Fifth-gen Subaru WRX still rowdy but adds refinement thumbnail

Fifth-gen Subaru WRX still rowdy but adds refinement

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When it arrives in dealerships early next year, the redesigned 2022 Subaru WRX will feature a more powerful engine, a faster-shifting transmission, improved suspension and an upgraded infotainment system designed to make the brand’s street-legal rally car that much more fun and livable.

The fifth-generation WRX is built on the Subaru Global Platform and powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer engine producing up to 271 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque — replacing its 2.0-liter, 268-hp, 258 pound-foot predecessor — mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic.

Subaru says the increased displacement and the turbocharger with electronically controlled wastegate and air bypass valves are intended to improve responsiveness and acceleration.

All-wheel drive is standard, as is active torque vectoring.

The move to the new platform improves chassis stiffness and responsiveness, while a rear stabilizer bar mounted directly to the body reduces body roll, keeping the car firmly planted. An improved suspension with new dual-pinion electric power steering deliver quicker responses to driver inputs and “a more natural steering feel,” Subaru said.

The 2022 WRX’s styling is intended to improve performance and looks. It features a broad front hood scoop, new lighting and fenders now made of aluminum to save weight. A low-profile rear spoiler is standard and matches the body color.

Inside the cabin, the redesign includes a new 11.6-inch tablet-style customizable touch screen infotainment system that controls audio, HVAC and other functions, though redundant manual switches are included for volume and temperature controls. The black interior features high-contrast red stitching and carbon-fiber accents throughout, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel.

In terms of safety, the brand’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite will come standard on all WRX models equipped with automatic transmissions. It includes advanced adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and lane-centering, and a brake booster to improve emergency stopping. A newly added feature, automatic emergency steering, is optional on most trims and helps prevent collisions at speeds under 50 mph, Subaru says.

Subaru will add a new top-of-the-line GT trim. It will ride on 18-inch matte gray wheels and summer performance tires, and it will be equipped with eight-way adjustable Recaro racing seats. Pricing details were not revealed.