Japan will soon have a new entrant into the almost 300kW club, and if the new 2022 Subaru WRX STi looks half as good as it does in these new renders, then we're very much on board.
Yes, the Toyota GR Supra and new Nissan Z will soon have company at the top of the accessible-performance food chain, with Subaru expected to launch the new WRX STi globally in around March of next year.
But with the lesser S4 WRX now revealed, the internet's talented designers have been hard at work giving that model the STi treatment to give us an idea of what to expect from Subaru's performance flagship.
Read more about the Subaru WRX
Which is exactly where these images have come from, with X-Tomi Design transforming the S4 into a very appealing STi.
Seen here in brilliant blue, with bronze-gold alloys, bright-red brake calipers, soaring rear wing and meshed grille and air intakes, the renders more than whet our appetite for the real-deal, which should be unveiled soon.
So what else do we know, or think we know? While the regular WRX – which will land in Australia in the first half of 2022 – is fitted with a turbocharged 2.4-litre engine that pumps out 202kW and 350Nm (up from 197kW and 350Nm), the STi variant is expected to significantly up the grunt from there.
Rumours abound across the internet, of course, with everything from the new STI unlocking extra grunt through electrification to the power and torque wicks simply being turned right up for the new model.
We do know – or think we know – that the new model will get a new engine, the turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer currently found in the US-only Ascent SUV. According to multiple reports from Japan the new engine is tipped to make as much as 295kW.
That would put it above the Toyota GR Supra (285kW) and below the new Nissan Z (298kW), and mean there are suddenly three screaming options from Japan to choose from.
The new WRX features a stiffer chassis, sportier (auto) gearbox and other fun-focused equipment, as well as riding on new platform – the SGP or Subaru Global Platform – which the brand says “significantly enhances the driving dynamics” thanks to its “highly rigid body and chassis” Also assisting in its AWD performance is its available centre differential and Variable Torque Distribution in auto models.
The new STi will share those attributes, but will turn up the performance dial even further. Just how far, though, is a wait and see proposition.