The Subaru WRX has an exciting history that those who are into motorsport know. As a model born from the rave of rally racing, the WRX nameplate has amassed a local following – a fandom, even – which makes this launch one of the most important launches of the year for the automaker.
Subaru Philippines, under the exclusive distributorship of Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc. (MIPI), takes the wraps off the fifth-generation WRX. More importantly, the WRX now comes in two forms – a sedan and a wagon.
Under the hood of both versions of the all-new Subaru WRX is a bigger, revamped 2.4-liter FA24 engine. Also found on the Evoltis, the turbocharged mill has been reworked for the WRX with an output of 275 metric horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 350Nm torque at 2,000-5,200 rpm.
MIPI keeps the manual alive in the country by offering a 6-speed manual gearbox, along with an 8-speed Lineartronic CVT. The company said that the 2nd and 3rd gears have been refined for a better shifting experience.
Also improved on the all-new version are the various SI driving modes. There’s also the S# (Sport Sharp) mode for superfast up/down shifts, said to be a whopping 50 percent faster than usual.
As always, the WRX comes with the patented Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with Variable Torque Distribution, which uses a planetary gear-type center differential and an electronically controlled transfer clutch to optimally distribute the torque between the front and rear axles.
All these performance stats are wrapped in a redesigned body that harkens back to the Viziv Performance Concept from the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and the Viziv Tourer Concept from the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show.
Notable with the WRX sedan is the black cladding on the wheel arches with hexagonal dimpled texture, which are functional in terms of aerodynamics. Other elements that improve the WRX’s aero include the side sill spoilers, rear spoiler, air outlets, forward edge of the front wheel arches, and bead-shaped ridges of the engine under-cover.
On the other hand, the WRX Wagon doesn’t get the side and rear black claddings, the four-pronged tailpipes, aggressive-styled 18-inch wheels, and the dramatic “Tokyo ” turbojet” rear. The long-roof version is styled as a classy sports tourer rather than a rally-bred model.
Of note, the WRX Wagon effectively replaces the Levorg in the lineup.
Step inside both the WRX Sedan and WRX Wagon and you’ll be greeted with a revamped cabin, reminiscent of the all-new Outback. Clad with leather and high-quality elements, one can’t miss the massive 11.6-inch vertical infotainment screen that houses most of the car’s controls, including the updated EyeSight 4.0.
Speaking of which, the suite of advanced safety tech, which relies on stereoscopic cameras, is available across the lineup (except the manual versions) and includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering Function, Pre-Collision Braking with Autonomous Emergency Steering, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Departure Prevention, Lane Sway Warning, and Lead Vehicle Start Alert.
The Subaru WRX also comes with Driver Monitoring System (DMS), which uses an infrared camera to detect whether the driver is distracted or tired/sleepy/drowsy while on the road.
MIPI also offers top-spec tS models for both the sedan and the wagon. The tS, which stands for tuned by STI, comes with a different set of driving modes that allow further excitement behind the wheel. The drive modes also affect the suspension tuning, changing depending on the needs of the driver.
Other equipment specific to the tS variants in the Philippines includes a Harman/Kardon 10-speaker hi-fi system with subwoofer and 8-channel amplifier for the WRX tS, and a power rear gate with Outback-style hands-free operation (put a hand or elbow near the rear Subaru emblem to open the tailgate) for the WRX tS Wagon. Both WRX tS models also sport an “STI” logo on the steering wheel, illuminated red meter rings, and “tS” badging on the boot lid. Compared to the WRX GT-S Wagon, the WRX tS Wagon adds chrome trim on the front bumper lip, features a different 18-inch wheel design, and sports large muffler cutters for the twin exhaust tailpipes.
Prices of the WRX and WRX Wagon are as follows:
- WRX sedan M/T – P 2,508,000
- WRX sedan CVT – P 2,658,000
- WRX tS sedan CVT – P 2,808,000*
- WRX CVT wagon – P 2,558,000
- WRX tS wagon CVT – P 2,708,000*
* tS variants are available on an indent-order basis.