While the compact Impreza was completely redesigned for 2012, the high-performance WRX and WRX STI variants remain unchanged. The five-seat WRX is more powerful than the regular Impreza but not as unfettered as the WRX STI. Competitors include the Mazdaspeed3 and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
New for 2013
There are no changes for 2013.
(Skip to details on the: WRX STI)
The WRX has aggressive exterior styling with wider fenders, squared-off bumpers, a black grille and a functional hood scoop used to funnel air into the turbocharged engine's intercooler. The sedan's taillights are red, whereas the hatch has clear lenses. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch wheels that are 8-inches wide for better grip
- Standard rear roof spoiler (hatchback)
- Available heated side mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer
- Available power moonroof
The WRX's interior features sport seats with black cloth upholstery and red accent stitching. The pedals and foot rest have aluminum covers. Interior features include:
- Standard 60/40-split folding rear seat
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- Standard automatic air conditioning
- Standard USB port and MP3 jack
Under the Hood
The WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Mechanical features include:
- 265 horsepower and 244 pounds-feet of torque
- Five-speed manual transmission
- Engine uses premium gas
Safety features include:
- Front-seat side-impact airbags
- Side curtains airbags that protect front and backseat occupants against head injury
- Antilock brakes
- Electronic stability system
The STI version of the WRX comes in sedan or hatchback form. Its suspension is tuned with higher spring rates and thicker stabilizer bars and remains a step firmer and more performance oriented than the regular WRX.
The WRX STI's turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine produces 305 hp and 290 pounds-feet of torque. Its six-speed manual joins a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system with limited-slip front and rear differentials. The center differential has three driver-selectable performance modes and variable torque distribution settings. The brakes use Brembo-brand four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers. The alloy wheels measure 18 by 8.5 inches. The STI has quad tailpipes — enlarged to 3 inches in diameter — and the sedan has a huge rear wing spoiler.
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