Subaru Announces New WRX S4 STI Sport -The Next Generation Model Comes Into Focus
Subaru announced a new 2020.7 WRX S4 STI Sport # model for the Japanese market that reveals what the Japanese automaker has in mind for the next-generation WRX coming sometime next year. The WRX S4 STI Sport # performance sedan will be a limited production (500 units) sports car and is on sale today and will only be available until October 22, 2020, or until orders reach 500.
Subaru Tecnica International, the performance and motorsports division of Subaru, brings the limited edition WRX S4 STI Sport # and it comes with a few upgrades not found on the current 2020 WRX. It’s equipped with the following three flexible parts; a flexible tower bar in the front, a flexible draw stiffener front, and a flexible draw stiffener in the rear.
It looks to us like STI is experimenting with the current generation WRX to see how to improve the next-generation sports sedan. Masuo Takatsu, General Manager of the Development Division for Subaru Tecnica International, says they developed a new flexible draw stiffener in the rear, and flexible tower bar specifically for the WRX 4 STI Sport # and the synergy improves driving dynamics.
Takatsu says it improved body rigidity of the WRX so much that it improves the steering of the sport-tuned sedan. In STI testing, from the time the driver turns the steering wheel, “to the occurrence of lateral G is reduced by 10 percent, and body roll is reduced by 4 percent.”
Subaru Tecnica International also tuned the intake and exhaust systems with a performance air cleaner element and a new low resistance muffler. By improving the air intake and exhaust flow they are able to increase engine torque by 10 percent over the entire range. STI says they see a difference in acceleration. This is nothing new, as performance enthusiasts have been doing this for years with aftermarket equipment.
STI also improved interior noise by increasing the thickness of the sound-absorbing material used under the floor. They also added materials with high vibration damping effect to the vibration damping materials placed in the spare tire pan. STI says they have reduced road noise (200Hz) by -0.6dB in the front seats and -0.5db in the rear seats compared to the current model.
In addition, STI added a few new aerodynamic parts with a new front under-spoiler and outlet on the rear bumper. It improves downforce in the front and the rear bumper and reduces pressure inside the rear wheelhouse suppressing rear lift. The overall effect is improved steering and handling. A new side under-spoiler and rear side under-spoiler enhance driving stability.
The news is not all good. The limited edition WRX S4 STI Sport # only comes with a Sport Lineartronic CVT automatic transmission. This also points to what Subaru could have in mind for the next-generation WRX. They want to equip all models at some point with EyeSight driver assist technology, and it’s not compatible with a 6-speed manual gearbox. We don’t know if Subaru will drop the manual gearbox in the next-generation WRX but don’t be surprised if they do.
Inside, the WRX S4 STI Sport # gets an all-black cockpit with steering wheel and Recaro seat and trim in ultra suede. The 2020.7 Subaru WRX S4 STI Sport # gives fans an idea of what Subaru has in mind for the next-generation 2022 WRX. They are experimenting with the sport sedan’s body rigidity, enhancing aerodynamics, improving intake and exhaust flow, and reducing cabin noise.
None of this is earth-shattering, but there is good news as one of the main criticisms of the current generation WRX is there is excessive interior noise. Look for the next generation 2022 Subaru WRX to have improved steering, aerodynamics, and driving dynamics, and it will be quieter in the cabin. Most WRX owners want to make their sports cars as loud as possible so Subaru may not want to make a point of this new upgrade.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!
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Photo credit: Subaru And Subaru Tecnica International