Subaru has lifted the covers off its refreshed WRX and WRX STI hot sedan pair, revealing tweaked styling and updated kit aimed at making the performance duo a more user-friendly proposition.
This update is expected to carry the WRX through to 2020, when an all-new version will be built on Subaru's new Global Platform which was first used in the recently-released Impreza small car.
The update was announced on Subaru's North American media site, however Australian versions are expected to receive the same changes before long.
Mechanical changes on the new WRX include a retuned suspension system that is aimed at improving ride comfort and steering stability, while six-speed manual variants get new gear synchros for reduced friction, smoother clutch travel, and tweaks to the power steering which Subaru says gives "an even smoother, more natural feel".
STI variants get a tweak to its Driver Control Centre Differential, which changes the mechanical and electronic Limited Slip Differential (LSD) control to one that is purely electronic, which Subaru says will create a smoother and quicker response.
Stopping power in the STI is also boosted with the addition of yellow six-pot Brembo brake callipers clamping the front wheels, while the rear wheels get two-pot Brembos, and larger, drilled rotors throughout.
Styling has been lightly tweaked, with the new model getting a refreshed front fascia with new LED headlights, larger lower intake, a revised grille and new twin-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
The structural integrity of the front end has also been changed to perform better in the event of a frontal collision.
It is unlikely that Australian versions will be upgraded to include the extra tech.
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have been improved inside the cabin, courtesy of thicker door glass, a foam-filled windshield header beam and revised door sealing.
Changes to the interior include a larger multi-function display, reworked door grips, better interior materials and a faster remote trunk opening.
American WRXs will also have the option of choosing a Performance Package which includes red brake callipers and better pads, power-adjustable Recaro bucket seats and the removal of the WRX's moonroof, which improves body rigidity and reduces weight.
Only one US-spec WRX is available with Subaru's EyeSight safety technology, and it is unlikely that Australian versions will be upgraded to include the extra tech.
Aussie Subarus that are fitted with EyeSight include the Forester, Liberty, Outback and next-gen Impreza, while it is offered as standard on the WRX-based Levorg wagon.
No changes have been made under the bonnet, with the update retaining the 197kW 2.0-litre unit in the WRX and the 2.5-litre 221kW boxer engine powering the STI.
Does the improvement in comfort and NVH levels help or hurt the WRX's reputation as a performance demon? Tell us what you think in the comments below.