No upgrade engine in sight for standard Impreza
Subie fans waiting for a next-gen WRX or STI will have to wait a while longer – as long as three years, according to a new report from Australia’s Motoring.
Speaking to journalists at the Australian launch of the new Subaru Crosstrek (called XV down under), Subaru Australia Managing Director Colin Christie said a new WRX and STI will arrive in two and a half to three years. That places the performance models’ launch midway through the current Impreza’s life cycle. The next-gen WRX will ride on the new Subaru Global Platform that underpins the Impreza and Crosstrek. The holdup seems to be the powertrain, which is completely new and in development now. There’s no good news for those wanting an upgraded engine for the standard Impreza, either.
“We’d love to have more powerful cars,” Christie said. “But there’s nothing on the cards. The 1.6 turbocharged Levorg engine does not fit, so Impreza sports models are restricted to pack changes.”
The Impreza-based Levorg wagon sold outside the North America has a turbocharged 1.6-liter flat-four base engine that makes 168 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which would be a healthy upgrade from the 152-hp, 145-lb-ft naturally aspirated 2.0-liter flat-four in the new Impreza. Honda, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Volkswagen, and Ford all offer turbocharged engine options in their mainstream C-segment cars.
“From our point of view that engine works perfectly for what the car is designed to do. The revhead in me would love to put high-powered turbos in every single car, but the reality is every car has a niche and a role to play,” Christie said.
At least Subaru doesn’t have to worry about competition from the WRX’s chief rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, as a successor to that model is six years away and will likely go a different route as a hybrid crossover.