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by Jay Traugott
The next WRX was previewed already in concept form last year right under our noses.
Now that Subaru has released their all-new Impreza, fans of the high-performance WRX and WRX STi have been waiting for news as to when the next generation of those models will be launched. Up until now, we were under the impression that Subaru was keeping mum regarding details such as power and even styling. It turns out, however, that we've already seen the concept version of the next WRX while Subaru led us to believe it was something else entirely.
According to a report from Motor Trend, the Subaru Advanced Tourer Concept (ATC) revealed at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Show was not a preview for the next Legacy, but for the WRX. In other words, we've seen the WRX in concept form for several months now. Motor Trend posted an image courtesy of their rendering artist showing what the next WRX may look like with that concept's styling language. The artist gave his WRX the concept's headlights, air dam, grille and front brake ducts. From other angles, the WRX will also feature the concept's overall side profile but will utilize much more aggressive front and rear wheel arches and fenders.
MT also predicts the next WRX will be a bit bigger than the current version, and both a sedan and hatchback will continue to be offered. In an effort to further separate the WRX from the base Impreza lineup, Subaru will likely not include 'Impreza' in the official name, simply leaving it as 'WRX'. The edgy styling will clearly continue and Subaru reportedly wants to move the car away from being a "boy-racer into a more mature sporty grand tourer with a higher-end quality interior." However, don't expect any dramatic changes underneath as the suspension setup will still more than satisfy fans.
Subaru is still testing a couple of engine options, such as a "new FA series 1.6- and 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged boxer fours in addition to a hybridized version of the 1.6-liter turbo." The latter powered the ATC, but while Subaru is satisfied with the hybrid's low emissions and high mileage, they're not thrilled with its weight. More than likely, they'll go with the new 2.0-liter for the WRX. Transmission options will once again include a six-speed manual and an updated CVT. Expected to debut in 2015, power output will be "more than 320hp". It'll also compete in the WTCC and Nurburgring 24 Hours.