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2018 Subaru WRX STI Won’t be Getting New 2.0L FA Turbo Boxer

The 2018 Subaru WRX STI will stick with the 2.5-liter turbo boxer. When will it get the new 2.0L FA turbo engine?

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Don’t look for the new 2.0-liter turbocharged FA Boxer engine in the 2018 Subaru WRX STI. It looks like the 2018 STI will just be getting a mild refresh. It will still be powered with the same 2.5-liter turbo boxer, a source close to Subaru told Motoring recently. True to Subaru’s life-cycle of five years, it will likely be the 2020 MY before the WRX and WRX STI get a full remodel and a new engine.

It looks like 2020 will be when the WRX/STI rides on the new Subaru Global Platform. The source told Motoring, “We would love to have the WRX on the new platform, because the car would be a lot better, but the 2018 will be a facelift only.”

The 2.0-liter FA will have to wait

The source said it would take too much time to properly develop and tune the performance STI engine to get it ready for the 2018 model year. We aren’t sure why, because the Japan-only 2017 WRX STI S207 already uses the 2.0-liter turbo FA producing 328 PS (323hp). So we know the engine is ready-to-go.

The Subaru source went on to say, “It’s not the cost, but everything goes through a production cycle. You can’t shorten that production cycle, there’s many things to consider such as durability testing and likewise. It’s not as simple as taking the turbo engine out of one car and presto, off you go. You’re talking about complete suspension tune and a development team. It’s a big process.”

For now, it looks like the US-spec 2018-2019 Subaru WRX STI will get a mild refresh and stay with the 2.5-liter boxer mill. Look for the 2020 Subaru WRX STI to ride on the new Subaru Global Platform with a newly-developed 2.0-liter turbo engine. “With this new platform and the turbo engine in it, you could do a lot of things,” the engineer hinted.

Photo credit: Subaru

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Craig Cornelius (not verified)    January 31, 2017 - 9:24AM

The S207 STI in Japan uses an EJ type engine and not an FA type engine. They won't bring the EJ207 engine to the states because our gasoline does not have a high enough octane level. This is why putting the FA motor in the STI is a new development effort.

MrMechanic (not verified)    May 13, 2017 - 6:48AM

Why on EARTH would you want an FA20DIT-powered Subaru over an EJ? The FA is so problem prone, it's ridiculous, not to mention that even the aftermarket is having a hard time getting those to produce any power. The FA is an economy engine, NOT a performance engine. The EJ isn't bulletproof by any means either, but I'd absolutely and without question take the EJ20/25 over the FA20 in any and all circumstances.

Also I see you commenting on various articles that the Japanese STi uses the FA, which totally false. The STi and S202 through to the S207 ALL use the EJ207. If we actually start getting better quality fuels here in North America, the EJ207 would be a nicer alternative to even the EJ257. Regardless, if you want more power out of an EJ, improve the 20+ problems they currently have (1. tiny turbos running ridiculous boost = hot charge temps, 2. top mount intercooler = inefficient, switch to a front mount like the engine needs, etc). The list goes on, but they can vastly improve the STi if they really wanted to, but the EJ is being pushed HARD as it is on our terrible fuel quality.

Also, how is it that people have their pantaloons up in a bunch because Subaru has been using the EJ for so long, but no one cries at the fact that Nissan has been using that silly VQ engine for the last 20+ years? Is it because they give people 200cc more displacement every 10 years as well? Also GUESS WHAT? You know the GTR that most automotive journalists shower with praise? You know the VR38DETT in that car? It's a hopped-up VQ37 LOL. Before the fanboy in someone says "noooo they're not", go out and buy a VR38 block and then laugh as you bolt the heads and everything else from a VQ on with ease.

What you're really sour at is the fact that they not turning up the power on the EJ. Then many people can even drive 200hp, let alone 300hp car at it's limits? Trick question, the answer is "very few".