Skip to main content

No Big Design Changes For The New Subaru WRX And STI - Upgrades Come Underneath

What will the next-generation Subaru WRX and STI look like when it's revealed? New spy photos reveal it may not get significant design changes.


The 2022 Subaru WRX has been spotted, and the spy photos below reveal the exterior design is not going to look much like the STI Performance Concept pictured above. The test mule seen this year appears a lot like the outgoing 2021 Subaru WRX with minor exterior changes.

While performance enthusiasts want the 2022 WRX and next-generation WRX STI to look like VIZIV Performance Concept introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show, we expect less than bold design upgrades when the WRX is officially revealed this fall.

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI, pricing, specs

What will the next-generation Subaru WRX and STI look like when it arrives?

Subaru won't go crazy with the sport-tuned WRX and performance-tuned STI sports 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.

You can see Subaru's conservative approach to design in its entire lineup. The Forester compact SUV, Outback wagon/SUV, and Crosstrek Small SUV all received minor exterior changes for the new generation models.

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI, pricing, specs
photo credit: Creative311

Will the next-generation WRX STI get a hatchback body style?

Subaru enthusiasts' main question is will the Japanese automaker bring back the WRX and STI hatch? Subaru Corporation discontinued the hatchback body style in 2015, and many performance enthusiasts want it brought back.

The hatch body has its place in the WRX STI lineup and offers superior 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.

2022 Subaru WRX STI, next-generation STI, pricing, specs
photo credit: Creative311

How much will the 2022 Subaru WRX cost?

The current price of the 2021 WRX is $28,420, including destination. The 2022 WRX will likely get a significant bump in price, but the base model will still be less than $30,000, making it a good performance value.

How much will the 2022 Subaru WRX STI cost?

Look for the next-generation 2022 Subaru WRX STI to 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 $38,170. The next-generation model will likely have a starting MSRP just south of $40,000, including destination and delivery.

What engine will power the 2022 Subaru WRX and STI?

The all-new 2022 Subaru WRX and STI won't get significant exterior design changes; the most critical upgrades will come underneath the hood. Check out the Torque News report below on the new 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer engine coming to the latest models.

You Might Also Like: Why You Won’t Get A Boring 2.4L Turbo Ascent SUV Engine In The All-New Subaru STI

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.

Subaru Report - We’ve got you covered! Check back tomorrow for more unique, informative SUBARU news, reviews, and previews you can trust.

Leave your comments below, share the article with friends and tweet it out to your followers!

Photo credit: Subaru VIZIV Performance Concept, spy shots used with permission from Creative311


Jason (not verified)    March 22, 2021 - 10:52AM

As long as they keep making the STI in a sedan body, I'll probably keep buying them. I disagree with the statement that the hatchback "offers superior utility and cargo-carrying ability". When my wife and two kids are in the car with me, if it were a hatchback, I'd have almost no cargo space left compared to what the sedan offers. That makes it a no-brainer for me to only get a sedan body style. Plus, I like the looks of it better.

I don't care if they offer both, but if it's just one, I hope it stays the sedan. And I think I read somewhere once, that during the years that they offered both body styles (11-14), the sedan sold better.

Being that Subaru doesn't have the cash of the biggest auto makers, decisions like generational design changes and offering multiple variations of vehicles are usually kept in check more than the big manufacturers.

Nikolay (not verified)    March 22, 2021 - 11:22AM

In reply to by Jason (not verified)

I accept your preference for the sedan but I don't see how a hatchback with 4-5 people in it would have less space compared to a sedan. Sedan trunk is not longer than a hatchback, so without lowering the seats you would get the same length plus the room above that.

So other arguments aside I think the hatchback does "offers superior utility and cargo-carrying ability"...

2014 Hatch vs Sedan: 44.4ft^3(seats down) 19ft^3(seats up) vs 11.3^3

I believe you can lower the back seats in the sedan as well.

Jason (not verified)    March 22, 2021 - 2:46PM

In reply to by Nikolay (not verified)

The sedan from that time was 180.3" long and the hatchback was 173.8" long. And that extra 6.5" makes a difference when I'm loading groceries in since the height of the space isn't as important as the length. Therefore, the sedan is more useful to me.

