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Performance Is Dying At Subaru, Is It Time To Walk Away?

Subaru is experiencing an interesting phenomenon now. Is it time to say goodbye to its two performance models? I'll examine the question.

2024 Subaru BRZ sales and 2024 Subaru WRX sales are dropping. What was once Subaru's crown jewel, its performance cars, is now like an albatross around the Japanese automaker's neck. 

Well, maybe that's a little drastic, but check out the performance numbers before you say I'm crazy. Let's check BRZ sales first.

BRZ Sales Performance

In the first quarter of 2024, the BRZ sport coupe dropped 24.7 percent in January, the BRZ dropped 33.9 percent in February, and the BRZ sales decreased 4.2 percent in March. Subaru of America reports that 273 BRZ sold in March, compared with 285 in March 2023. BRZ is in a downward trend. 

 WRX Is In A Significant Downward Slide

As I reported recently, the WRX has been on a downward slide for nine consecutive months. The downward trend continues, and it's not improving. The last time the WRX sports car had an increase was June 2023. 

Subaru of America reports that the WRX sold 1,837 performance sports cars in March, compared with 3,005 models sold in March 2023. The WRX performance sedan decreased 38.9 percent in March, the most of any model in SOA's lineup. 

Performance Models Decreased The Most Of Any Models

For the first three months of 2024, the WRX dropped 42.1 percent, the most of any Subaru model. The BRZ is the second model with the most decrease in 2024. 

BRZ is down 22.2 percent in the first quarter, with 766 sport coupes delivered to customers compared with 985 through the first three months in 2023.

Ok, that's a lot of sales decrease, so what's next? 

Should Subaru Abandon Its Performance Cars?

Subaru dropped the WRX STI in 2021 because of the changing automotive landscape and the transition to EVs. 

The entire automotive world is transitioning now, and it's too early to say that Subaru should drop its performance models. Subaru Corporation has said they will bring back the STI in an electric configuration. 

From what I see, dropping the performance models would be a knee-jerk reaction. Subaru should keep the WRX and BRZ and wait for the market to settle down. The market is in flux, and there are many buyers who want small, affordable performance cars. 

Subaru of America knows that the bread and butter models are the Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek SUVs. The WRX and BRZ are "loss-leaders" that bring in new customers to Subaru's showrooms. When those performance model customers are ready to sell, they will purchase a Subaru SUV as their family grows.

It's a wise strategy that has worked in the past and should continue to work in the electric vehicle future.

Affordable Vehicles Are Subaru's Calling Card

Subaru is introducing new electric and hybrid vehicles for its North American customers. It's not time to abandon performance cars. Who wouldn't want an affordable, fast, electric-performance car? 

Subaru Corporation is the automaker that should lead the way in the compact electric performance car era of affordable eco-performance. 

So, should Subaru also drop the WRX and BRZ from its all-wheel-drive lineup? No, Subaru should stick with its plan. The STI is going electric. Stay tuned. 


Let's open it up to my readers. What do you think? With the slow sales, should Subaru keep the WRX and BRZ? 

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru performance car report. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru news. 

But before you go, check out:


I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, X SubaruReport, All Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierl, Facebook, and Instagram.

I’ve got you covered! - I cover all Subaru all the time. 

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Photo credit: Competition Subaru


Lenroy Brown (not verified)    April 14, 2024 - 1:33AM

I wouldn't bank on Subaru continuing to supply performance cars to the USA in the future.
Europe used to be their biggest market for their performance vehicles in WRX and STI spec. But they have turned their backs on those customers. I had Subarus for nearly 20 years. Unfortunately, not any more. The current range is slotherly and not that fuel efficient.

Dennis (not verified)    April 14, 2024 - 9:25PM

I see this as two distinct issues. The WRX is definitely in a sales slump. I see dealers having inventory and the cars not moving. The BRZ like many other sports cars does not have any inventory. I checked auto trader just now, there are less than 100 BRZs for sale that are New in the US. How can they sell any cars with no inventory?! A Lexus LC500 which is more than triple the price and is pretty niche has 300 units new for sale nationwide. I don't know what is going on but I definitely like the current car market.