Hot off the heels of its all-new 2017 Impreza sedan and hatchback, Subaru has thrown a whole host of updates at the Impreza's performance variants, the WRX and WRX STI.
Both models feature light updates to the front fascia. The headlights look a bit slimmer alongside a new grille and a larger lower air dam. The higher-end WRX Limited and the STI both add LED headlights that move in conjunction with the steering wheel. All WRX and STI models now come with roof rack mounting brackets, because that's the Subaru lifestyle, yo.
The interior's been tweaked a tad, as well. Every model gets slightly nicer interior models, redesigned door grips and a remote trunk opening that works a bit faster. There's also thicker door glass and better seals for reduced cabin noise. The multi-function display is larger now at 5.9 inches, up from 4.3. The WRX Premium model features a new 7-inch infotainment screen, as well, larger the previous model's 6.2-inch unit.
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2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI
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The WRX still packs a 268-horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-four engine mated to all-wheel drive and the buyer's choice of a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The manual sports an enhanced shifter feel with a new synchro design. The suspension has been tweaked a bit, as has the electric power steering.
There's a new Performance Package available for the WRX Premium trim. It adds eight-way power Recaro seats, red brake calipers with upgraded brake pads and the moonroof is deleted to save weight. There's also a new design for the standard 18-inch alloy wheels.
As for the STI, that mamma jamma still rocks the 305-horsepower, 2.5-liter H4 from before. The STI's suspension features the same upgrades as the WRX's, but its all-wheel drive system now sports an entirely electronic limited-slip center differential. 19-inch wheels are now standard, a first for the STI. The only transmission on offer is a six-speed manual, which is the way it should be, damn it.
2018 Subaru WRX STIEnlarge Image
Still no hatchback. Sigh.
While there's no new Performance Package for the STI, it comes standard with powerful Brembo brakes. The Brembos feature yellow painted calipers and a beefier six-piston setup up front. The rotors are larger than before, as well, and new brake pads should help bring this puppy to a stop in no time. Recaro seats are optional for the base model, but standard on the Limited model.
In terms of safety equipment, certain models of WRX can be optioned with Subaru EyeSight, a suite of active and passive safety systems that includes autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning and a neat little warning that lets you know when the car ahead of you has started moving, in the event you're distracted at a red light.
The 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI land at dealerships this spring. Pricing has not yet been announced.
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Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. He started his auto-industry career working as a photographer and social media coordinator for Fluid MotorUnion, a prominent aftermarket parts fabrication garage for late-model European vehicles. That led to a job writing freelance features for "Total 911: The Porsche Magazine." His most recent job prior to CNET was Senior Writer for Web2Carz.com, where he helped tweak and develop the buying-and-selling site's editorial department, which brings us to today. One day, he'll buy the 1988 911 SC of his dreams. One day.