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2022 Subaru WRX STI: What we know so far about the new Volkswagen Golf R and Toyota GR Corolla rival, including engines and timing

The new-gen Subaru WRX STI is tipped to be powered by a near-300kW 2.4-litre turbo petrol. (Image credit: William Vicente)

What you’re looking at is the best illustration yet of the all-new Subaru WRX STI that’s coming soon.

This exclusive CarsGuide computer generated image of the new ‘Rex’ is based on various recent spy shots and all the information we’ve assembled in the years of development leading up to this new compact sports sedan’s arrival.

Due to be officially unveiled by the end of 2021, and likely to reach Australian showrooms by the end of 2022, the new WRX STI promises to pack a lot of punch according to our sources. Naturally, it will follow the arrival of the new-generation WRX, which we can expect sometime in the second half of this year, as Subaru completes its trinity of performance cars - BRZ, WRX, WRX STI.

New model, new platform

One of the biggest changes to the WRX STI is the new platform it will sit upon. The Japanese brand has been rolling out its Subaru Global Platform (SGP) in recent years, with it already underpinning the Impreza, XV and Forester.

Subaru spent more than $1 billion developing the SGP and its improved rigidity will help ensure the new STI should be a leap forward in terms of handling; at least based on our experience in the Impreza. The WRX STI is also expected to benefit from technology already fitted to the new Levorg wagon, specifically its adaptive suspension that should help sharpen its handling even further.

Other elements from the Levorg you can expect to see on the WRX and STI include the more premium interior, complete with 11.6-inch tablet-style multimedia screen, as well as Subaru’s latest EyeSight X active safety suite.

More power… a lot more

As we’ve reported before, the new WRX STI is set to take a major step forward in terms of power. The new model will get a new engine, the turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer currently found in the US-only Ascent SUV. Already good for 197kW in the Ascent, the boffins at STI will wind up the performance to ensure the new WRX STI lives up to its reputation.

According to multiple reports from Japan the new engine is tipped to make as much as 295kW - a significant upgrade from the out-going model’s 221kW, which it needs to be, as the WRX is expected to get the same 2.4-litre flat-four and will make 215kW.

Subaru has reportedly used the 310kW Mercedes-AMG A45 as a benchmark, with that model’s 2.0-litre four-pot turbo the most potent hot hatch engine on the market today. However, the WRX STI won’t cost anything as much as the $94k A45, with Subaru sticking to its mainstream roots.

The Japanese brand is also sticking to the STI’s enthusiast roots, with the new engine set to be paired exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox; with no automatic option available. And, of course, the new Subaru performance king will use the brand’s trademark all-wheel drive system to ensure all those new kilowatts get transmitted to the road as easily as possible.

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