Jason (not verified)    March 23, 2021 - 11:53PM

In reply to by Jay Virivong (not verified)

Wow, you're pretty good at reading because that is what I said. I said 'I' or 'me' in every sentence and finished off by saying, "Therefore, the sedan is more useful to me." Not sure how you could take it any other way. I guess you're just emphasizing my point, so thanks. The previous reply to me stated that the sedan trunk is not longer than the hatchback, which isn't true, and that's what I pointed out with the dimensions.

Jay T Virivong (not verified)    March 24, 2021 - 12:22PM

In reply to by Jason (not verified)

My bad on not fully reading your previous comment, my mistake on that. The sedan may be longer but the hatch has more cargo volume space than the sedan. So does that extra 6" come in handy when you max height is capped off way shorter than the hatch which you can stack groceries.

Wayne (not verified)    April 4, 2021 - 8:53PM

In reply to by Jason (not verified)

Jason I couldn’t agree with you more. As a parent a hatchback isn’t nearly as useful as a sedan. Hatches are great if you don’t have kids and never put a car seat in your car. Folding rear seats is something you avoid at all costs when you have child car seats.

Jason (not verified)    April 20, 2021 - 3:09PM

In reply to by Wayne (not verified)

I agree with you on not wanting to have to take car seats out. But I have to say, my 2015 STI is the quickest and easiest vehicle I've put a car seat in so far (out of the 7 vehicles I've done that in). It should actually be the standard for all other vehicles as far as that goes. The main thing is, a lot of times I can't take them out cause the kids are in them and my wife wouldn't appreciate that.

Joe (not verified)    March 22, 2021 - 5:45PM

There was never going to be any major change to the design of this car it was always going to be about the new platform and engine. The car has already been rendered and based on spy shots we have a good idea of what its going to look like. The last thing for me is knowing the numbers. WRX with at least 290hp sounds about right and fits with the competition. STI with at least 370 also sounds about right.

Derrick (not verified)    March 22, 2021 - 6:46PM

I saw a photo online of a beautiful blue WRX STI hatchback with gold wheels and aggressive body styling with the title Subaru pairs with Toyota to produce the next STI in 2022 please don’t say it won’t happen now as I was so excited I told my wife I’m buying it if it’s released

Ben (not verified)    March 25, 2021 - 10:42PM

I liked the body style of my 2010 and more so my 2014. I have an 18 now and think it looks like a corolla with a hood scoop. The little lip wing is annoying too. I was really hoping for a redesign this time. I've been holding off buying one for a new design to make it look tough again.

Cesar (not verified)    March 26, 2021 - 11:21AM

What a let down. I appreciate the performance increase but for that kind of money, it’s gotta compete on the looks, too. Especially with the amazing looking concepts to then get that dressed up economy box.

I’m going to have to look elsewhere which is a bummer after buying a new WRX in 2010 and Forester XT in 2015... maybe my dream of a reprised Legacy GT 6-speed manual will happen.

Peter Chao (not verified)    March 28, 2021 - 12:31AM

Subaru team up with Toyota to share the cost of creating a WRX STi hatchback is a great idea; I just hope it has more trunk space than my Golf R and more than 380hp to enthusiasts. Maybe the alternative is to bring the next gen. existing Levorg STi to America with the practicality for an enthusaist that is a dad with kids and the flexibility of an Automatic-like/Dual-clutch transmission for the mom to be able to drive and agree to allow the dad to buy!

Tim Horton (not verified)    March 28, 2021 - 2:56AM

Don't anybody hold your breath for a hatchback WRX.. Subaru needs every one of those bodyshells to produce the super popular Crosstrek.

JM (not verified)    June 24, 2021 - 8:01PM

I don't know. Wish Subaru would ditch that slow CVT for at least the wrx/sti. Doesn't seem to compare to the dual clutch that the golf R has. I miss the old Subaru days.

Jason (not verified)    June 25, 2021 - 12:21PM

In reply to by JM (not verified)

That's a nice thought, but it costs a lot of money to develop a new transmission like that. And Subaru is a relatively small company compared to VW, so they don't have the cash to easily justify doing something like that. I don't like CVTs either, but they already have one (mainly because they needed an auto that does well in fuel economy ratings, as well as allows the auto safety driving features to function) and they aren't going to spend money on another transmission until they absolutely have to. That's just how they do business and it keeps them profitable.