Subaru discontinued the hatchback body style when they brought out the current generation WRX, and STI and many performance enthusiasts still want it. The new-generation STI could use a hatch body style to compete with the Honda Civic Type R and new 2022 Volkswagen Golf R hot hatches. It does have its place in the WRX STI lineup and offers greater utility and cargo-carrying ability. Subaru has not said whether they will bring back the 5-door hatch, but we are betting they won't.
The fourth-generation Subaru WRX STI needs a new exterior design similar to the VIZIV Performance Concept introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show. Subaru is known for teasing concepts that are off the chain and then delivering something generic for the actual production car.
Subaru won't get too crazy with the performance car's new design. Look at the 2021 Levorg sports wagon to get an idea of what the 2022 STI will look like when it arrives.
Photo credit: Competition Subaru
We know the new sports car will ride on the new Subaru Global Platform with improved driving dynamics, so more horsepower and torque will work nicely in the updated architecture.
Subaru Corporation will drop the EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer engine in the new STI. Subaru will likely put the new FA24 2.4-liter engine turbocharged engine in the next-generation model. The new direct-injection engine will be a good upgrade but don't look for 400 plus horsepower.
The Subaru WRX STI comes with only one gearbox, the 6-speed manual. It's a sound transmission for performance enthusiasts, but Subaru could take the STI's performance up a notch with a new direct-shift gearbox (DSG.) If Subaru wants to upgrade the performance sedan seriously, they should develop a 7-speed variant like the 2022 Volkswagen Golf R's DSG dual-clutch transmission.
A hybrid powertrain
Subaru will give the WRX STI a hybrid powertrain, but it won't happen for another 10 to 15 years. A turbocharged engine coupled with a hybrid system could increase power and torque more than a gas engine. Hybrid technology is the next evolution in eco-performance, but it won't happen anytime soon.
Photo credit: Competition Subaru
Dual Function X-Mode
Another feature you won't see on the 2022 STI is X-Mode or dual function X-Mode. Subaru reserves this off-road feature for its SUVs. The STI sits too low to the ground for any off-pavement pursuits, although we think it would be a good idea for the performance car to have an extra level of performance on the dirt and snowy roads. Owners who live in cold-weather regions don't leave their vehicles in the garage when the snow flies.
Lower than $39,000 MSRP
The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX STI will get a significant price bump, so don't expect the new model to come in less than $39,000. The current base price of the STI is $37,895. The next-generation model will likely have a starting MSRP just south of $40,000, including destination and delivery. The new STI won’t have everything you want, but with the upgrades Subaru brings, the compact sports car will still be one of the best performance values on the planet.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru, Competition Subaru