The Subaru WRX and WRX STI lose power in July and leads the Japanese automaker in sales loss for the entire lineup. It looks like the WRX STI’s lack of horsepower increase is showing up big in sales. Subaru of America (SOA) reports the 2018 WRX/STI performance line dropped 31.4 percent last month compared with July 2017. SOA reports 2,013 sales in July 2018 compared with 2,933 in July 2017. The performance sedans are down 10.8 percent YTD.
What’s the problem?
It could be Subaru needs to give the aging EJ25 Boxer engine an overhaul. It could also need an all-new engine for the WRX STI. The WRX received the new 2.0-liter Boxer in 2015 when the performance cars received the new-generation upgrades. But the STI keeps the same engine as it’s had since 2004.
Even though the 2018 STI received upgrades for the suspension, Subaru Corp chose to leave the engine alone. For 2019, engine revisions to the STI, include new air intake and high-flow exhaust system and higher turbo boost (now 16.2 PSI, up from 14.7 PSI), increase output to 310 horsepower (up 5hp) and the same 290 lb-ft of torque. Revised third gear improves acceleration times.
Performance fans may be waiting for the next-generation WRX STI or upgrading performance in their older model while they wait. Many enthusiasts have been asking for a return of the hatchback, but we don't know when or if it will return. If it ever returns, we wouldn't expect to see it until a WRX appears on a new platform. The next-gen models won’t arrive until sometime in 2020 or 2021 when it arrives with the new Subaru Global Platform. For 2019, fans will have to settle for a Limited Edition (250) WRX STI Series.Gray model.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA