2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI
Denis Flierl's picture

How Subaru Makes The Next-Gen WRX and STI The Lightest Version It's Ever Built

Here's how Subaru makes the next-generation 2022 WRX and STI the lightest model they've ever built.
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The next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX and STI will push the performance and technological boundaries and will likely be lighter than the current-generation sports car. Subaru engineers will take a page from the second-generation BRZ and lighten the new WRX and STI like its rear-drive stablemate.

Subaru of America, in the new sport coupe's news release, said it cut weight by building the BRZ's roof, fenders, and hood out of aluminum. Subaru says, "The use of aluminum for the roof, front fenders, and hood minimizes the weight increase of the larger engine and added structural enhancements designed for even improved collision safety."

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI

Recent reports say Subaru will use the BRZ's FA24 2.4-liter Boxer engine, but the WRX and STI gets fitted with the direct-injection turbocharged version. Some sources say the STI could pump out close to 400 horsepower.

While Subaru touts BRZ's improved safety because of its new lightweight design, performance fans care about the all-new WRX STI's speed and handling characteristics. Subaru says, "Moreover, it (lighter weight) contributes to optimize weight layout and lower the center of gravity to improve the vehicle's agility."

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI

Subaru also referred to the new sports car's use of high-strength steel. Look for Subaru to do the same for the next-generation STI. It will get more aluminum body parts, and in the BRZ, it gets high-strength steel in "the A, B, and C-pillars, keeping them thin but strong," Subaru wrote.

Subaru used "design elements" from the Subaru Global Platform (SGP) in the BRZ's chassis. Subaru could also use similar elements of the SGP in the WRX and STI to lower the center of gravity and strengthen its body structure.

Subaru says, "The (BRZ's) chassis gained rigidity through a reinforced chassis mounting system, sub-frame architecture, and other connection points." Its revised structure also features "a 50 percent increase in torsional stiffness," which improves stability in the corners.

The next-generation WRX and STI will push the performance and technological boundaries and will likely be lighter than the current-generation sports car. Subaru could also use Levorg's new X platform with a full inner frame structure "that enhances the skeletal continuity of the entire body and a structural adhesive that suppresses minute deformation, achieving further rigidity and weight reduction." The STI could also use carbon fiber in the roof panel like the STI S209.

The all-new Subaru WRX and STI's body and chassis will be more rigid, translating to improved steering response. The increased rigidity of the suspension mounting will reduce body roll compared to current models. Look for the 2022 WRX and STI to be lighter, stronger, and it will push the boundaries in the compact sports car class.

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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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Comments

Dumb title. The GC platform WRX was in the 2500 lb range. The current generation is literally 1000 lbs heavier. There is no way that the next gen STI will be lighter than a V6 STI RA. I appreciate that you are pointing out Subaru might reverse the normal automaker trend of making every consecutive version heavier, but saying "lightest ever" is either uninformed, click bait or both.
That subaru coupe is a beautiful sports car I want one
The rally car roots have been progressively leaving the WRX line. Look at the GR Yaris. This is probably as close as you can get to current rally car status for road use. Lighter is better but I still feel it will be heavy and under powered.
How much weight was saved by removing mirrors and door handles? Oh, you mean, this is s concept car. The real car won’t look like this.