New Subaru Levorg Prototype Is A Sad Reminder There Is No WRX Hatch
When Subaru Corporation unveils the new next-generation Levorg sports tourer prototype at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019 later this month, it will be another reminder to performance customers that Subaru doesn’t offer a 2020 WRX or WRX STI 5-Door hatch body style. Fans have been asking for it ever since Subaru discontinued it with the 2015 model change.
Why did Subaru drop the popular hatchback WRX/STI? If you ask Subaru, it was because of slow sales. Mamoru Ishii, the head of Subaru’s design department, told Digital Trends at the Geneva Motor Show last year, “We don’t have plans to bring back a WRX hatch to the market.”
Previous generation Subaru WRX STI hatchback
That’s too bad because performance enthusiasts want the hatch body style for its greater utility and cargo-carrying ability. The new-generation STI could also use a hatch body style to compete with the Honda Civic Type R, and Volkswagen Golf R hot hatches. It does have its place in the WRX STI lineup and if Subaru doesn’t bring it back, they aren’t listening to their customers.
Subaru offers the new 2020 Impreza with the 5-Door hatch body style and they also bring the Impreza sedan. Torque News reached out to a source at a local Subaru dealer near Denver and he told us they sell around 60 percent 5-Door vs 40 percent Impreza sedans. With those numbers in mind, we are perplexed why Subaru Corporation does no offer the hatchback in the WRX and WRX STI performance line.
2019 Subaru Impreza hatchback
Part of the reason The Japanese automaker dropped the 5-Door hatch in the new-generation 2015 WRX and WRX STI, was to distance the performance line from the Impreza compact models. In 2015 they completely dropped Impreza from the WRX/STI nameplate. But they alienated a whole group of buyers when they didn’t bring back the hatch body style.
Subaru hatchback utility
Subaru has to know that performance customers want the hot hatch and sales numbers would indicate it would sell well. Will Subaru Corporation listen and bring back the 5-Door body style when the next-generation 2021 model makes its dealer launch? Stay tuned for 2021 model change updates.
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Photo credit: Subaru Global, Subaru USA