaced, not by fancy double clutch gearbox or an old-fashioned torque converter automatic, but instead by a CVT. A 6-speed manual option is actually available in the global portfolio, but its absence here indicates a product strategy to position the WRX closer to the mainstream market.
The needs of hard core enthusiasts will be catered for by the WRX STI, which gets a 6-speed manual transmission as standard and 296hp flowing from its 2.5-litre turbocharged engine, which also generates 400Nm of torque. To match its higher performance, the STI’s handling is correspondingly enhanced by a stiffer chassis, firmer springs, and faster steering. In addition, the STI also gets a multi-mode adjustable centre diff which the regular WRX does not.
In appearance, the STI is differentiated from the regular WRX with more expressive bodily elements, such as the 1990s outrageous wing spoiler and bigger rims. Inside, the STI’s interior is additionally fitted with sports bucket seats with STI embroidery, sports pedals and leather upholstery.
Colours offered with the new WRX and WRX STI are Ice Silver, Crystal White Pearl, Lightning Red, Crystal Black Silica, and WR Blue Pearl. On-the-road pricing with insurance for these models in Peninsula Malaysia are pegged at RM237,190.80 and RM278,720.50 respectively.