Subaru shelved plans for a WRX STI version of the current-generation WRX because of the short shelf life that the higher performance car would have, in a world of ever changing regulations. Thus, Subaru cannot justify developing and making the STI, making this WRX generation a rare one without the traditional halo version.
This was explained by Subaru of America’s director of corporate communications Dominick Infante to Road & Track. “If we designed (a new STI) now, it would have a very limited shelf life. The regulations are changing so quickly that it kind of wouldn’t make any sense,” he said.
Those regulations are emissions-related, of course. Earlier this week, word got out that Subaru will not be making an STI version of today’s fifth-generation WRX, which was surprising because the STI is tradition – it’s always there.
The news was revealed by by Subaru of America in a letter to its dealers, which said that Subaru is “exploring opportunities for the next generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification” and that “a next generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform”.
“Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gases (GHG), zero emissions vehicles (ZEV) and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE),” the carmaker said.
Subaru however did emphasise that performance vehicles, and the STI brand, is very much in the frame and far from dead. “We still have a strong presence with the all-new WRX and just-launched BRZ. The STI brand represent the zenith of Subaru performance vehicles exemplifying Subaru’s unique DNA and rally heritage. As we look to the future, we also look forward to incorporating the essence of STI into our next generation of vehicles,” it said.
Now, while this isn’t great news for fans, at least the STI name is guaranteed to live on, and the WRX STI is not dead and buried either, as a next-gen car might still happen. However, that will be very far down the road. Today’s all-new WRX made its debut late last year and the previous-generation WRX was around for seven years – you do the math.
By the time we reach the end of this decade, it’ll be a pretty electrified world, if not outright electric, so Subaru’s electrification plans for the next-gen WRX STI is more of a must rather than a greener option. Electrification could mean hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full EV, depending on how fast this train moves.
So, if the Subaru WRX STI has always been your dream car, get an internal combustion engined one while they’re still around, because the VA generation is the end of the pure turbo-boxer rally icon as we know it. Unlike its long-time sparring partner, the Mitsubishi Evo, the WRX/STI is relatively abundant in the market and there are many generations to choose from. It won’t be like that forever.
Source: Read Full Article