Subaru has updated its carryover WRX and WRX STI performance models.
Subaru has introduced updated versions of its WRX and WRX STI models for the 2018 model year. As expected, the latest WRX models are based on the previous-generation Impreza rather than the all-new car that is launching this year.
For 2018 with the WRX and WRX STI receive a new, more aggressive front fascia that includes a new grille design and larger lower grille opening. WRX Limited and STI models also get new LED Steering Response Headlights that turn with the vehicle's steering wheel. The only other exterior modification from last year is new roof rack mounting brackets.
Engines carryover unchanged, but Subaru has made improvements to the cars' drivetrains. The six-speed manual in the WRX has been upgraded with a new synchro design and optimized for a reduction in friction. The clutch has also been modified to provide a smoother take-up. Engineers also calibrated the car's electronic power steering system for a smother, more natural feel.
The suspension has been gone through on both the WRX and WRX STI, with Subaru promising better stability and improved comfort.
Subaru went a few step further with the STI model, adding a high-performance Brembo brake system with six-piston front calipers and drilled rotors all around, a revised all-wheel drive system with a fully-electronic center differential and new 19-inch wheels.
The WRX gains a Performance Package for 2018 that includes eight-way power Recaro seats, sunroof delete, upgraded JURID brake pads and red-painted brake calipers. The STI Limited also gains the new Recaro seats; the sports thrones are available as an option on the base STI.
In order to reduce cabin noise, the updated performance models have been equipped with thicker door glass, revised door sealing and a foam-filled windshield header beam. On the convenience front, all WRX models get heated outside mirrors and a larger multi-function display. WRX Limited models have been treated to a power driver's lumbar adjustment while WRX Premium models gain a new 7-inch multimedia display.
Rounding out the list of improvements, the 2018 models feature a revised front structure for better collision performance and a new vehicle hold system that allows the driver to take their foot off the brake pedal when at a stop on a flat surface.
Subaru hasn't announced when the 2018 WRX and WRX STI will land on dealer lots, but expect them to begin showing up within the next few months.
Photos by Byron Hurd.