When we look at the Subaru Impreza 5-Door Concept at the Chicago Auto Show, it’s another reminder of what WRX STI enthusiasts would like to have. Where’s the 5-Door STI? The 2016 Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance cars are missing 5 doors. Five doors look good on the concept and they would look better on the WRX and WRX STI performance cars. Fans are disappointed because they want the WRX/STI hatch.
Will Subaru bring back the 5-Door WRX/STI?
The Impreza 5-Door Concept is a forerunner of things to come from Subaru. This is one of Subaru's next-generation strategic vehicles, an idea that was revealed in Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), Mid-Term Management Vision Prominence 2020 announcement in May 2014. The Impreza Concept introduces the new Subaru Global Platform. It will underpin the next-generation WRX/STI.
Subaru says the Impreza Concept hints at the design direction of not only the new Impreza, but of Subaru's future models as a whole. We reported last year that WRX Project General Manager, Masuo Takatsu said “a five-door body style was still under consideration.” Considering the strong backlash from WRX/STI fans around the globe, it’s no surprise.
WRX/STI sedan is still selling well all over the globe
Subaru has been hearing it from WRX/STI performance fans who want the utility and versatility that the body style offers. “We have received strong interest from the U.S., where the hatchback was 50 percent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering it,” Takatsu said last year.
The WRX/STI has been selling like hot cakes all over the globe and Subaru isn’t under the gun to bring back the hatchback yet. The U.S., Japan and Australia are Subaru’s biggest WRX STI markets where fans are snatching up the performance car as fast as FHI can built them at the Gunma factory in Japan.
When Masuo Takatsu was in the U.S. for the WRX/STI launch, he said “limited engineering resources” were behind both the lack of new WRX/STI hatch and an automatic version of the upcoming WRX. Now Subaru has redesigned the Impreza and it could be time for the WRX/STI to get a hatchback body style.
Why are 5 doors important for WRX/STI?
Why is it such a big deal for Subaru to reconsider offering a five-door hatch in addition to the sedan? For STI buyers, it’s all about the versatility and utility that the hatchback offers. Performance fans use their cars for everything and they love the extra functionality that the hatch offers. In addition to offering performance, it offers buyers to use the WRX/STI for multi-purposes. It can be used for recreational activities like transporting mountain bikes, snowboards, and surfboards for use on the weekends.
The Impreza 5-Door Concept at the Chicago Auto Show points to the design direction of the entire Subaru lineup. Subaru WRX STI fans can only hope it points to a new 2017 Subaru WRX/STI hatchback.
Source: Subaru at Chicago Auto Show