Subaru has introduced the refreshed 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI models with the promise of more rewarding driving experience
Author: Chandan Basu Mallik
Subaru’s Gen IV sports sedan – the WRX and its performance variant the WRX STI have been doing well for three years and as with mid-cycle upgrades, a refreshed version was very much on the cards. Subaru has decided not to spoil the established portfolio with unnecessary packing but has focused on what buyers would be more interested in, that is performance, comfort, design and safety.
The mild restyle touches the front face in the 2018 Subaru WRX and WRX STI model and key highlights include a more pronounced grille design, along with a larger lower grille opening. The WRX Limited and all STI feature redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights that help illuminate curves in night time driving. For greater versatility, all WRX and STI models now feature new roof rack mounting brackets.
All models feature upgraded interior materials, rear seat armrest with cup holders, redesigned interior door grips and faster remote trunk opening.
New measures that reduce unwanted noise include thicker door glass, revised door sealing and improved NVH management. The car’s high-definition multi-function display is now bigger.
The 2018 Subaru WRX is powered by 268hp, 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine. The WRX comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission and offers an optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic® CVT with manual mode. The all-wheel drive car uses symmetrical set-up which works with active torque vectoring.
The STI variant is powered by a 305hp 2.5-litre turbocharged BOXER engine. WRX STI brings rally-bred performance technology to the road with revised Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential [DCCD] Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Standard handling technologies include Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. The DCCD system in the STI which previously used a combination of mechanical and electronic centre limited slip differential control now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response.
The WRX features new front and rear suspension tuning for improved steering stability and ride comfort, while retaining the car’s high cornering performance capability. Subaru significantly enhanced shifter feel for the 6-speed manual transmission, with a new synchro design and reduced friction, along with smoother clutch take-up. The WRX electric power steering [EPS] was revised to provide an even smoother, more natural feel, while integrating the steering motor and electronic control unit reduces weight.
On the safety front, Subaru has revised the front structure of the WRX and WRX STI for enhanced frontal collision performance. The WRX Limited, when equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology now features Vehicle Hold [AVH], and a new EyeSight Assist Monitor [EAM]. The EAM uses LED indicators to display EyeSight status and alerts on the windscreen. The AVH feature replaces the Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions and offers greater functionality, holding the vehicle on all types of road grades and not just inclines and in day-to-day driving situations like stop/start traffic.
The WRX STI also gets upgraded brakes and first-ever 19in wheels. A new optional Performance Package for the WRX Premium features Recaro 8-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded brake pads.